Research Programmes

WIT is recognised as the leading research performer in the institute of technology sector with research activities that are internationally benchmarked, strategic, and economically relevant. Find out about the amazing multi disciplinary research under way.

At WIT we have created a research and innovation ecosystem which brings together our researchers and students with entrepreneurs and established companies. The strong research culture is the result of individual effort and collaboration by academics, researchers, and a dedicated Research Support Unit.

Why choose WIT?
WIT is a university-level education institution in the south-east of Ireland. It has over 10,000 students and 1,000 staff, and it supports a thriving research culture. Areas of R&D expertise include ICT, bio-pharma, eco-innovation, materials science, regional development, and health sciences. Over the past 10 years, the Institute has successfully attracted over €139m in research funding from various sources. Researchers at WIT have obtained funding from the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) cycles 3, 4 and 5; Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Frontiers Programme and the Principal Investigator Programme, and various European funding programmes including eTEN and InterReg. In addition, there are three Enterprise Ireland (EI) funded Technology Gateway Centres in the areas of applied materials research, telecommunications research, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology research. WIT has has an established track record of success in the various European Framework Programmes (FP), having obtained funding in FP4, FP5, FP6, FP7 and most recently Horizon 2020 (H2020). WIT was the leading Irish Institute of Technology in terms of funding drawdown under the H2020 framework programme."

As a result of its work on collaborative research projects, WIT has built extensive alliances with leading industrial and academic partners across Europe. In working with local SMEs, the Institute plays a significant role in the South-East region's economic development by creating an eco-system of research, industry and entrepreneurship. WIT also encompasses a purpose-built centre for commercialisation and business incubation in its ArcLabs facility, as well as dedicated research support and technology transfer offices.

Excellent research and training in a supportive environment
WIT was the first Institute of Technology in Ireland to receive the "HR Excellence in Research" designation from the European Commission. This award acknowledges WIT as a stimulating work environment for researchers, providing attractive working conditions and equipping researchers with the broad skills and experience necessary to develop their research careers. Read more about our HR Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R). We continue to hold this award.

WIT offers a range of training under the Structured PhD programme including but not limited to ethics, GDPR, research integrity, statistics, practical pedagogy, academic writing and entrepreneurship. Doctoral candidates can also avail of the Broaden our Horizons and Odyssey Mentoring programme and scholarship recipients gain experience in lecturing undergraduates. Research Integrity training is offered to all postgraduate students conducting research activities. Grant writing workshops are also provided throughout the year by the RSU and are advertised on our events page. The Postgraduate Research Forum (E: enables sharing among peers, and we have many coffee mornings and networking sessions throughout the year.

Before Applying
Opportunities for research leading to postgraduate awards are advertised in the press and on the WIT website and promoted at postgraduate fairs, nationally and internationally. Prior to submitting an application, the candidate will normally consult with the appropriate Academic Department to ensure it is in a position to consider their application. Applicants for research places are expected to have an idea for a research topic. They are strongly advised to have had prior contact with WIT researchers to ensure that WIT has the capacity to supervise them and the facilities for the work they intend to undertake. Heads of Department and Research supervisors are happy to provide this type of advice to prospective postgraduates.

In some cases, there are opportunities to work on funded research projects. These are advertised in the national and local press and on our website. Those interested apply and qualified applicants will be short-listed and interviewed. Specific application details will be outlined on each advertised project.
How to Apply

Funded Research Postgraduate Programmes
Applicants for funded Research Postgraduate programmes at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) should apply directly to the Institute by submitting the completed application form Application Form to
Further information and details regarding funded Research Postgraduate programmes and scholarships are available from the Funded Opportunities section of our website.
Useful Guide (downloadable via course webpage - link below): Application Procedures for Funded Postgraduate Research Programmes

Non-Funded Research Postgraduate Programmes
Applications for non-fund Research Postgraduate Programmes at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) should be made online through the Postgraduate Application Centre (PAC) at

The PAC online application system is open for new non-funded research postgraduate applications. This is an online application system that allows applicants, for a fee of €50, to apply for up to four courses at Waterford Institute of Technology. Course selection can be from any of our PhD, Research and Taught Masters, Diplomas or Certificate courses. The fee is paid directly to PAC. Useful Guide (downloadable via course webpage - link below): Application Procedures for Non-Funded Research Postgraduate Programmes

On receipt of the application fee, your application will be available to view on the PAC system. Applicants are notified by email as each step of the review route is progressed. It is therefore, imperative that applicants have a secure email account and review it regularly for updates.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements:
Applicants require an honours level degree (NFQ level 8) with a minimum of a 2.H2 (second class honours, grade 2) before being considered for a PhD or Masters by Research programme in WIT.
Find a supervisor: Once an applicant knows which area or topic they wish to research, they then need to discuss with one or more potential supervisors. Applicants should contact the WIT Department / Schools for information on Supervisors in the relevant area of research and check the availability of a appropriate Supervisors.
Applicants must have discussed their prospective research with a proposed Supervisor prior to applying


Programme fee details are available on the Postgraduate Fee Schedule displayed on our website at

Enrolment dates

The application process for research degrees in WIT varies depending on whether the candidate plans to pay fees and other costs themselves ("self-funded") or whether they are applying for a position funded by a research grant awarded to a WIT staff member ("funded"). The latter usually means that fees and/or research costs and/or a student stipend are paid via the research grant. Candidates seeking to self-fund their research typically approach the institute with their own concepts for a research project and engage with WIT staff members to develop an initial research proposal before formally applying for a place on the programme. Where such candidates are offered a place they often subsequently apply for a research grant to fully or partly fund the project.

Note that the application processes for self-funded and funded research degree positions are different, please follow the relevant procedure, as outlined at:

Application Procedure for Self-Funded Research Programmes:
1. Candidates interested in pursuing a research postgraduate degree in WIT are encouraged to first discuss potential topics for research projects with WIT academic staff who have the relevant expertise and experience to supervise the project. WIT Heads of Department are available to help candidates identify potential supervisors;

2.Working with the potential supervisor(s) the candidates develop an initial outline research proposal. The potential supervisor(s) seek approval for the proposed research programme from the Institute's Academic Council;

3. Following approval the candidate will be asked to formally apply for the position via the PAC online system (, following the procedure outlined at;

4. Following eligibility checks and final approvals the candidate will be offered the place and invited to register as a WIT postgraduate student. Registration dates are September and January.

Application Procedure for Funded Research Programmes:
1. Funded positions for research postgraduates in WIT are advertised on the WIT website and through a number of other channels. Candidates interested in future funded positions in given research groups and centres are encouraged to directly contact those groups (contact persons are listed on page 12);

2. Candidates interested in applying for an advertised funded research position are strongly encouraged to contact the WIT academic staff members associated with the position to discuss the research project and their suitability for it;

3. Candidates formally apply for the position via the procedure outlined at;

4.Where the number of eligible candidates exceeds the number of available positions WIT will organise interviews, which can be conducted in person or via video-conferencing;

5. Successful candidates will be offered a place on the programme and will be invited to register as a WIT postgraduate student. Registration dates are September and January; however, in some circumstances, candidates can be facilitated to commence their programme at other times of the year.


Non-Funded Opportunities
Waterford Institute of Technology has a strong commitment to learning, research, development and innovation and has had success in all major research funding cycles in Ireland and Europe placing it at the forefront of the higher education sector in these areas.

Opportunities for research postgraduate studies may be available in the following areas:

•Entrepreneurship, Healthcare Management, Reputation Management Branding, Tourism Services Management, Finance and International Business, Change management

•Applied Arts - Literature, Art, Law, Music, Social Studies

•Languages, Tourism and Hospitality - History

•Building Technology

•Engineering - Manufacturing, Electronics and Materials

•Computing and Physics - Telecommunications Software, Information Systems, E-Learning, Opto-Electronics and Automotive IT

•Science - Bioremediation, Separation Science, Pharmaceuticals, Forestry, Environmental Science Processes

•Nursing, Health Sciences and Sports Studies

•Education - Adult learning, Multiple Intelligences, Reflective Learning and Teaching

Interested in research at WIT?

If you are interested in pursuing research at WIT, it is advisable that you talk to researchers in the specific department.

Contact us

If you are interested in research at WIT, we would advise you to visit the departmental research section initially. This should give you an understanding of the areas of research persued in the department. We would then suggest you talk to the head of department to discuss your options.

Department of Graduate Business Studies
Head of Dept: Prof. Denis Harrington,

Department of Education
Head of Dept: Dr. Mary Fenton,

Department of Lifelong Learning
Head of Dept: Neil Quinlan,

Department of Architecture
Head of Dept: Aleksander Kostic,

Department of Built Environment
Head of Dept: Dr. Derek Sinnott,

Department of Engineering Technology
Head of Dept: Albert Byrne,

Department of Nursing and Health Care
Head of Dep/Head of School: Prof. John Wells, (pending appointment of HoD)

Department of Sport & Exercise Science
Head of Dept: Dr. Michael Harrison,

Department of Applied Arts
Head of Dept: Dr. Michael Bergin,

Department of Creative & Performing Arts
Head of Dept: Marian O'Neill,

Department of Languages, Tourism & Hospitality
Head of Dept: Ray Cullen,

Department of Science
Head of Dept: Dr. Orla O'Donavan,

Department of Computing & Maths
Head of Dept: Dr. Padraig Kirwan,

Current Funded Research Opportunities
There are currently three funded research postgraduate opportunities. Please check back again soon as new opportunities may arise. To apply for scholarships please download the Funded Research Postgraduate Application Form and return completed applications to

Project Title Closing Date
Radioactivity in the Coastal Environment Friday 21st February 2020 at 4pm GMT

Amorphous formulations to improve the bioavailability of poorly soluble drugs Monday 2nd March 2020 at 9am GMT

Impact of soil and grassland management on microbially mediated soil organic matter mineralisation Friday 20th March 2020 at 4pm GMT

More details
  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ),Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time

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    Course provider