Research Programmes

Reflecting the national and international trends in postgraduate research we strive to ensure that WIT research students are equipped with transferrable and disciplinespecific skills that will significantly contribute to ongoing success in their career following graduation. Each research postgraduate pursues a unique programme that is designed based on their skills, their prior experience and on their research interests. WIT awards Masters by Research and PhD degrees through assessement of a substantial final dissertation that describes the research work undertaken by the student and the research outputs generated. In performing their research work students are supervised by two or more academic staff having expertise in the research topic. We foster well-rounded graduates, capable of formulating and executing independent research projects that hold the potential of producing impactful and important research outputs of scientific, social, cultural and/or economic value.

Generic and Transferrable Skills Training
WIT offers its research postgraduate a range of formal and informal training opportunities that allow them develop both professionally and personally. This training is explicitly designed to be applicable to research students from all WIT schools, so it additionally provides an excellent opportunity to network with postgraduate researchers working in other scholarly disciplines. During semester time the Graduates Studies Office runs a generic skills programme involving weekly seminars on a range of topics and weekly training sessions targeting practical skills; whilst participation in the programme is optional the experience of our graduates indicates that it greatly assists them in pursuing their research programmes.

PhD students additionally have the opportunity to further develop transferrable skills through participation in taught modules targeted specifically to our cohort of structured PhD students. These modules are typically delivered by research active WIT staff members. Examples include: Research Integrity and Ethics; Academic Writing for Research Postgraduates; and Research Communication.

Discipline-specific Training
WIT provides the training to research postgraduates necessary for them to complete their core research work in a productive and timely manner. This training is referred to as discipline-specific training – it normally focusses on advanced concepts, methodologies, techniques and scholarly discourse that have a direct bearing on the research work done by students within a given WIT academic department or research centre. This training can be provided informally, via seminars, workshops, invited talks and discussion groups.

Structured PhD students can attain this training more formally, via participation in approved taught modules. The latter are typically postgraduate modules delivered as part of WIT taught postgraduate programmes. However, subject to approval by the school/departmental Research Programme Board, PhD students are also able to complete accredited modules offered by other academic institutions in Ireland and abroad.

Structured PhD
All PhD students registering at WIT will pursue a "structured" PhD. This requires them to earn at least 30 ECTS credits for generic/transferrable skills and discipline-specific skills prior to submitting their research dissertation. Typically, these modules will be taken in the first two years of the programme where the student is registered as full time. More information on the WIT structured PhD can be found at


• Students develop and execute a research project under the supervision of highly-qualified research leaders;

• Typical duration is 2 years (full-time) or 4 years (part time);

• Students are expected to acquire a mastery of the principles and theory underlying their chosen subject and a knowledge and appreciation of the relevant literature;

• This will be achieved through research work and participation in a range of generic and discipline-specific training;

• Students are assessed on the basis of a substantial dissertation (and associated artefacts), which is assessed by recognised researchers in their subject area.

• Students develop and execute a research project under the supervision of highly-qualified research leaders;

• Typical duration is 4 years (full-time) or 6 years (part-time);

• Students are expected to demonstrate outstanding scholarship and ability. They must conduct original, independent research and acquire broad knowledge of a particular field of study and a comprehensive knowledge of the specialist area wherein the research is focussed;

• WIT offers a structured PhD programme, tailored to the training needs of each individual student. During their structured programme students will take a range of taught modules covering both generic skills and discipline-specific skills that are designed to contribute to their career development following graduation;

• Students are assessed on the basis of a substantial dissertation (and associated artefacts), which is assessed by recognised researchers in their subject area.

• The WIT DBA programme focuses on the application of theoretical knowledge to the advancement of management and business practice, and is designed to develop the analytical, conceptual, and critical thinking skills of senior business and management professionals;

• The DBA is recognised as the most appropriate post-MBA (or equivalent Master degree) route to combining academic research on management and business with further personal and professional development;

• The programme is offered part-time over a duration of 4 years. It is innovative in its structure, combining three significant milestones on the doctoral process: 1) advanced research skills workshops, 2)cumulative paper series and 3) completion of the DBA thesis. All milestones are centred around addressing an organisational issue of interest to the student;

• The programme is designed to facilitate senior manager access, with a 2-3 day block on campus each semester. The WIT DBA utilises a blended learning approach, combining the latest technologies for remote access and communications;

• Students are assessed on the basis of completed modules and a substantial dissertation, which is assessed by recognised researchers in their subject area.

Research areas

Research in Innovation, Knowledge and Organisational Networks – RIKON: Innovation, knowledge and organisational networks, tourism Research in lean enterprise, continuous improvement, supply chain management

Dr. Pat Lynch
Dr. Felicity Kelliher

AIB Centre for Finance and Business Research: Small firm finance, governance and corporate responsibility, behavioural finance and personal finance

Dr. Sheila O'Donohoe

Centre for Enterprise Development and Regional Economy – CEDRE: Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial regions, enterprise creation and policy, regional innovation clusters and economy, owner managers and family enterprises

Prof. Bill O'Gorman

Waterford Crystal Centre for Marketing Studies: Marketing management capabilities, innovation and knowledge transfer, brand management and reputation management, sports marketing and business to business marketing

Dr. Anthony Foley

South Eastern Applied Materials Research Centre – SEAM:
SEAM is a leading applied research centre, providing innovative materials engineering and 3D-additive manufacturing research for Irish and International companies

Dr. Ramesh Raghavendra

Convergent Technology Research Group – CTRG:
Biomedical Engineering, Material Development, Advanced Composites, Smart & Sustainable Energy Device Development and Renewable Energy Systems

Dr. Philip Walsh
Dr. Austin Coffey

Materials Characterisation & Processing Group – (MCP): Ecodesign and eco-informed materials/process selection; materials for biomedical, pharma, healthcare and green technology sectors; modelling of magnetic nanoparticles in biomedicine

Dr. John O'Dwyer
Dr. PJ Cregg

Wireless Communications & Large Scale Simulations – WCS: Innovation in modulation, coding and related embedded processing, electronic system on-chip (SOC) area, which combined Radio Frequency (RF) capability onto the SOCS

Dr. Paul O'Leary

Microelectronics & Sensors Research – MSR: Sensor system electronics, wireless sensor networks, smart sensors and transducers, analogue signal conditioning, board level & IC mixed signal design

Mr. Ken Deevy

Advanced Manufacturing Technology – AMT: Automated Systems; Precision Engineering and Microfluidics

Mr. Liam O'Shea
Dr. Jim Lawlor

Built Environment Research Group – iBERG: Sustainability and Eco-Innovation, Renewable Energy, Retrofitting, Knowledge Management, HRM in the construction industry, Innovative and applied ICT

Dr. Derek Sinnott
Dr. Andrea Bourke

Building Information Modelling Collective – BIMC: Applied research group, providing innovative and interdisciplinary BIM research for Irish and International companies

Mr. Gordon Chisholm
Mr. Robin Stubbs

Architectural Research Group – aRCH: Landscape and Built Environment Heritage, Architecture Education, Sustainable Urban Development and SMART cities

Dr. Jane Russell-O'Connor
Mr. Aleksandar Kostic

Nutrition Research Centre Ireland – NRCI: Nutrition for eye health and brain function, Macular Pigment Degeneration, Nutrition for human health, Nutrition for cancer patients, Clinical nutrition and exercise performance, Nutrition for mental health

Prof. John Nolan
Dr. Lorna Doyle
Prof. John Wells

Centre for Health Behaviour Research – CHBR: Design, delivery and evaluation of physical activity interventions at the community and population level, Smarter Travel, Active Travel evaluation and interventions, Men's health, Gender & Health, Facilitation Skills for Health and Well Being, National physical activity plan development

Dr. Niamh Murphy
Dr. Barry Lambe
Dr. Paula Carroll

Sport and Exercise Science: Human Movement Analysis, Jockey Health and Performance, Exercise Physiology, Social Media and Sports Organisations, Sports Psychology, Exercise for Chronic Disease Management

Dr. Mike Hanlon
Dr. Michael Harrison
Dr. Sarah Jane Cullen

Nursing and Healthcare: Occupational Stress and Well Being, Policy and Service Evaluation, Mental Health, Care of the Elderly, Oncology research - Cancer and Quality of Life, Empowerment and Chronic Illness, Learning Preceptorship in Clinical Learning Environment, Interventions for Tiredness/Fatigue in Cancer Survivors, Midwifery, Pharmacovigilance and Substance Misuse

Prof. John Wells
Dr. Sara Kennedy
Dr. Martina Gooney
Dr. Mary Reidy

Creativity and Culture: Concepts of creativity and culture in relation to cultural studies, design, film studies, Irish, literature, music, theology and philosophy

Dr. Fiona Dowling
Dr. Paul Clogher

Music: Historical and Contemporary Musicology, Composition, Performance, Irish Traditional Music and Culture, Irish Contemporary Music, Music Education, Popular Music and Society, Film Music, Ethnomusicology

Dr. Marian Ingoldsby
Dr. Hazel Farrel

Theatre and Performance: In particular, regional (South-East) theatre and theatre practice

Dr. Úna Kealy
Dr. Kate McCarthy

Psychology: Organisational, Developmental, Forensic or Social Psychology

Dr. Jacinta Byrne-Doran
Dr. Fiona Nutty
Dr. Jennifer O'Mahoney
Dr. Katherine Cagney

Law: Criminal Law, Family Law, Criminology

Dr. Sinead Conneely
Dr. Niamh Maguire

Design and Social Innovation – DASI: Design for society – social and business organisations, branding and identity, visual communications, digital media, infographics

Dr. Cordula Hansen
Dr. Aine Furlong

Policy, Practice and Professional Development in Education: Adult and Further Education, Professional Development of FET Teachers, Recognition of Prior Learning, Technology-enhanced Learning

Dr. Helen Murphy
Dr. Mary Fenton
Dr. Anne Graham Cagney
Dr. Carol O'Byrne

Policy and Practice in Adult Literacy: Literacy as a Social Practice, Adult Numeracy

Dr. Maeve O'Grady
Ms. Geraldine Mernagh

Telecommunications Software and Systems Group – TSSG: Communication Networking and Services; Wireless Communication Protocols; Molecular Communications; Smart Agriculture; Augmented and Virtual reality

Dr. Steven Davy
Dr. Sasitharan Balasubramania
Dr. Alan Davy

Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre – PMBRC: Polymeric Materials, Drug Delivery, Process Technologies, Separation Science,
Molecular Biotechnology, Sensors

Dr. Niall O'Reilly

Eco-Innovation Research Centre – EIRC: Marine, Agri-Food, Forestry, Solid Biofuels, Sustaniable Agriculture, Molecular Ecology

Dr. Gillian Gardiner
Dr. Nicholas McCarthy

Automotive Control Group – ACG: Distributed automotive control systems, Vehicle Networks, Diagnostics, Telematics

Dr. Frank Walsh
Mr. Brendan Jackman

Centre for Information Systems and Technoculture – INSYTE: Information Systems, System Security, Technology Leadership, e-Privacy, Cultural Issues in the Internet, Supply Chain Systems, IT Education

Dr. Larry Stapleton
Mr. Liam Doyle

Game Based Learning – GBL: Design, deployment and evaluation of GBL solutions

Dr. Patrick Felicia

Mathematics and Statistics: Dynamical Systems, Algorithm Analysis, Riordan Arrays, Finite Group Theory, Systems with Hysteresis

Dr. Kieran Murphy
Dr. Aoife Hennessy

Enrolment and start 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.

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