Brian Cunniffe

BSc Sports and Exercise Science (University of Limerick) 2003
MSc Sports and Exercise Nutrition (Loughborough University) 2004
PhD: Exercise Physiology (University of Glamorgan) 2009
Current Position
Senior Sports Scientist British Olympic Association/Team GB
Career Path (positions you have held since graduating from UG degree)
Based at the British Olympic Medical Institute, Brian leads on a number of sports science/medical projects with many of Great Britain's summer and winter Olympic teams. Prior to joining the BOA, he worked as a Senior Performance Scientist for the English Institute of Sport where he was involved in provision of physiological and nutritional support to elite athletes. Brian graduated from the University of Limerick  in 2003 with a BSc in Sports and Exercise Science, part of which was spent in Australia working in Australian Rules football. He then gained his MSc in Sports and Exercise Nutrition from Loughborough University in 2004 before moving to Wales where he completed his PhD in Exercise Physiology. During this time, Brian worked in professional rugby union (Wales) and his research was jointly sponsored by the Wales Rugby Union and University of Glamorgan. Brian currently holds an honorary research position with University College London. He is widely published and is guest reviewer for a number of sports science and medical journals.  Brian was the Sport Scientist with the 2013 British and Irish Lions Rugby Tour to Australia.

Why did you choose to Study Sport and Exercise Science
"I have been immersed in sport all of my life and have a probing mind!! Hence incorporating both science and sport seems like the most obvious fit for me."
Where did you do your coop & experience gained?
"I set up an internship in south Australia with the University of South Australia and the Adelaide crows Australian Football Rules club. During my time there I was helping their exercise depts. with game day analysis and also some research on game trends."
What advice would you give to school goers considering choosing sport and exercise sciences?
"Try and find out the various career paths that a degree in sports and exercise science can offer. Focus on your core sciences if you can. Keep trying to apply this knowledge if you can i.e. ask the what ifs!!"

What advice would you give to future graduates of Sport and Exercise Sciences?
"Try and find you what the steps are in order to achieve what you want to following this degree. By this, I am referring to key milestones, soft skills, qualifications you require to get into a position following your degree. You can do this by asking a practitioner how they got there, what are their thoughts and also aim to start ticking these off as soon as possible. Also be careful when asking sporting organisations for applied work experience. Instead, ask to shadow a practitioner within an organisation for a day/week to give you a better insight and they will be more receptive to this."