Norelee Kennedy is an Associate Professor of Physiotherapy in the School of Allied Health at the University of Limerick. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a BSc in Physiotherapy in 1999 and a PhD (2004) the field of physiotherapy and rheumatology. She also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Statistics (TCD 2000) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (NUI Galway 2004). She was appointed Vice President for Research in July 2019 and commenced the post in January 2020, following a four month period of research leave.

 Norelee was appointed as Lecturer in Physiotherapy at UL in 2004, promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2015 and Associate Professor in 2018. She was the Head of School of Allied Health, UL from 2014-2019. During that time she oversaw the first external quality review of the school, six regulatory body programme approvals and monitorings of professional programmes as well as the establishment of two new professional graduate entry programmes in Physiotherapy and Human Nutrition & Dietetics. She managed over 50 staff in the school delivering programmes to c400 students across the four disciplines of Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech & Language Therapy and Dietetics. She also co-led the successful first School of Allied Health Athena SWAN  application for a Bronze award in 2018.

Alongside her academic leadership Norelee leads a successful programme research in the field of rheumatology/physiotherapy. To date she has been awarded almost €3 million in research funding from national and EU funders. Currently she leads a Health Research Board funded project (DIFA scheme 2018) examining the feasibility of a physiotherapist led behaviour change intervention to promote physical activity in people with rheumatoid arthritis. She is also part of a EULAR funded European wide group developing an educational programme for health professionals to promote physical activity in people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). In 2018 Norelee was invited to sit on a EULAR European working group to develop recommendations for physical activity for people with RMDs. She also served on the EULAR Health Professionals committee (2014-2019).


Rausch Osthoff A-K, Niedermann K, Braun J, Adams J, Brodin N, Dagfinrud H, Duruoz T, Esbensen BA, Günther K-P, Hurkmans E, Juhl, C, Kennedy N et al : 2018 EULAR recommendations for physical activity in people with inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 2018.

McKenna, S, Donnelly, A,  Esbensen, B. A, Fraser, A and Kennedy, N (2018) The impact of exercise on sleep (time, quality, and disturbance) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a study protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial. Rheumatology International 38:1191.

Kennedy NM, McKenna SG, O’Neill A, Appel Esbensen B, Swinnen TW, Nordgren B, Willemijns S, Hammer NM, Brodin N: A survey across four European countries to determine rheumatology health professionals’ awareness of physical activity measures in people with inflammatory joint diseases. BMJ Open 2018, 8(5).

Tierney, M., Fraser, A. and Kennedy, N. (2012) ‘Physical Activity in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Systematic Review’, Journal of Physical Activity and Health 9(7): 1036-48.

Kennedy, N., Armstrong, C., Woodward, O. and Cullen, W. (2014) ‘Primary care team working in Ireland: A qualitative exploration of team member’s experiences in a new primary care service’, Health and Social Care in the Community. 23(4):362-370.