Chair: Avantika Bhardwaj
Avantika is a PhD candidate focusing on the implementation of online delivery of the GLA:D programme, an exercise and education programme for people with hip and knee osteoarthritis. She has a background in Exercise Science and Medicine, completing her B.Sc. in Purdue University and M.Sc. at the University of Glasgow. Having lived in India, USA, Jamaica, South Africa, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Scotland, Avantika is passionate about exploring cultures and seeking opportunities that make for an excellent match with her aspirations of continuing to learn, grow and bring about catalytic change in sports science and healthcare.
Contact: Follow on Twitter @_AvantikaB, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deputy Chair: Abigail Browne
Abigail Browne is a Structured PhD student in the School of Allied Health, Faculty of Education and Health Sciences at the University of Limerick under the supervision of Dr Roisin Cahalan and Dr Kieran O’Sullivan. Her PhD involves exploring the role of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia in the treatment of patients with comorbid persistent musculoskeletal pain and disordered sleep. Abigail is a physiotherapist who loves working with persistent pain patients, this is where her drive to join the research movement to improve the care for this large patient group. Abigail has completed a Master of Manual Therapy from the University of Western Australia in 2007 and a BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy from the University of Manchester in 2003. Prior to becoming a physiotherapist, Abigail was a professional Irish dancer working for a number of years with Riverdance-The Show.
Meghan Gilfoyle is a doctoral student based in the School of Medicine in the University of Limerick under the supervision of Dr Jon Salsberg and co-supervisor Prof Anne MacFarlane. Her PhD involves using a trust lens to inform a social network theory of participatory health research, by defining, influencing and measuring the social-relational dimensions of research partnerships. Her previous academic and work experience has had a public health and health systems focus, with specific areas of expertise in cancer prevention and screening, epidemiology, statistical analysis of population health data, evidence-informed public health practice, and knowledge translation. Meghan has a keen interest in engaging public and patient groups in health research in a meaningful and respectful manner. For instance, she has previously worked with entrepreneurs to identify how to best engage people with dementia in the design, testing, and commercialization of an information communication technology. As a Canadian researcher in Ireland, Meghan looks forward to innovative research collaborations as well as networking opportunities within an international context.
Contact: Follow on Twitter @mgilfoyle01, Email email@example.com
Aidan Buffey is a Structured PhD student in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick. He is funded by the Health Research Institute and supervised by Prof. Alan Donnelly and Dr Brian Carson. Aidan is in the third year of his PhD project titled ‘Design and evaluation of an intervention to reduce sedentary behaviour and improve health in older adults’. This project aims to implement an office-based intervention designed to interrupt sedentary behaviour with light-intensity physical activity with an emphasis on improving cardiometabolic health markers. Aidan has an MSc in Sport and Exercise Science – Physiology (Manchester Metropolitan University, 2018-2019) and a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science (Manchester Metropolitan University, 2015-2018).
Contact: Follow on Twitter @AidanBuffey, Email: Aidan.Buffey@ul.ie
Aoife Noonan is a first year structured PhD student in the Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, University of Limerick. She is supervised by Prof. Catherine Woods and co-supervised by Prof. Audrey Tierney and Dr. Catherine Norton. Her PhD explores the health behaviours of students in higher education. She aims to design, execute, and evaluate a suitable intervention that strategically addresses risky health behaviours and optimises their overall health and wellbeing. Her background is in Psychology completing her B.A. (2017-2021) and M.A. (2021-2022) at the University of Limerick. She has also completed further psychological studies with the University of Granada and the Open University. As a sports coach and long-distance runner, Aoife enjoys combining her interests with her studies and collaborating with like-minded people who seek to enhance both mental and physical health.
Gráinne is a PhD researcher in the School of Design. Upon graduating from her BSc in Product Design and Technology in the University of Limerick, she was successful in acquiring funding from the Irish Research Council’s EPS Scheme to undertake research with a focus on the Usability and Ergonomics of cardiovascular devices. Gráinne has built her experience with Human Factors over the past years, working as a Human Factors engineer prior to commencing her PhD. She conducts research with the goal of optimising the user experience and improving patient outcomes by filling anthropometric data gaps, especially for demographics who have been under-represented in the field of biomedical research. Her thesis entitled ‘Design to enhance the User Experience of Clinical Stakeholders when performing Endovascular procedures through optimisation of deployment devices’ is supervised by Dr. Eoin White and Prof. Leonard O’ Sullivan.