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Dr. Catherine Woods



Prof. Woods is Chair of Physical Activity for Health in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the University of Limerick (UL). She is a member of UL's Health Research Institute (, and Director of Collaboration & Internationalisation within the recently established Physical Activity for Health Research Cluster in UL ( Prof. Woods' research cuts across the HRI themes of lifestyle, health and technology. She enjoys developing and testing theoretically sound interventions to change population levels of physical activity, and seeks better, more systematic methods of bringing research, practice and policy closer together to achieve real and sustainable impact. Prof. Woods believes that physical activity is a best buy for public health as it has the potential to improve health and wellbeing for everyone, irrespective of age, ability or condition.

Professor Woods has led - as Principal or Co-Investigator – successful grant applications generating a total income of €14,100,242 (€4,070,512 to UL/DCU). Professor Woods has successfully trained 10 PhD and 6 MSc research students, and currently has one research fellow and five post-doctoral researchers, four full-time research assistants and five PhD students within her physical activity for health research team. This team have published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and presented at >30 (inter)national conferences.

Professional Activities


  • 2019 - Visiting Professor
  • 2018 - Honorary Professor


  • 2018 Member, European College of Sport Science
  • 2016 Member, International Society of Physical Activity and Health
  • 2014 Member; SIG Executive e and mhealth; SIG Exe Environement and Policy, International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
  • 2008 Member, WHO Health Enhancing Physical Activity Network


  • 2018 Healthy UL,
  • 2017 Structured PhD Programme,
  • 2017 National Physical Activity Plan: Research Subgroup,
  • 2016 National Physical Activity Plan Implementation Group,


  • 2016 University of Limerick - Chair, Physical Activity for Health
  • 2000 Dublin City University - Senior Lecturer
  • 1998 University of Glasgow - Senior Research Assistant
  • 1995 University of Glasgow - Research Assistant
  • 1991 Presentation Secondary School - Head of Physical Education Department & English Teacher

Research Collaborators

  • Ms Dorien Dijck - Funding Award - Knowledge Centre for Sport Netherlands -Netherlands
  • Professor Marie Murphy - Funding Award - University of Ulster -Country
  • Professor Nanette Mutrie - Funding Award - University of Edinburgh -Scotland
  • Professor Adrian Bauman - Funding Award - University of Sydney -Country
  • Dr. Sarahjane Belton - Funding Award - Dublin City University -Country -Research programmes we collaborate on, include: The CSPPA Study The Y-PATH Study Be Active After School The Active School Flag
  • Dr. Kieran Moran - Funding Award - Dublin City University -Collaborative projects include: PATHway mPATHway
  • Jan Seghers - International Collaboration Type - KU Leuven -Belgium -Erasmus+ Project: Keep Youngsters Involved
  • Prof. Wolfgang Ahrens - Funding Award -Germany -Policy Evaluation Network
  • Dr. Jeroen Lakerveld - Funding Award -Netherlands -Policy Evaluation Network