Paid Masters student to help make Portlaoise cycling friendly

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Masters student to be hired to help make Portlaoise a cycling friendly town

Masters student to be hired to help make Portlaoise a cycling friendly town

The search is well underway to hire a Masters student to do a study on how to develop a cycling culture in Portlaoise.

Laois County Council working with Waterford IT is offering a paid €15,000 two year research Masters to sports, health or planning students.

Several candidates have applied to fill the role, with interviews to take place following a callout for interest that closed last week.

The successful student will work with Laois Co Council to develop a cycling culture in Portlaoise. 

The council has explained why they are taking on the study.

“In many cities worldwide cycling is seen as a promising answer to a variety of urban problems, such as traffic congestion, urban pollution and transport carbon emissions. Most urban policies seeking to encourage cycling have focused on urban planning and design measures, and on the provision of dedicated cycling infrastructure but establishing a cycling culture is an essential element. 

“This is an implementation science project which builds on knowledge gained from Kilkenny which has been cultivating a cycling culture in recent years. Critical components of implementation science include having an understanding of local context and participatory research approaches. The aim of this project is to translate the process of building a cycle culture in the city of Kilkenny to Portlaoise and measure the key implementation factors for success”.

The research will aim to identify public attitudes towards cycling related infrastructural, programming and policy measures amongst adults in Portlaoise. 

The academic will use digital storytelling to visualise potential intervention measures, and understand the lived experiences of residents and visitors travelling around the town.

The full-time Masters is under the Sport and Exercise Science/ School of Health department in WIT.

The successful candidate must hold or expect to attain a minimum 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in Exercise and Health Science, Recreation/Leisure, Health Promotion, Public Health, Planning, Transport, Built Environment OR a related discipline, or hold an MSc/MA degree in such disciplines.

Along with research experience, it is desirable that they have knowledge of the vicinity of Portlaoise and be willing to be based in the town.

Simon Walton is the Portlaoise town manager with Laois County Council.

“Waterford IT advertised the role and I understand that there are a number of candidates who have applied. Waterford IT will now arrange for an assessment of the applications made with a view to appointment of the preferred candidate,” he said this week.