UPMC/RCSI Concussion Research Fellowship - UPMC

UPMC/RCSI Concussion Research Fellowship

Please send a letter of application along with an up-to-date CV to Natalie Moore, HR Business Partner, UPMC Whitfield Hospital, Cork Road, Waterford, or by email to mooren11@upmc.ie

Closing date for receipt of completed applications is 5 pm, Monday, 24 May 2021.

UPMC/RCSI Concussion Research Fellowship

In Honour of the late Ambassador Dan Rooney

Tenure: 24 months
Location: Six-month secondment to UPMC Rooney Sports Medicine Complex in Pittsburgh, USA and 18 months in Ireland based between UPMC hospitals and RCSI, Dublin. Frequent visits to UPMC Concussion Network partner clinics in Cork, Galway, Dublin, Kilkenny, Mayo, and Belfast.
Reporting to: Dr. Michael Collins and Dr. Anthony Kontos (UPMC) and accountable to Dr Helen French and Louise Keating (RCSI)
Salary: Dependent on level of experience and based on the most current IUA Researcher Salary Scales.
Proposed Start Date: September 1, 2021

Named in honour of the late US Ambassador to Ireland, Dan Rooney, and made possible by his family’s ongoing support for sports medicine and concussion advancement; this two-year fellowship is the result of a unique partnership between RCSI, UPMC Ireland and UPMC Concussion Network partners in Ireland. The fellow will be responsible for the development and implementation of a sport-related concussion (SRC) research programme in Ireland with RCSI, based on initial training and mentoring in concussion clinical research methods and development of clinical research outputs through UPMC.

Duties of the Post

  • Implementation of a concussion research registry to establish the epidemiology of sports-related concussion in Ireland.
  • Characterisation of concussion clinical outcomes in Ireland, in conjunction with current concussion care systems (i.e. UPMC Concussion Network).
  • Development and submission of manuscripts describing the research process and outcomes to date for presentation at professional meetings and/or publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Application for research funding for future related projects.


  • PhD in a research-based field (e.g. medicine, psychology, kinesiology, neuroscience, or physiotherapy).
  • English language requirements for candidates who do not speak English as their first language: an overall IELTS score of 6.5 or above

Knowledge and Experience

Essential Qualifications
  • Experience in concussion research, with successful outputs such as publications or presentations.
  • Extensive knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies.
  • Strong organisational and administrative skills with the ability to produce results, prioritise objectives and work to a deadline.
  • Ability to work well independently and collaboratively as part of a team.
  • Strong written, oral, and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in scientific writing.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in data management, analysis, and use of statistical software.
  • Provision of a personal statement of interest in this fellowship opportunity addressing the criteria outlined above.
Desirable Qualifications
  • Familiarity with neurocognitive, neuromotor, and neuroimaging testing techniques is preferred
  • Knowledge of qualitative research methodologies.
Skills and Competencies:
  • Communication skills: proven ability to communicate complex ideas
  • Project management skills: ability to ensure that project plans are communicated and that all timelines are met.
  • Self-starter with the ability to work as part of a team: ability to operate effectively as part of a team – is cordial, tolerant, and willing to help others, is co-operative and patient; shares work and information; establishes rapport, can influence and develop effective networks
  • IT skills: knowledge of MS Office suite.
  • Conscientious: have a pro-active approach to work, anticipating and resolving problems in advance; have keen attention to detail – from anticipating and addressing issues in advance to understanding requests and delivering quality work with minimal errors.
  • Flexibility: can operate flexibly within a busy environment; can shift focus when required.
  • Customer Focus: have strong customer service skills. Be able to communicate with a high level of initiative, tact, diplomacy, and confidentiality.
  • Motivated: display a ‘can-do’ attitude, demonstrate enthusiasm and passion for the role.

About the Partners

UPMC Concussion Network

Founded in 2000, the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program has grown a multidisciplinary team to assess, diagnose, and treat concussions. Under the guidance of Michael “Micky” Collins, PhD, clinical and executive director, the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program records more than 18,000 patient visits, involving between 6,000-7,000 unique patients, each year. The clinical team is involved in the evaluation and management of concussions for athletes at all levels of sports participation in addition to patients with non-sports related concussion and other neurologic and psychiatric disorders.

Anthony P. Kontos, PhD, research director, leads the concussion research laboratory including over 2,500 square feet of research and office space comprising of research equipment, a full host of research-oriented software and advanced neuroimaging tools. An exciting aspect of the research lab is the Concussion Research Registry, a clinical research database that provides access to data on thousands of patients for clinical research projects. The programme is a leading source for concussion research having published over 200 peer-reviewed concussion research studies within many respected journals of medicine. The fellow will be under the mentorship of Dr. Collins and Dr. Kontos throughout the duration of the program.

The UPMC Concussion Network creates easy access to viable, standardised concussion testing and treatment within a system of network providers throughout Ireland to keep athletes, coaches, parents & clinicians, informed on appropriate concussion care. The UPMC Concussion Network will lead a national concussion research and study programme to continue to develop new solutions and translate research findings into improved concussion care nationally.

The fellowship program will span two years. The fellow will be based at the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, during the first six months of the programme and will be based at RCSI and UPMC Concussion Network partner facilities in Ireland for the remaining 18 months. During the 6 month secondment, the fellow will work with Dr. Kontos and Dr. Collins to develop baseline clinical knowledge of concussion, its evaluation, and concussion clinical research methods; the fellow will also participate in collaborative research projects with colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh, UPMC, and RCSI. For the remaining 18 months in Ireland, the fellow will predominantly be based between UPMC hospitals and UPMC’s first international Sports Medicine Clinic in WIT Arena Waterford and RCSI, Dublin with regular site visits to Concussion Network partner facilities in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Mayo, and Belfast. More information on the UPMC Concussion Network in Ireland can be found at: https://www.upmc.ie/upmc-concussion-network/


The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) University of Medicine and Health Sciences is a private, self-financing, not-for-profit medical and surgical college headquartered in Dublin (Ireland) with global reach through its overseas medical universities and health care centres in the Middle East, the Far East and Africa. Since its foundation in 1784, it has played a leadership role in Irish surgical and medical education. Currently, it operates the largest Medical School in Ireland and provides undergraduate education in physiotherapy, pharmacy, and nursing. In addition to surgery, it also provides postgraduate training and education in radiology, dentistry, nursing & midwifery, sports and exercise medicine, healthcare management and leadership, and has an Institute of Research.

RCSI recognises that excellence in research is critical to the quality of its educational activities, its credibility, and, overall, to its mission to enhance human health. Recently, RCSI has implemented a new research strategy that will build upon its strength in translational biomedical and clinical research to deliver transformational, high impact changes in health care. Targeting both Irish national and EU funding, along with increased collaboration with industry, is a major part of the RCSI research strategy. Forging increased collaboration between RCSI primary investigators and industry is of critical importance to achieving success in this area. RCSI is also committed to providing its researchers with the supports and developmental opportunities to enable them to continuously grow and support their overall career development.

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