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Welcome to the UCD Institute for Sport and Health (ISH)

ISH was set up in 2006 under its present director, Prof. Colin Boreham, with the specific aim of “optimising sporting performance and health for UCD and its wider community through the generation, application and sharing of scientific knowledge.” ISH has its academic home in the university’s School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, and has close links with the highly successful Sport and Performance undergraduate courses run by the school. It also works closely with UCD Sport to promote sport and health among students and staff, as well as the wider community through its research and wellness initiatives, and (opens in a new window)DBC sports medicine services. 

The activities of ISH fall into three broad categories:

  • Research. ISH coordinates and promotes research related to sport, exercise and health within UCD. It does this by supporting staff and students in their research, running a Human Performance Laboratory, and providing specialist seminars and guest lectures. We publish our results in world-class journals and have earned a reputation as the foremost research centre for the sports sciences in Ireland.   Our research was ranked in the World’s top 50 institutions by QS in 2019.
  • Sports Science and Medicine Services.ISH provides a portfolio of world-class sports science services designed to support performers of all abilities, from the Olympic athlete to the enthusiastic novice. These services include fitness monitoring and advice in our Human Performance Laboratory, sports medicine and physiotherapy with our (opens in a new window)DBC partner, sports nutrition and strength and conditioning from our High Performance Gym. For the general public, we also offer a range of health-related assessments and remedial advice for improving general fitness and health, weight-loss and “active aging.”
  • High Performance Athlete Support. ISH runs the acclaimed UCD Ad Astra Elite Athlete programme, which supports approximately 60 high-level student athletes from a range of sports while they complete their degrees at the university. The programme provides an environment for sporting success by integrating sports science, psychology, nutrition, sports medicine and strength and conditioning along with academic mentoring and financial support. No fewer than eight Ad Astra Scholars competed for Ireland in the 2016 Rio Olympics, including Silver medal rower, Paul O Donovan.