Postgraduate Research Opportunities

Research Degrees at ATU Donegal

ATU Donegal offers Research Postgraduate opportunities at Level 9 (Masters) in the disciplines of Business, Science, Computing and Engineering and Level 10 (PhD) in Computing and Level 10 (PhD) Science.

Postgraduate Research is carried out in partnership between the Faculty of Business, the Faculty of Science and Health the Faculty of Engineering and Technology and the Research and Innovation Office.

Funding of Research Degree programmes is through:


  • External research grant/bursary
  • Project funding 
  • Industry funding 
  • Self funding. 

If you would like to express an interest in undertaking a postgraduate research degree at ATU Donegal please complete the following form.

Research Degree Vacancies at ATU Donegal 2022/23

The following Full-Time postgraduate research degree opportunities are now available at ATU Donegal for 2022/2023.

Masters by Research: This Full-Time scholarship provides a stipend of €15,000 p.a. with an additional budget for materials and travel and a waiver of tuition fees for up to 2 years.

Ref Project Title Project Supervisor(s)

Faculty of Engineering & Technology

MR.1   An Intelligent Data Integration Architecture for the automated integration of heterogenous datasets Jade LyonsThomas Dowling
MR.2   Development of a game design framework to create safe online social environments for children with Autism Dr. Nigel McKelvey, Karen Bailey, Prof. Kevin Curran (UU)
MR.3    Implementing wearable sensors and Artificial Intelligence to automatically detect Parkinson’s Disease symptoms Dr James Connolly, Prof. Joan Condell (QUB), Dr Shirley Coyle (DCU)
MR.4    Self-supervised representation deep reinforcement learning for advanced persistent threat detection in large scale networks Dr Shagufta Henna, Dr Bernard Butler (WIT)
MR.5    The impact of big data analytics on supply chain resilience: Implications for competitive advantage Dr George Onofrei, Christopher Roulston, Prof. Graham Heaslip (ATU Galway)
MR.6    Exploring Infant feeding Implicit Bias Dr James Connolly, Dr Ian Stewart (NUIG), Sarah Brennan (NUIG)
MR.7    Application and Evaluation of Cloud Security Posture Management (SCPM) Dr William Farrelly, Martina Quinn

Faculty of Science & Health

MR.8    Development of automated methods for detection of trace levels of heavy metals in environmental samples Dr Denis McCrudden, Martin Bradley
MR.9    Exploring the experiences of family members of older people admitted to hospital during the COVID-19 hospital visiting restrictions Mary Dunnion, Anna Edwards, Prof. Assumpta Ryan (UU)
MR.10    Roma and Sinti in Ireland: Participatory Action Research Dr Gráinne Ketelaar, Dr Karin White (ATU Sligo)
MR.11    An exploratory study into what role, if any, Early Years Educators perceive themselves as having in developmental monitoring of children attending Early Years services. Dr Karen Patton, Majella McBride, Dr. Nigel McKelvey
MR.12    An exploratory study of parent’s and early childhood educator’s attitudes towards outdoor and risky play in the Irish context Majella McBride,   Dr Karen Patton, Dr. Nigel McKelvey
MR.13    The role of Practice-Based Virtual Reality Learning (PBVRL) in Nursing education in Ireland Dr. Nigel McKelvey, Elaine Walsh, Dr Mark Porter

Faculty of Business

MR.14    Investigation into the Formation and Evolution of Social Enterprises Dr Isobel Cunningham, Prof. Mike Caslin (GCSEN), Dr Laura Bradley (UU)
MR.15    Exploring Digital Academic Entrepreneurship in 3rd Level Institutions in Ireland Dr Sarah DiffleyDr Isobel Cunningham
MR.16    Investigating the integration of apprenticeships in Higher Education Institutes in Ireland Dr Sarah DiffleyDr Vicky O’Rourke
MR.17    The relationship between sleep, nutrition, and injury risk in elite GAA academy players. Dr Ronan Doherty, Dr James Connelly Dr James Connelly Dr Lydia Devenney Mr. Karl Lacey Dr Jim O Donovan
MR.18    Developing value added and market-oriented sea vegetable products for Irish SMEs Dr Ciarán O’hAnnracháin, Dr Elizabeth McKenzie, Dorothy Bird
MR.19    The role/purpose of Contemporary Design Pedagogy – design thinking or design skills Cróna O’Dohoghue, Dr Tena Patten
MR.20    To investigate and map the presence of Cross Border Industry Clusters in the North-West region of Ireland and Northern Ireland Dr Isobel Cunningham, Dr Laura Bradley (UU)

Faculty of Engineering & Technology

MR.21    Mobile Plant Electric Track Drives Dr Charles Young , Lee Johnston Terex

PhD: This Full-Time scholarship provides a stipend of €15,000 p.a. with an additional budget for materials and travel and a waiver of tuition fees for up to 4 years.

Ref Project Title Project Supervisor(s)
PHD.1   PATHS – Pedestrian Adaptive Trajectory Hypothesis System Dr Kevin Meehan, Dr Paul Greaney, Dr Marion McAfee (ATU Sligo), Prof Sandra Moffett (UU)
PHD.2   An Enhancement for Remote Virtual Consultations in Healthcare Provision for Patients with Chronic Conditions Dr Vicky O’Rourke, Dr Michael McCann, , Dr Karen McGuigan (QUB)
PHD.3   Collaborative Federated Learning for Ransomware Attack Detection for Internet of Health Things (IoHTs) Dr Shagufta Henna, Dr Alan Davy (WIT)
PHD.4    The effects of physical activity, sedentary time and nutritional practices on pregnancy outcomes Dr Maria Faulkner, Dr G McMonagle (ATU Sligo), Dr S. Currie (Stir) Dr L Deery (UC),

Informal enquiries on each project should be sent to the principal research supervisor.

Application Process

1.To apply for one of our Masters by Research projects, please send your CV and cover letter to the by 5:00pm, Thursday 9th June. Candidates should hold or expect to hold at least an Honours Degree in a relevant discipline and meet the University’s English Language requirements (minimum IELTS Level 6.5)

2. To apply for one of our PhD project, please complete the following application form and return to the with all the relevant documentation by 5:00pm, Thursday 9th June.

For more information on our Taught Postgraduate Courses please click here.

Additional information for International Students can be found here. Please ensure that you use the Project Reference Number in the subject of the E-mail.

Why Choose ATU Donegal?

ATU Donegal fosters one of the most progressive learning environments in Ireland, making it an attractive choice for many graduates wishing to further their education. Research is a key strategic priority of ATU Donegal. ATU Donegal fosters close relationships with the wider local community, and the ongoing research by ATU Donegal contributes to the knowledge economy and innovation base in the North-West. Furthermore, ATU Donegal has developed extensive collaborations with leading industrial and academic partners both Nationally and across Europe. Such connections offer postgraduates the opportunity to build valuable professional relationships beyond graduation.

ATU Donegal's dynamic research environment is spread across the disciplines of Business, Science, Computing and Engineering with over 60 registered Postgraduate Research Students. Recent development has seen the opening of The William C Campbell Research Suite; a research centre which provides dedicated accommodation for research students including desk space for 60 students, meeting rooms, and conference facilities. This facility is based in the CoLab, an innovation centre with a community of entrepreneurs and a culture of collaboration, and which is also home to the WiSAR Technology Gateway.

ATU Donegal’s multidisciplinary research community provides postgraduate students with the environment and connections needed to conduct their research to the highest of standards. Students will gain the necessary skills and information to undertake their own innovative research, with guidance from top academic supervisors, so that they may pursue their own successful careers in research, academia, or their chosen industry. Overall, postgraduate students are supported in an institution where research is celebrated and diversity, inclusion and equality form the daily fabric of student and staff life.