Ciara Cooney holds a first-class honours degree in Sport and Exercise Science from the Institute of Technology Carlow and recently completed a master’s degree by research in the area of metabolic health and nutrition for ageing adults at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT). Ciara received the GMIT Research and Innovation Strategic Endowment (RISE) and Irish Smart Ageing Exchange scholarship for her research. Following her studies at GMIT Ciara took up a Research Assistant position for Medicinal Nutrition and Sport at the Medical Engineering Technology (MET) Gateway Galway. Here she works on various projects collaborating with industry in all aspects of novel food development and research in the areas of food science, nutrition, metabolic health and testing, wellbeing, functional food testing/development and sport and exercise science.
Ciara’s core areas of competence include human intervention trials, participant recruitment and retention, clinical data collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination. While working as a research assistant within the MET centre, Ciara has been involved in the development and design of clinical trials testing the effects of food on human health and performance. In addition Ciara has experience conducting systematic literature reviews for the basis of informing applied research.
Alongside her role within the MET Centre Ciara is a current Irish Rugby Union player, representing Ireland in the Rugby World Cup 2017 and several 6 Nations tournaments. From her involvement in elite sports performance combined with her work and research activities Ciara has a huge understanding and appreciation for the importance of strong team dynamics, good communication and accountability in striving for common goal. She enjoys working with people to improve their health and performance outcomes and has a keen interest in metabolic health and nutrition, female athlete health and performance, sports participation and well-being initiatives.