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Advancing Science and Policy in Physical Activity and Health for People with Disabilities (MiltonMEDOct2020)

Project Description

National governments and health promotion agencies have begun to publish physical activity recommendations for people with disabilities. The evidence underpinning these recommendations has largely come from cross-sectional data or small intervention studies, rather than large epidemiological datasets. In addition, ‘people with disabilities’ have been considered a homogenous group, which is unlikely to be appropriate. Given the breadth and complexity of the concept of disability, it is likely that the optimal amount of physical activity is different across disability sub-groups. This studentship offers an opportunity to advance understanding of the epidemiological evidence for physical activity and health for people with disabilities and to inform national and international policy developments in terms of physical activity recommendations and communication and dissemination. The PhD will include a mix of research methods, including quantitative analysis of large epidemiological datasets, and qualitative focus groups. Appropriate training will be provided depending on the needs and interests of the successful candidate. To discuss this opportunity, contact Dr Karen Milton at

More information on the supervisor for this project:
Type of programme: PhD
Start date: October 2020
Mode of study: Full-time
Studentship length: 3 years

Entry requirements;
The studentship is open to applicants with first degrees or masters in the social, health or sport sciences. Preference will be given to applicants who are qualified to Masters level.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is in a Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences competition for funded studentships. These studentships are funded for 3 years and comprise of Home/EU fees, a stipend of £15,009 and £1000 per annum to support research training. Overseas applicants may apply but are required to fund the difference between home/EU and overseas tuition fees (in 2020-21 the international fee is £19,100 for lab based projects and £15,700 for non-lab based projects but fees are subject to an annual increase).


i) Public Health England (2018) Physical activity for general health benefits in disabled adults. London: Public Health England.

ii) UK Chief medical Officers (2019) UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines. London: Department of Health and Social Care.

iii) Activity Alliance (2013) Disabled People’s Lifestyle Survey, 42,

iv) Milton K, Kelly P (2019). Adoption and communication of the WHO 2020 global physical activity guidelines – background paper for the WHO guideline development group. World Health Organization, Geneva.

v) Reid H, Milton K, Bownes G, Foster C, on behalf of CMO Expert Group (2016) Making physical activity evidence accessible – are these infographics the answer? British Journal of Sports Medicine. DOI:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096500.

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