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An assessment of the current state of knowledge in relation to the role modern footwear / barefoot activities play in relation to musculoskeletal development, human health and disease.

   Department of Health

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  Dr Peter Francis  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Project details:

This PhD will be awarded for a three-year full-time structured PhD scholarship at the Department of Health, South East Technological University, Carlow.

This project contributes to a global scientific strategy that investigates illness associated with urban living. The mismatch hypothesis describes how our modern environment, not suited to our evolutionary biology which was adapted to live in nature, contributes to making us ill. High sugar diets, modern footwear, concrete, excessive screen time and a lack of exercise combine to make us ill. Our contribution to this scientific strategy is to understand the role that modern footwear plays in the development of the musculoskeletal system, health and disease.

Research in this field has grown exponentially during the last two decades. Therefore, the aim of this review based (non-experimental) PhD is to consolidate existing knowledge on the topic. The aim of the reviews will be to understand the role that modern footwear / barefoot activities play in relation to musculoskeletal development, human health and disease.


Website for additional details

Supervisor: Dr Peter Francis

For any informal queries relating to the project, please contact Dr Peter Francis on [Email Address Removed]

For other general queries relating to the scholarship, please contact Sarah O’Brien, Graduate Studies Office on [Email Address Removed] 


·      Scholarship: €15,000 p.a.

·      Tuition Fees

·      Duration: Full Time, 36 months PhD 

Eligibility Criteria


· As a minimum requirement, applicants must hold a First-Class honours degree or, at a minimum, a good 2.1 honours BSc and/or an MSc degree in a related field (sport/health/exercise/therapy);

·      Applicants must demonstrate strong experience and skills in either quantitative or qualitative research (depending on the discipline);

·      Applicants must demonstrate a strong interest in and knowledge of the broad research area;

·      Applicants must demonstrate a clear commitment to research; 

·      Clear organizational and communication skills;

·      Applicants must demonstrate an excellent standard of English;

·      A high level of technical academic writing skills;  

Note: Applicants who are currently registered at another Higher Education Institution cannot be offered a scholarship until they provide evidence that they have completed their studies at the other Institution. 


Please note that a 2.1 or above BSc and or an MSc in a related (sport/health/exercise/therapy) field is the minimum requirement.


whose first language is not English, MUST submit evidence of competency inn

English (a minimum of IELTS 6.0)


In line with international best practice, scholarship recipients may be required to undertake two hours of academic development activities per week during academic terms.

How to Apply

Email completed application to [Email Address Removed] with the Project Title and Reference number CW_2022_01_PF in the subject field.

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