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An exciting opportunity to examine lower limb neuromuscular control in patients with diabetes and to develop prehabilitation strategies to improve function and quality of life in this population

  • Full or part time
    Dr A Mitchell
    Dr L Charalambous
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, January 24, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description


Department: Institute of Sport and Physical Activity Research (ISPAR)

Please note: Actual location of study will be at the Bedford Campus

Salary: Full Studentship of £4222 per annum (funding provided by Connolly Foundation)
Fixed term: 3 years
Closing date: 24th January 2019
Start date: 11th March 2019

The University of Bedfordshire are pleased to offer a full-time PhD studentship in the subject area described below. This exciting new studentship has been made available through the collaboration of the Institute and Connolly Foundation. The scholarship is offered in the Institute for Sport and Physical Activity Research
and will cover tuition fees (only), bursary per annum.

The candidate

The successful candidate will have an excellent academic record, with a sport and/or exercise science or physiotherapy/sports therapy knowledge base with clear focus on Biomechanics (e.g. BSc and/or MSc dissertation projects in Biomechanics). The MPhil/PhD student will take a lead role in developing the methods used in this project, so experience with relevant biomechanical technology (hardware and software) will be valuable, as will experience in a clinical, rehabilitation or exercise therapy environment. It is expected that the successful applicant will help develop new national collaborations and foster knowledge exchange between the University and the health sector, thus ensuring the research has resonance and applicability beyond the immediate project. You will be joining an international research centre of excellence with a strong postgraduate presence and culture.

Area of research

Lower limb biomechanics are altered in diabetic patients and whilst research has been carried out examining balance in this population, little has been done to examine their lower limb muscular reaction times and neuromuscular control strategies to a postural perturbation. The implication of delayed response to postural perturbation are significant and include an increased risk of falls, limitations in activities of daily life, reduced physical activity level. Once the diabetic participants’ response to postural perturbation is more understood a focussed prehabilitation and injury prevention programme (PIPP) will be developed and implemented with a view to improving their function and quality of life. The PIPP will involve a home based exercise programme and supervised group circuit based sessions. The effectiveness of the PIPP will be tracked over a period of 18 months to assess its long-term impact.

The proposed research aims to examine the neuromuscular control strategies of diabetic patients to a postural perturbation, to develop a prehabilitation and injury prevention programme to improve lower limb function and to test the effectiveness of the programme in this population.

The successful candidate will have Director of the Institute for Sport & Physical Activity Research Dr Andrew Mitchell as their Director of Studies whilst Dr Laura Charalambous will serve as second supervisor. The successful candidate will contribute to the development of the final project outline in conjunction with the supervisory team.

*Subject to satisfactory progress on PP1 and PP2.

How to apply

For an application pack or any application queries please email quoting the appropriate reference number. Applicants need to submit a 1,000 word proposal (excluding references) setting out how they would approach the proposed subject area as a PhD study. In addition to a CV, applicants will need to send a cover letter with supporting information on their experience and skills and how these relate to the advertised PhD.

Further information regarding research study at the University of Bedfordshire can be found at:

To find out more about our research visit:

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