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Biomechanical investigation of horse and rider performance during showjumping


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  Prof K Nankervis  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Title: Doctoral Studentship (PhD)

Application Closing Date: Wednesday 9th February 2022

Location: Hartpury University, Gloucestershire.

Stipend: £14,000 per annum home student, £7,000 per annum international student

Contract Type: Full Time (3 years)

Area of Research: Biomechanical investigation of horse and rider performance during showjumping

The aim of this PhD is to explore the kinematics of the rider during successful and unsuccessful attempts at a showjumping fence, and to explore the potential effects of rider kinematics on horse performance. The PhD will take full advantage of the resources within the Margaret Giffen Rider Performance Centre and Hartpury Equine Centre. Measurement techniques will include optical motion capture and inertial motion sensing to analyse the horse/rider movement relationship and factors that influence successful and unsuccessful jumps in the arena. The Racewood Eventing Simulator affords the opportunity to test methods in a lab setting before using the technology in the field setting.

Hartpury’s position as a competition venue and leading equestrian centre with elite riders onsite will give the PhD student access to a variety of horses and riders to undertake this project. The knowledge gained as a result of this PhD will be of benefit to riders, coaches, and trainers and will provide the first large scale study of rider showjumping technique.

For more information and for an initial discussion please contact [Email Address Removed]

Description of studentship:

Hartpury University is pleased to be offering a fully funded studentship to start on 4th April 2022. This studentship will be based in the Equestrian Performance Research Centre. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to become part of vibrant postgraduate community in an idyllic rural setting, with world leading facilities and undertaking impactful cutting-edge research. University of the West of England is the awarding body for this degree.

Studentships comprise of tuition fees at home rates and a stipend of GBP 14k (GBP 7k if international) per year tenable for 3 years. Alongside their research projects, successful candidates will be asked (as a condition of their stipend) to deliver up to 7 hours per week teaching or research support within the Department in which the PhD is hosted.

PhD Studentship Selection Criteria:

The following criteria will be taken into account when considering applications:

  • Interest and/or experience in showjumping or equestrian sport.
  • The strength of your professional and academic profile, as demonstrated through previous study and/or professional experience.
  • Ability to analyse biomechanical data in Excel and willingness to learn MATLAB/R/Python.
  • Previous experience or interest in biomechanical analysis technology including, high-speed video, motion capture or sensors.
  • Foundational knowledge of equine or human biomechanics and/or physics.
  • The contribution you are able to make to the Hartpury research community and your host department, in terms of both research and teaching.

Candidates should also be aware of the following:

The normal expectation is that applicants will hold at least a 2:1 or a Masters qualification from a UK university or a degree of comparable standing from a university outside the UK. The candidate’s degree relevant to the studentship should demonstrate their potential for practiceled research or alternative evidence of research aptitude.

Applicants whose first language is not English require a recognised English language qualification. The minimum entry requirement is GCSE English at grade C or above or IELTS score 7.0 or TOEFL score 600 (or demonstrable equivalent).

Applying for a PhD studentship

To apply for a PhD studentship you must send the following documents to [Email Address Removed]:

  1. A curriculum vitae (maximum 3 pages)
  2. A covering letter outlining your suitability for the studentship
  3. A 1,000-word critical analysis of the research article: Dutto, D.J. Hoyt, D.F., Clayton et al. (2004) Moments and power generated by the horse (Equus caballus) hind limb during jumping. Journal of Experimental Biology. 207(4), pp. 667-674.
  4. If English is not your first language, certification of English language qualification

Applications that do not arrive by Midnight (UK time) on Wednesday 9th February 2022 will not be considered.

If your application is selected. You will be invited for interview on Wednesday 16th February 2022. All applicants must ensure their availability on this date.

Key dates

  • 9th February 2022: Deadline for submission of applications
  • 16th February 2022: Interviews at Hartpury* 25th February 2022: Studentships announced
  • 7th March 2022: Deadline for accepting studentship
  • 4th April 2022: Studentship begins

*Please note that by submitting an application you are confirming your availability to attend interview on Wednesday 16th February 2022.

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. We will ensure that all our recruitment and selection practices reflect this commitment. All successful candidates will be subject to Disclosure and Barring Service checks along with other relevant employment checks.

Hartpury values a diverse workforce and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.


Funding Notes

Stipend: £14,000 per annum home student, £7,000 per annum international student
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