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Development of evidence-based portable/mobile procedures for identifying biomechanical imbalances to inform person-centred musculoskeletal injury mitigation interventions PhD


   College of Life and Environmental Sciences

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  Dr S Dixon  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Location:

Sport & Health Sciences, St Luke’s Campus, University of Exeter

Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, Lympstone, Devon.

Sport and Health Sciences at University of Exeter, in partnership with Commando Training Centre Royal Marines and the Institute of Naval Medicine, Navy Command, is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence on 26th September 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter. For eligible students the studentship will cover Home tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £16,062 for 4 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study. The student will be based in Sport & Health Sciences at the St Luke’s Campus in Exeter, with regular time spent at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, Lympstone, Devon.

Project Description:

Previous collaborative work performed by the University of Exeter, Institute of Naval Medicine and Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (RM), has identified aspects of lower limb loading and foot balance during running to be associated with risk of lower limb stress fracture occurrence during Royal Marines recruit training. This PhD project will extend this work to include additional screening measures and movements, and to investigate relationships with other lower limb injuries.

The proposed work will develop procedures for the analysis of plantar pressure during running and functional movements such as squats and jumps. These screening data collected at commencement of RM recruit training will provide the range of person norms, allowing the detection of unusual lower limb data and asymmetries relative to this specific population. This PhD project will also include the evaluation of additional movement screening tools to complement the pressure data, for example the use of wearable sensors to monitor lower limb joint angles. Relationships between screening measures and lower limb injury occurrence will be investigated. This will allow the early detection of those recruits with unusual data or lower limb imbalances, thus contributing to the evaluation of recruit lower limb injury risk. Translation of resulting evidence to the development of a screening tool for detection of imbalances will focus on the provision of a portable method that can be used without specific biomechanical expertise.

Specifically, the project aims to:

(i) Develop automated data analysis and processing methods for the characterisation of plantar pressure data for a range of functional movements,

(ii) Investigate associations between characteristic pressure patterns and occurrence of specific injuries,

(iii) Provide validated, automated and portable methods for detection of ‘high risk’ recruits.

This award provides annual funding to cover Home tuition fees in full and a tax-free stipend of at least £16,062 per year. This position is open to UK nationals only. Successful candidates must meet the

security requirements before they can be appointed. The collaboration with the named project partner is subject to contract. Please note full details of the project partner’s contribution and involvement with the project is still to be confirmed and may change during the course of contract negotiations. Full details will be confirmed at offer stage.

The conditions for eligibility of home fees status are complex and you will need to seek advice if you have moved to or from the UK (or Republic of Ireland) within the past 3 years or have applied for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Entry requirements

Applicants for this studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of sport and health sciences, human movement sciences or similar.

If English is not your first language you will need to have achieved at least 6.5 in IELTS and no less than 6.0 in any section by the start of the project, as per our guidance at https://www.exeter.ac.uk/pg-research/apply/english/

How to apply

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents. 

• CV

• Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project).

• Brief (2-3 pages) research proposal

• Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying)

• Names of two referees familiar with your academic work. You are not required to obtain references yourself. We will request references directly from your referees if you are shortlisted.

• If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English

The closing date for applications is midnight on 22nd August 2022

Interviews will be held virtually in the week commencing 29th August.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email [Email Address Removed] or phone +44 (0)1392 722730/725150. Project-specific queries should be directed to the main supervisor, Dr Sharon Dixon ([Email Address Removed]).

For more information and to submit an application please go to - https://www.exeter.ac.uk/study/funding/award/?id=4500


Funding Notes

Sport and Health Sciences at University of Exeter, in partnership with Commando Training Centre Royal Marines and the Institute of Naval Medicine, Navy Command, is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence on 26th September 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter. For eligible students the studentship will cover Home tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £16,062 for 4 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.
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