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Does running increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis?


Project Description

The University of Nottingham
School of Medicine - Division of Rheumatology, Orthopaedics & Dermatology
Academic Orthopaedics, Trauma and Sports Medicine

PhD studentship:
Does running increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis?

Fully funded 3 year PhD studentship (commence October 2019)

Stipend: £14,777 p.a.

Applications are invited for a full-time bursary available in the School of Medicine, for a 3 year PhD, open to Home, EU and International students. The PhD studentship will cover the cost of tuition fees at the Home/EU rate. International students will be required to fund the difference between the Home/EU and International fee rate. The successful applicant will commence in October 2019 (an earlier start could be arranged if preferred).

We are pleased to be able to offer this exciting opportunity to work within the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis. This Centre is a unique collaboration of six Universities (Nottingham, Oxford, Loughborough, Leeds, Bath and Southampton) as well as Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust working towards a better understanding of the mechanisms relating to sport, exercise, injury and OA. The investigating multi disciplinary team includes specialists in orthopaedics, rheumatology, sport and exercise medicine, physiotherapy, podiatry, epidemiology, occupational therapy, nutrition, sports science, skeletal muscle biology, bone and cartilage biology, psychology, physiology and biomechanics.

This department has a cohort of over 3000 people with baseline data on their health, lifetime physical activity (and particularly running), pain and functional performance. It is called the Health of Adults Longitudinal Observational (HALO) study. It was set up to encompass a spectrum of physical activity, from sedentary people to highly active members of the community, be they runners, triathletes or other sportspeople, as well as a small control cohort of inactive people. The plan is to stay in touch with these people for 15 years, to monitor their lifestyles and disease progression. This is an important cohort, which would be able to answer longitudinal questions about osteoarthritis.

This project will seek to identify high-risk phenotypes that predict the onset and progression of symptomatic OA in runners and to assess the overall physical and psychological benefits and harms of sport and exercise participation (particularly running), with a specific focus on quality of life. The PhD student will be responsible for collecting follow up questionnaire data (including health, physical activity and dietary data), which will enable osteoarthritis outcomes to be examined. The student will also have the opportunity to follow up on the functional and performance tests with sub-groups of the cohort. Finally, the PhD student will undertake qualitative semi-structured interviews and focus groups with a small number of runners (past and present) to understand the effect of sport and exercise participation on MSK health throughout the life course.

This is an excellent opportunity to work in an emerging area of multidisciplinary research, gain a PhD and develop leadership skills in preparation for a high-impact research career. Applicants must have a minimum of UK 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject area. A relevant Masters qualification is essential. This project will require strong analytical skills and previous qualitative research experience would be an advantage.

This fully funded studentship is available from October 2019 for a period of three years and will provide a stipend of £14,777 per annum.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Kim Edwards, Email:

Applications with a covering letter, a detailed CV, the names, addresses and contact details of two/three referees, should be sent to Dr Kim Edwards, Email:
Please quote ref. SEOA/ROD/PhDFeb2019/KLE. Closing date for applications: Sunday 24th March 2019. Interview date: Thursday 4th April 2019 (afternoon).



Funding Notes

Fully funded 3 year PhD studentship (commence October 2019)
Stipend: £14,777 p.a.
Applications are invited for a full-time bursary available in the School of Medicine, for a 3 year PhD, open to Home, EU and International students. The PhD studentship will cover the cost of tuition fees at the Home/EU rate. International students will be required to fund the difference between the Home/EU and International fee rate.

How good is research at University of Nottingham in Clinical Medicine?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 103.70

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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