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‘Evaluation of UK models of exercise and physical activity delivery’

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, December 19, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Project overview

Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for lifestyle-related diseases (e.g. cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes) and is estimated to cost the UK £7.4bn per annum. Given the extensive benefits of exercise and physical activity (PA) for clinical populations, effective prescription to increase PA and exercise levels is of utmost importance. The UK needs help in devising cost-effective physical activity strategies that can be effectively integrated into primary and secondary care pathways. Australia’s approach to early detection and prevention of chronic disease is by embedding advanced exercise physiologists who are allied health professionals into the public and private healthcare systems.

The PhD will evaluate current clinical exercise and physical activity care pathways in the UK and investigate the value of integrating an exercise allied health model that learns from the Australian system. This PhD is one of a number of studentships that and is part of a larger research and evaluation project, funded by Research England International Investment Initiative, between Liverpool John Moores University and University of Western Australia (UWA). The student will adopt a multidisciplinary PA and health focus that requires an understanding of UK exercise and PA systems and the ability to conduct both quantitative and qualitative research. The PhD will involve national and international travel.

Supervision and environment

The PhD will be supervised by Dr’s Paula Watson and Lee Graves and Prof’s Helen Jones and Keith George in the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences (RISES) at LJMU with supervision and input from UWA. RISES is a world-renowned research institute employing 55 leading academic staff within the fields of sports science, physical activity and health. In the Research Excellence Framework (Dec 2014), RISES was 11th out of 1911 submissions in all subject areas. The student will be part of a large network of postgraduate students across RISES and will receive a programme of ongoing training and development, including completion of LJMU’s accredited 3is teaching programme.

LJMU is committed to achieving equality of opportunity.

Specific eligibility requirements:


• BSc (minimum upper-second honors degree) in a related discipline, including an empirical research project.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills
• Knowledge of exercise and PA interventions
• Interest in multidisciplinary approaches to enhancing long-term PA adherence
• Knowledge and understanding of quantitative and qualitative research
• Appreciation of the challenges of conducting research within a “real-world” environment
• Ability to interact, engage, and build rapport with multidisciplinary stakeholders
• Highly motivated and organised


• Relevant postgraduate qualification (e.g. MSc).
• Previous experience in conducting research studies and disseminating findings (e.g. presentations, publications)
• Experience of cleansing and analysing large data-sets
• Experience of working within a clinical or community setting that involves physical activity or exercise promotion
• Experience of relevant data collection techniques (e.g. audit, mapping, questionnaires/surveys, interviews, focus groups)
• Ability to interpret physical activity and health outcome measures

Funding Notes

The studentship will run for 3 years, commencing Jan 2020 and includes a stipend (currently £15,009 pa) plus the cost of the tuition fees (UK/EU rate)


How to apply

Please e-mail your CV and personal statement (max one page A4) to Dr Paula Watson [email protected] by noon on Thursday 19th December. Your personal statement should make clear how you meet the essential / desirable criteria for the role, highlighting key evidence to support your points.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an interview on 10th January 2020.

For informal enquiries about this studentship please contact either Dr Paula Watson on [email protected], Professor Helen Jones [email protected], Professor Keith George [email protected]

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