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Fully Funded PhD Studentship - Huddersfield Town AFC in collaboration with the Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University. Chef perceptions of sports nutrition; too many cooks, or the perfect recipe?

   The School of Sport

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  Dr S Emmonds, Dr Nessan Costello, Dr Meghan Bentley  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project


Huddersfield Town Association Football Club and the Carnegie School of Sport are looking to recruit a highly motivated individual to a prestigious fully funded PhD studentship in the discipline of performance nutrition.

• Full-time Sponsored Postgraduate Research Studentship

• Start date: October 2022 (PhD Award Start Date)

The PhD studentship will have a bursary of £15,609 per annum (pro-rata into 12 monthly payments) plus UK Fees paid initially for a period of three years.

Under the supervision of the lead nutritionist and head of performance, the successful student will support the nutritional strategies at the club (predominant first team focus; approx. 2 days per week), while concurrently conducting their research. Therefore, this provides an exciting opportunity for the successful candidate to develop both their applied practice and applied research skills, while working in a professional soccer club. 

The quality of Carnegie School of Sport research is evident in the outstanding results achieved in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework, where we ranked 2nd nationally when accounting for both research quality and the number of contributing staff. Importantly, the successful candidate will have access to the world-class facilities at the Carnegie School of Sport, including the £45 million new build.

PhD: Chef perceptions of sports nutrition; too many cooks, or the perfect recipe?

Chefs working in professional football are challenged with the implementation of performance nutrition strategies that are both periodised and personalised to the nutritional requirements of players (Collins et al., 2020). Successful implementation requires an understanding of the principles underpinning the nutritional strategy, alongside food sourcing, storage, preparation, safety, and composition to translate nutrient targets into meals and snacks that meet the preferences, cultural practices, and specifications (e.g., allergies, intolerances, special diets) of players (Mirtschin et al., 2018). Expertise is required to achieve such aims across a series of environments that include the club training ground, hotels, stadia, and travel (domestic and international). To date, limited scientific evidence exists to support the design and/or delivery of performance nutrition strategies by chefs within professional football.

Therefore, the purpose of this PhD is to undertake a series of high quality studies, which evaluate current perceptions of performance chefs on sports nutrition, and identify areas to optimise nutrition provision for football players.

Candidate Skills


  • Hold a degree in sports science, dietetics or a related field.
  • Have previous experience of working in a sports nutrition capacity within elite or professional sport.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills evidenced through positive and productive relationships with all stakeholders.
  • Well-organised, with the ability to manage own workload and multiple priorities.
  • DBS Certificate (can be obtained on appointment).


  • A Master’s degree with evidence of undertaking empirical research as part of your studies is desirable.
  • Experience of conducting qualitative research is desirable.
  • Sport and Exercise Nutrition register (SENr) graduate registration is desirable.
  • Experience of working within professional football is desirable.

Applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposals with the project leads Dr Nessan Costello ([Email Address Removed]), Dr Meghan Bentley ([Email Address Removed]) and Dr Stacey Edmonds ([Email Address Removed]).

Further information on how to apply and an applicaiton form can be found here

Funding Notes

Funding will consist of UK full tuition fees for three years and the award of a living stipend at UK Research Council rates (£15,609 per annum pro-rata into 12 monthly payments). Funding will be subject to satisfactory progress.
A laptop will be provided and the opportunity to apply for funding to support the research project.

How good is research at Leeds Beckett University in Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism?

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

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