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Funded PhD Studentship in Physical Activity for Health in Rare Genetic Diseases (Fabry disease)

   Life Sciences

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  Dr D Bailey, Prof Louise Mansfield, Dr Cherry Kilbride  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

The Centre for Physical Activity, Health and Disease at Brunel University London is offering a fully funded PhD studentship to investigate increasing physical activity and limiting sedentary behaviour in individuals living with Fabry disease. This rare genetic condition affects 1 in 10,000 people and common symptoms include pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, heart problems, stroke and difficulty doing exercise. This leads to multiple medical conditions, physical disabilities, mental health problems and lower quality of life. This research position will involve creating a new intervention to increase physical activity and limit sedentary behaviour to enhance their mental health and quality of life.

Based in the College of Health Medicine and Life Sciences, and co-funded by the MPS Society and the College; the studentship offers a full-time annual London rate stipend of £18602 (including London weighting) plus Home tuition fees, for a maximum of 36 months.

The start date will be 1 October 2022. 

The PhD studentship will involve measuring physical activity and sedentary behaviour in adults with Fabry disease and working with them and their families/carers to co-design a physical activity and sedentary behaviour intervention tailored to their needs. This will lead to testing the intervention to evaluate how it may affect mental health and quality of life.

The successful candidate will be supervised by an expert interdisciplinary team of researchers and clinicians who will provide full training for the research:

  • Dr Daniel Bailey (Principal Supervisor), Co-Director Centre for Physical Activity, Health and Disease, Brunel University London
  • Dr Cherry Kilbride (Second Supervisor), Reader in Physiotherapy/Rehabilitation, Brunel University London
  • Professor Derralynn Hughes (Clinical Advisor), Research Lead LSD Unit, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Professor Louise Mansfield (Research Development Advisor), Director Centre for Health and Wellbeing across the Lifecourse, Brunel University London

For informal discussions, please contact Dr Daniel Bailey ([Email Address Removed]).


Candidates should have an undergraduate degree (first or upper second class) or equivalent qualification in physiotherapy, sport and exercise sciences, biosciences or a related field. A Masters qualification in a relevant area would be desirable. Experience in quantitative and/or qualitative research in areas relating to physical activity, physiotherapy and/or clinical populations is essential. Desirable criteria include HCPC registration, REPs Level 3 or 4 and/or experience working with similar groups. Applicants who have not been awarded a degree by a University in the UK will be expected to demonstrate English language skills to IELTS 7.0 (minimum 6.5 in any section).

How to apply

If you wish to apply, please e-mail the following to [Email Address Removed] by 17 June 2022.

  • An up-to-date CV.
  • A single-page A4 single-spaced personal statement describing why you are a suitable candidate (i.e. outlining your qualifications and skills).
  • One example of your academic writing (e.g. an essay, a section from a dissertation).
  • Names and contact details for two academic referees.
  • A copy of your highest degree certificate and transcript.
  • A copy of your English language qualification, where applicable.

Short-listed applicants will be required to attend an interview. Applicants chosen for interview will be instructed to submit a formal online application via Admissions.

For further information about how to apply, please contact the College of Health Medicine and Life Sciences Postgraduate Research Student Office on [Email Address Removed].

Research journey

Doctoral research programmes (PhDs) take a proud place in the world-class research environment and community at Brunel. PhD students are recognised and valued by their supervisors as an essential part of their departments and a key component of the university's overall strategy to develop and deliver world-class research.

A PhD programme is expected to take 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time, with intakes starting in January, April or October.

The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (1st or 2:1) or an international equivalent. A Masters degree is a welcome, but not required, qualification for entry.

Research support

Excellent research support and training

The Graduate School provides a range of personal, professional and career development opportunities. This includes workshops, online training, coaching and events, to enable you to enhance your professional profile, refine your skills, and plan your next career steps as part of the Researcher Development Programme. The researcher development programme (RDP) offers workshops and seminars in a range of areas including progression, research management, research dissemination, and careers and personal development. You will also be offered a number of online, self-study courses on BBL, including Research Integrity, Research Skills Toolkit, Research Methods in Literature Review and Principles of Research Methods.

Library services

Brunel's Library is open 24 hours a day, has 400,000 books and 250,000 ebooks, and an annual budget of almost £2m. Subject information Specialists train students in the latest technology, digital literacy, and digital dissemination of scholarly outputs. As well as the physical resources available in the Library, we also provide access to a wealth of electronic resources. These include databases, journals and e-books. Access to these resources has been bought by the Library through subscription and is limited to current staff and students. 

Dedicated research support staff provide guidance and training on open access, research data management, copyright and other research integrity issues.

Careers support

You will receive tailored careers support during your PhD and for up to three years after you complete your research at Brunel. We encourage you to actively engage in career planning and managing your personal development right from the start of your research, even (or perhaps especially) if you don't yet have a career path in mind. Our careers provision includes online information and advice, one-to-one consultations and a range of events and workshops. The Professional Development Centre runs a varied programme of careers events throughout the academic year. These include industry insight sessions, recruitment fairs, employer pop-ups and skills workshops.

Funding Notes

The studentship offers a full-time annual London rate stipend of £18602 (including London weighting) plus Home tuition fees, for a maximum of 36 months.
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