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Injury epidemiology and injury prevention in men’s and women’s English cricket

Department for Health

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Dr Sean Williams No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project


The professional and recreational game of cricket, managed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), is constantly looking to understand and reduce the cost and impact of injury. Recent years have seen changing formats of the game, the growth of T20 cricket and world leagues, and professionalisation of the women’s game. In this context, there is a need for a clear understanding of both the short term and longer-term trends in types of injury, their incidence and their prevalence, as well as the association between injury and risk factors such as exposure to load and discipline-specific aspects of the game. The student will conduct their research under the supervision of Dr Sean Williams, Professor Keith Stokes, and Dr Carly McKay, in collaboration with Dr Nick Peirce (Chief Medical Officer for the ECB). The student will be based at the University of Bath but will also spend time at the National Cricket Performance Centre, Loughborough University. The student will work closely with other performance programmes and departments within the ECB, including those engaged in workload monitoring, biomechanics, and other injury research (e.g., exploring fast-bowling bone adaption). The student will also liaise with First Class County Cricket (FCCC) and there may be opportunities to develop links with the International Cricket Council and other sports with similar injury prevention interests.

The Project

The aim of the project, which has been commissioned by the ECB, is to address two key questions: (1) What is the risk and cost of injury at different levels of men’s and women’s cricket? (2) What are the most promising strategies to reduce the burden of injury in cricket? The proposed programme of work will be divided into three phases: (1) Capturing the complete injury picture: Previous work in this setting has identified overuse injuries, defined as those without a specific, identifiable event responsible for their occurrence, to be a substantial problem. At present, these are difficult to capture within existing injury surveillance systems and so this study will explore the use of the ‘Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre Overuse Injury

Questionnaire’ as an alternative method to provide a more complete and nuanced picture of the burden of overuse injuries in this setting. (2) The costs of injury: This phase will explore the financial burden associated with injuries in the professional game, as well as their impact on individual player performance metrics. (3) Development and evaluation of strategies to prevent injury: The most likely targets for injury prevention will be determined from injury surveillance data and potential strategies will be developed. The success of these strategies will be evaluated with continued injury surveillance.

Entry requirements: Applicants for a studentship must have obtained or be about to obtain, as a minimum, a First or Upper Second-Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an area appropriate to the skills requirements of the project such as Sports Science or Physiotherapy. A Master’s degree is also preferred, in a relevant area such as Sports Science, Sports Medicine, Performance Analysis, Medical Statistics or Public Health.

Preferred start date: April 2021

How to apply: For further information, applicants should visit our How to Apply for Doctoral Study at Bath page, linked below:

Applications should be submitted using the application form for the PhD programme in Health clearly stating the title of the project.

Funding Notes

Subject to contract, funding is available for a 3 year studentship jointly funded by the ECB and University of Bath. The funding will cover UK/EU tuition fees based on the 2020/21 rates, maintenance at the UKRI doctoral stipend rate of £15,285 per annum (2020/21 rate) and a training support grant for a period of up to 3 years (subject to continued satisfactory progress and start date).

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