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Interactions between physical activity, sedentary behaviour and immune reactivity to acute psychological stress - implications for Cardiovascular Disease

   School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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  Dr N Paine, Dr NC Bishop  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Loughborough United Kingdom Biochemistry Epidemiology Immunology Nursing & Health Sport & Exercise Science Physiology

About the Project

We are seeking a motivated individual with strong interests in health, physiology and/or behavioural medicine to undertake a PhD examining interactions between physical activity, sedentary behaviour, immune function and acute psychological stress as a mechanism of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) development. This studentship offers the opportunity to work with world-leaders in psychophysiology, psychoneuroimmunology and physical activity research.

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more:

The School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences has been ranked 1st in the world for Sport-related Subjects for the last 5 years (QS World University Rankings by Subject).

Full Project Detail:

As part of a project funded by the Academy of Medical Sciences, the successful candidate will examine interactions between physical activity and sedentary behaviour in the context of immune health and reactivity to acute psychological stress. Under acute stress, our immune system responds as part of the ‘fight-or-flight’ response, but a prolonged or maladaptive response could increase CVD risk. CVD risk is elevated in sedentary individuals, and under resting conditions, increased long-term levels of inflammation are evident. How this influences inflammatory responses under acute psychological stress and the role of sedentary behaviour and physical activity on this remains unclear. This studentship will utilize an inter-disciplinary approach to investigate this.

Find out more:

Dr Paine:

Professor Bishop:

SSEHS Research Environment:

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Sport and Exercise Sciences, Human/Exercise Physiology, or a Health-science related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Exercise Physiology, Sport and Exercise Science, or a Health-science related subject. Applicants must also meet the minimum English Language requirements.

Desired attributes include experience within an exercise physiology environment with a focus on immune/cardiovascular assessments (e.g., dissertation work, employment), and/or an existing phlebotomy qualification. Previous experience with device-measured physical activity or sedentary behaviour is advantageous. Preference will be given to candidates who demonstrate the ability to work as part of a team as well as independently and have strong communication and excellent inter-personal skills. 

Contact details:

Name: Dr Nicola Paine

Email address: [Email Address Removed]

Telephone number: +44 (0) 1509 228229

How to apply

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select “School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences”. 

Please quote reference number: SSEHS/NP

Funding Notes

The studentship is for 3 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,609 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK rate. Due to funding restrictions, the studentship is only open to students eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.
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