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Investigating human locomotion outside the laboratory

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  • Full or part time
    Dr R Lawson
    Prof RH Crompton
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at the University of Liverpool offers an exciting opportunity for an ESRC-funded 1+3 studentship for PhD research investigating human locomotion outside the laboratory. The studentship will be supervised by a team led by Dr Rebecca Lawson ( and Professor Robin Crompton (, at the University of Liverpool, and by Dr Julian Todd at DoES Liverpool.

Suitably qualified candidates are invited to apply for this fully-funded, full-time, 4-year (1+3 year) PhD CASE studentship. It will begin on 1st October 2016 and will lead to the award of a master's degree (in year 1) and then to a PhD degree. The studentship covers full fees plus a maintenance grant (this was £14,057 for 2015/16 – annual rate subject to confirmation from the RCUK for 2016/17). The student will also receive a contribution to cover research costs.

The studentship is supported by the North West Doctoral Training Centre (NWDTC) and the Universities of Liverpool, Manchester and Lancaster. It involves a collaboration between the Institute for Psychology, Health and Society (Dr Lawson) and the Institute for Ageing and Chronic Disease (Dr Crompton), who are both at the University of Liverpool. It is in partnership with DoES Liverpool (Dr Todd) which is based in Liverpool city centre.

The studentship project
The project aims to identify the risk factors that lead to instability in people's posture and to falls. This is an important issue for public and preventative health. The goal of the project is to, first, develop a combined laser-scanner, inertial measurement unit (IMU) and mobile eye-tracking device; and, second, to test the device in realistically complex environments similar to those in which vulnerable people - such as the elderly - are likely to fall. The successful candidate will acquire skills in both programming and psychological research methods. The project will involve assembling hardware and sensors, logging and analysing data, and designing and running controlled experiments that track people's movements and behaviour in the real world.

Candidates will be talented and motivated UK/EU graduate students with a good honours degree from a recognised university. Students who are currently undertaking an undergraduate or master's degree (or equivalent) and are expecting to graduate during the 2015-16 academic session are eligible to apply. Candidates should demonstrate existing skills in programming or a commitment to acquire these skills together with an interest in research in applied psychology.

Apply by 11.00am on Wednesday February 17th 2016 by emailing the following to Dr Rebecca Lawson at [Email Address Removed] using the email header "Reference PHD-LAWSON/WWW":
• A full academic CV including a statement about any proficiencies in computer programming.
• A statement (maximum 750 words) of why the project is of particular interest to you and how the project meets your skills and future aspirations.
• Two references, one of which should be from your most recent academic tutor/supervisor. Where an undergraduate or master's degree is ongoing, references must include your anticipated final grade.
• Where applicable, a copy of your undergraduate and master's degree transcripts.

Interviews are expected to take place in Liverpool on Thursday 18th February 2016 and/or Friday 19th February 2016. Candidates should be available for interview on both dates.

Further information
For further information about the project, applications and shortlisting please contact Dr Rebecca Lawson: [Email Address Removed].

Funding Notes

Candidates must satisfy the ESRC's academic and residential eligibility requirements and be UK or EU citizens who have been resident in the UK for the past three years. Further information on eligibility can be downloaded from the NWDTC website:

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