Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now

  Investigating skeletal muscle sex differences and the effects of gender transition SSEHS/HFD

   School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

  Dr Hannah Fox Dugdale, Dr A Capel  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Skeletal muscle is important for health maintenance as well as athletic performance. Understanding how skeletal muscle sex differences can impact function will allow us to create more specific interventions such as training programmes.

Our project aims to contribute towards understanding skeletal muscle sex differences and how these differences are affected during gender transition. This research is important as it will inform fairness, inclusion, and non-discrimination on the basis of gender identity in competitive sport.

This research will examine skeletal muscle collected from male and female participants. Additionally, we will use hormonal treatments in cellular models of skeletal muscle to examine functional and mechanistic differences between the sexes and how these differ during gender transition.

You will be part of a team alongside, supervisors: Dr Hannah Fox Dugdale (a lecturer in Molecular and Cellular Physiology at LU with 10 years of experience researching skeletal muscle physiology specialising in models of dysfunction) and Dr Andrew Capel (is a Lecturer in bioengineering at LU, specialising in models of exercise, injury, and regeneration within multi-cellular bioengineered tissues).

Loughborough University has an applied research culture. In REF 2021, 94% of the work submitted was judged to be top-rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. We are a community based on mutual support and collaboration. Through our Doctoral College there are continual opportunities for building important research skills and networks among your peers and research academics.


Primary supervisor: Dr Hannah Fox Dugdale

Secondary supervisor: Dr Andrew Capel

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in sports science/ bioscience or a related subject. A relevant master’s degree will be an advantage. Experience of working in an area of skeletal muscle biology and/ or cell culture is desirable.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.

Find out more about research degree funding

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences. Please quote the advertised reference number: SSEHS/HFD in your application.

To avoid delays in processing your application, please ensure that you submit the minimum supporting documents.

Apply now

Biological Sciences (4) Sport & Exercise Science (33)

Funding Notes

UK fee
£4,596 full-time degree per annum
International fee
£25,100 full-time degree per annum
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Fees are reviewed annually and are likely to increase to take into account inflationary pressures.