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Masters by Research - Physical activity and inactivity on vascular risk stratification in breast cancer survivors

School of Applied Sciences

About the Project

This project is based within the School of Applied Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University and les led by Dr Mark Ross ( and Professor Geraint Florida-James
( and is investigating the association between dose of physical activity and inactivity on vascular risk in breast cancer survivors.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in humans, with over 50,000 women clinically diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK in 2015. Treatment of breast cancer has rapidly improved, due to early detection, and development of new anti-cancer drugs, however, the treatment of breast cancer exerts a significant deleterious effect on our cardiovascular system. This cardio-toxicity leads to an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in breast cancer survivors (Sharrma et al., 2019). Evidence from our laboratory suggests that physical activity status could affect how our blood vessels respond to chemotherapy treatment, with reduced rates of endothelial cell death and activation with greater physical fitness and activity. However, studies investigating the association between physical activity or inactivity on circulating risk factors and future cardiovascular risk are limited. The aim of this MRes is to investigate the association of physical activity and inactivity on cardiovascular risk factors and future CVD risk using available large cohort study datasets.
You will be given the opportunity to engage in an active postgraduate research group. You will be provided with extensive training in statistical analysis using R software and epidemiological research methods. You will be given the opportunity to engage with an active postgraduate research community (including the chance to present at national/international conferences) and take part in a full training programme aimed at supporting progression to a successful research career.

Academic qualifications
A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in sport and exercise science or human physiology with a good fundamental knowledge of the human cardiovascular system.

English language requirement
IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.

Essential attributes:
 Experience of fundamental statistical analyses
 Competent in research methods and use of excel and SPSS
 Knowledge of cardiovascular physiology
 Good written and oral communication skills
 Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project
 Good time management

Desirable attributes:
Prior experience of using large datasets with human biological data and/or R statistical software

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded position only

Please quote project code SAS0088 in your enquiry and application.


• Completed application form
• CV
• 2 academic references, using the Postgraduate Educational Reference Form (Found on the application process page)
• A personal research statement (This should include (a) a brief description of your relevant experience and skills, (b) an indication of what you would uniquely bring to the project and (c) a statement of how this project fits with your future direction.)
• Evidence of proficiency in English (if appropriate)


Sharma, A. V., Reddin, G., Forrestal, B., & Barac, A. (2019). Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Survivors of Breast Cancer. Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine, 21(12), 79. doi:10.1007/s11936-019-0788-2
Giorgini, P., Grassi, D., Di Giosia, P., & Ferri, C. (2016). Exercise training improves cardiopulmonary and endothelial function in women with breast cancer: findings from the Diana-5 study. Intern Emerg Med, 11(2), 171-173. doi:10.1007/s11739-016-1409-7

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