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MRes Scholarship: Can suspension training reduce neck deterioration in rugby players

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  • Full or part time
    Prof P McCarthy
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

*This is a KESS 2 East scholarship opportunity. Please note the eligibility information in the advert text or contact the team for further information.*

To read the full project description visit:

Here is an exciting opportunity to study and help develop a technology and its application, which could lead to entirely new approaches in clinical practice and sport preparation.

The selected candidate will apply their practical skills and ambition to co-ordinate a multicentre trial of the chosen methodology. This collaborative project, will allow the student to develop transferable knowledge and skills in this most exciting and active field of cervical spine research.

This Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS 2) project will be held in the Faculty Life Sciences and Education at the University of South Wales. The MRes will be associated with Research Council/ University Health Board/ other strategic partners (delete if not applicable). The project will focus on potential health consequences to neck function associated with contact sport, but more importantly on the potential to prevent this from occurring. The link with neck function and likelihood of concussion is growing in importance, this gives us the opportunity to lead this development worldwide.

Programme of research:

The focus of this research is to determine whether the suspension training methods provided by FKPro Ltd can affect neck control and resilience. The project aims to do this by studying the previously described reduction in functional deterioration in the cervical spine in Rugby players.

We will be recruiting 4 teams for an 8 week trial. Two teams will be given the FKPro suspension training kit, 1 with initial advice, the other with regular training and advice sessions. Two teams will be used as controls; one will be given no intervention (performing their current S&C protocols), the other will be given an education package about the importance of the neck. The innovation could be considered to be the trial itself. There have been few if any trials performed on active sports teams which take into account education and training differences. There will be many lessons to be learned from this work such as how do players take to using suspension training. In addition, we will need to determine whether regular reinforcement is necessary and whether knowledge about the issue of neck deterioration alone has any effect.

The studentship will cover the fees for a full-time PhD programme and pay a stipend of circa £14k p.a. There is also around £9k project support costs available for consumables, travel, minor equipment, training (including the KESS Grad School) and conference attendance.

The position is available from 1st January 2019.

Eligibility of Student:
To be eligible to hold a KESS studentship, you must:
• have a home address in East Wales area (details below)* at the time of registration.
• have the right to take up paid work in the East Wales area* on completion of the scholarship.
• be classified by the University as ‘home’ or ‘EU’ for tuition fees purposes according to the University’s guidelines.
• satisfy University of South Wales’s admissions criteria: see below, qualifications and experience and application process

* East Wales area covers: Vale of Glamorgan / Cardiff / Newport / Monmouthshire / Powys / Wrexham / Flintshire

Qualifications and experience:

Eligible applicants will:

• Have a degree (2i or higher) in an appropriate biomedical discipline
• Possess a reasonable understanding of cervical spine structure and function
• Be highly self-motivated, with capacity to learn and develop practical physiological techniques
• Have well-developed and positively collaborative interpersonal skills
• Have an ability to deliver technical reports and communicate findings
• Be willing to travel and work in industrial / clinical settings

Application Process:

To download an application package, please visit:

For any queries on eligibility, please contact: KESS Team at Research and Innovation Services, University of South Wales: [Email Address Removed] Tel: 01443 482578

Closing date for applications: July 28th 2019
Interviews will be held w/c (TBC)

Funding Notes

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS) is a pan-Wales higher-level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) programme for East Wales

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