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Muscle mechanical function during running – validating computational biomechanical models

   Faculty of Biological Sciences

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  Dr G N Askew, Dr Simon Walker  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Biomechanical models are invaluable in understanding locomotion and the factors leading to gait impairment. However, to have confidence in their application, they must be validated against biological data. Such biological knowledge about the mechanical function of the leg muscles and how this is co-ordinated to produce stable and economical running is limited. This project will fill this gap by determining how the leg muscles operate and how this relates to their metabolic energy expenditure and the overall kinematics of the limbs and body. The biological data will be compared to the predictions of a biomechanical model. 

The project will use an animal model and will involve a range of state-of-the-art physiological techniques (electromyography, sonomicrometry, muscle ergometry) to determine muscle function during locomotion. 3D motion analysis will be used to determine limb and body kinematics and respirometry to measure metabolic energy use.

The project will lead to a detailed insight into how muscles are used during locomotion, and how their function can be modulated in response to external factors such as gradient, substrate and speed. It will also lead to the advancement of computational models of locomotion, which will play an important role the replacement, reduction and refinement (3Rs) of animals in scientific research.


You should hold a first degree equivalent to at least a UK upper-second class honours degree or a MSc degree in a relevant subject.

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their English language is sufficient to meet the specific demands of their study. The Faculty of Biological Sciences minimum requirements in IELTS and TOEFL tests are:

  • British Council IELTS - score of 6.0 overall, with no element less than 5.5
  • TOEFL iBT - overall score of 87 with the listening and reading element no less than 20, writing element no less than 21 and the speaking element no less than 22.

How to apply:

To apply for this project applicants should complete an online application form and attach the following documentation to support their application. 

  • a full academic CV
  • degree certificate and transcripts of marks
  • Evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements (if applicable).

To help us identify that you are applying for this studentship please ensure you provide the following information on your application form;

  • Select PhD in Biological Sciences as your programme of study
  • When asked for source of funding please make it clear that you are applying for a "White Rose BBSRC DTP Studentship"
  • Give the full project title and name the supervisors listed in this advert. You can be considered for up to 3 projects in total.

If you have any further queries regarding this opportunity, please contact [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

This opportunity is funded by the White Rose BBSRC DTP and will attract an annual tax-free stipend of £17,668 (based on the 2022/23 rate). The award will also cover academic fees. This opportunity is available to UK and International fee rated applicants. Please note that any expenses related to the relocation of international students to the UK (visa, insurance, NHS fees, flights, etc) would be their responsibility and are not covered by this award.

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