Musculoskeletal Health in Undergraduate Dance Students in a conservatoire setting

   Department of Surgery and Cancer

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  Dr R Abel  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

PhD Studentship in Musculoskeletal Health

Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London

Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in Twickenham


Project title:

Musculoskeletal Health in Undergraduate Dance Students in a conservatoire setting.

Project Details

A 4-year PhD studentship opportunity is now available in the Musculoskeletal Lab within the Department of Surgery and Cancer in the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London, funded by a private donation.

Dancers are undoubtedly athletes, and need to be physically strong, flexible, balanced, and creative, as well as to excel as performers. Few studies have sought to examine the unique challenges of dance training in relation to physical performance and creativity. This new and innovative collaboration between the MSk Laboratory at Imperial College London and Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance aims to study the training and development of dance undergraduate students within an intensive conservatoire setting.

The MSk Laboratory is a world leader in measuring and improving lifelong musculoskeletal health in clinical settings. Rambert School has over 100 years of experience in training dancers and has played a key part in the professional dance sector both in terms of performance and choreography. 

Key aims for the study are as follows:

·     Evaluate the health and physical development of undergraduate dancers in a conservatoire setting, by measuring physical, creative and competency outcomes.

·     Develop new tools and protocols in the research of dance science.

·     Create greater diversity in the research literature in terms of genre and participants.

The study will adopt a mixed methods approach with a longitudinal follow up of dancers. 

The research outputs will be interpreted in relation to optimising the training and performance of dancers, prolonging careers, and supporting lifetime health.

Preferred Knowledge and Skills

Applicants must be UK nationals or have permanent leave to remain in the UK and should hold a first or upper‐second class honours degree or equivalent in a life sciences, sports, dance, or health‐related discipline. A master’s degree in a related field is desirable. We expect the PhD student will be working across both sites.

How to Apply

Applicants should submit their CV and a covering letter, including full contact details of two referees, to Dr Richie Abel ([Email Address Removed]).

All Imperial College London PhD entry requirements must be met and the successful applicant will subsequently need to apply online.

We look forward to receiving applications from all candidates and will select those who display the potential to become world leading researchers of the future based on their application and performance at an interview. We are encouraging applications from candidates of Black and ethnic minority backgrounds as they are underrepresented at PhD level within our institution.

For further information about the research or queries about the application process please do not hesitate to contact Dr Richie Abel ([Email Address Removed]). We regret that due to the large volume of applications received, we are only able to notify those shortlisted for interview.

The deadline for applications is: 23:59, 5th January 2024.

Interviews will be held in w/c 15th January 2024.

Creative Arts & Design (9) Medicine (26) Sport & Exercise Science (33)

Funding Notes

48 months (full time), includes:
• a tax‐free stipend of (£21,000 per year)
• annual tuition fees at the home rates (£7,030 per year)
• Consumable budget (20,000 total)