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PhD Research Studentship: Football Data Analytics: Understanding football player and team performance through the combination and relationship of technical (event/ball) and physical (player) tracking data

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, October 06, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Application details:
Reference number: SSEHS/JPF
Start date of studentship: 1 January 2020
Closing date of advert: Sunday 6 October 2019
Interview date: w/c 21 October

Primary supervisor: Professor Jonathan Folland (SSEHS)
Secondary supervisors: Dr Daniel Fong (SSEHS), Dr Christian Dawson (School of Science)

Applications are invited for the above studentship commencing January 2020. This is an exciting opportunity to study for a PhD at Loughborough University’s School of Sport, Exercise & Health Science whilst working with leading football data analysis company OptaPro to investigate the performance insights available from combining technical and physical data.
The School has been ranked 1st in the world for Sport-related Subjects for the last three years (QS World University Rankings). Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral Collage.

OptaPro provides detailed performance data, analytical insight and cutting-edge technology to support over 350 professional teams from the world of professional sport. Working across football, rugby and cricket, OptaPro’s bespoke tools, platforms and resources are used to inform and enhance decision-making across performance analysis, recruitment and strategic planning.

Full Project Detail

Football analysis data tracking the movements of all the players (physical data), and their interactions with the ball (technical data) are increasingly available. However, the way in which physical and technical components interact and combine to influence the performance of players and teams is poorly understood. Given that team success is known to be multifactorial this would seem to be an important step in understanding football match play. The aim of this project is to combine physical and technical data to generate performance insights.

Find out more

Additional information is available at

For information about the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, postgraduate study at LU, and OptaPro, respectively:

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a good first degree (and preferably an MSc) in Sports Science, Computer Science, Data Analytics, Statistics or similar. Applicants will need to demonstrate an aptitude for data analytics, and experience of working in sport, applied sports science and/or performance analysis (see Further Information). A good understanding of the current state of sports analytics, in particular football science would also be valuable.

Contact details

For general enquiries about applying please email .
For specific queries about the project please contact Professor Jonathan Folland

How to apply

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences.

Please quote reference number: SSEHS/JPF

Funding Notes

This studentship is for four years starting in January 2020 and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. International (non-EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will cover the International tuition fee only.

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