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  PhD Studentship: ‘Healthy systems’: supporting physical activity systems with behavioural science.

   Population Health Sciences Institute

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  Prof Emily Oliver  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Award summary 

100% of home tuition fees and annual living expenses at UKRI rate (currently £19237 for 24/25) plus a research training support grant of £5000/yr to cover relevant costs. International students are eligible to apply but will be required to make up the difference between home and international fees.


Are you interested in physical activity and keen to bring together different research methods and ideas? We are looking for a student who can contribute to an emerging programme of research, with plenty of scope for student-led developments. The studentship will focus on applying behavioural sciences to explain and inform changes within physical activity systems, with the aim of increasing population levels of physical activity. You will be supported to engage with scholarship from a range of disciplines to understand how, when, and why systems change, and how we can support systems, and those within them, to thrive. You will be trained in a range of research methods and will have the opportunity to engage closely with policy-makers and practitioners in this field. 

Number of awards 


Start date 


Award duration 

Three years

Application closing date 

8th May 2024


Newcastle University, Faculty of Medical Sciences

Name of supervisor/s 

Professor Emily Oliver (Principal Supervisor); Dr Benjamin Rigby and Dr Laura McGowan; all based in the Population Health Sciences Institute.

Eligibility Criteria 

We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, and particularly those from demographic groups that are underrepresented in higher education and at Newcastle University. We are keen to meet a diverse range of candidates who may have followed different post-degree training and career pathways to date. 

Applicants should possess a minimum 2:1 degree in psychology, public health, behavioural sciences, sport and exercise sciences, or a related field. While a master’s degree with Merit or higher is preferred, it is not mandatory, and we will consider candidates with comparable research experiences. Importantly, candidates must be eager to engage in interdisciplinary research, to work creatively, and to develop advanced research skills. A keen interest in physical activity research is crucial.

If your first language is not English you need an overall IELTS score of 6.5 (at least 5.5 in all sub-skills) or equivalent language qualification. International applicants may require an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate prior to obtaining their visa and to study this programme.

How to Apply

You must apply through the University’s Apply to Newcastle Portal 

In ‘Course choice’ tab, click ‘Search Course’ put ‘Postgraduate Research’ in 'Type of Study', ‘Full Time’ in ‘Mode of Study’, ‘2024’ in ‘Year of Entry’, code ‘8370F’ in ‘Course Title’, blank in ‘Research Area’.

Press ‘Search’, select ‘PhD Population Health Sciences (FT)’, and click ‘Save selection.’ 

Either upload a document or write into ‘Personal Statement’. Put code ‘PH047’ in ‘Studentship/Partnership Reference’. When prompted for research proposal, select ‘Write Proposal’. Type in the title of the research project from this advert. A research proposal is not required. You can also upload a covering letter and CV, please state how your interests and experience relate to the project.  

Contact Details

Professor Emily Oliver: [Email Address Removed]

Mathematics (25) Psychology (31) Sport & Exercise Science (33)

 About the Project