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PhD Studentship in collaboration with a major sportwear manufacturer: Investigating female body temperature regulation across the lifespan to guide innovation in sportwear design

   Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences

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  Dr Davide Filingeri, Dr P Worsley  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Applications are invited for the above PhD studentship at the University of Southampton. The studentship is jointly sponsored by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (CASE Conversion Scheme) and a major sportwear manufacturer. The PhD candidate will benefit from a 3.5-year studentship including a competitive tax-free annual stipend. The successful candidate will have extensive opportunities to collaborate with the major sportwear manufacturer and they will benefit from a secondment period at the manufacturer’s R&D laboratories in the USA.

This project draws on academic and industrial synergies between Southampton’s recently acquired THERMOSENSELAB, led by Dr Davide Filingeri who has expertise in human thermoregulation and the neuroscience of skin thermosensing and an international company with a global standing in sportswear design, textile engineering and manufacturing. This collaboration leverages the unique testing capabilities offered by the Climatic Chamber within the Skin Health Research Group (Led by Worsley and Filingeri) at the University of Southampton (UoS), with cutting-edge apparel prototyping centers, environmental chambers, thermal manikins, and sweat-measurement systems at the manufacturer’s R&D laboratories in the USA. These diverse research environments will provide the prospective PhD candidate with access to world-class expertise and facilities and will greatly enhance their professional development.

Project description:

Hot weather and heat extremes severely limit people’s work and exercise capacity, with consequent detrimental effects on individuals’ health, comfort, and productivity.

Women are a group of individuals that undergo unique morphological, physiological, and hormonal changes across the lifespan. For example, consider the impact of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause, all of which are accompanied by both short- and long-term effects on female body temperature regulation, heat tolerance and thermal comfort. Surprisingly, women have been largely unrepresented in heat stress research. This knowledge gap represents a barrier for sportswear manufacturers and textile engineers in the design user-centered technologies and clothing that meet the thermal needs of females across different life stages.

The project aims to evaluate women’s body temperature and sweating responses to rest and exercise in the heat, and to guide innovation in the design of user-centered sportwear that is engineered to meet the thermal requirements of the female body during different life phases (e.g., the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause). The project will generate fundamental knowledge that will provide novel insights on female physiology and thermal comfort across the life span, which will be directly translated into user-centered-design and engineering of comfortable and effective sportswear for women.

Further information on THERMOSENSELAB and the Skin Health Research Group can be found here:



Entry requirements:

Students must ideally have a first-class academic qualification at BSc (minimum an excellent upper second class) and ideally also at master’s degree level in a discipline relevant to the topic area (i.e. Sports Science, Biology, Physiology, Ergonomics, Engineering, etc.). Research experience in applied physiology and laboratory testing of healthy human participants and/or clinical groups will be an advantage.

How to Apply:

Applications should be made online. Select programme type (Research), 2022/23, Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences, next page select “PhD Health Sciences (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Davide Filingeri.

Funding Notes

Full tuition fees plus an enhanced stipend of £16,062 tax-free per annum for 3.5 years, for students qualifying as UK home students. To be treated as a home student, candidates must meet one of these criteria:
• be a UK national (meeting residency requirements)
• have settled status
• have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements)
• have indefinite leave to remain or enter.
If a candidate does not meet one of these criteria, they are treated as an international student, and are therefore ineligible for this studentship.


Applications should include:
• Curriculum Vitae
• A support statement (max 2 pages) outlining the motivation for this application
• Two reference letters
• Degree Transcripts to date
PhD expected start date:
September 2022
For informal enquiries, please contact:
Dr Davide Filingeri - d.filingeri@soton.ac.uk
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