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Physical activity and health in homeless young people

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  • Full or part time
    Dr J Cumming
    Prof J Thompson
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Homelessness is an alarming problem in the UK and costs the economy in excess of £1 billion each year. Young people aged 16 to 25 years make up over 30% of the homeless statistic, and experience significant physical and mental health problems as a result of their unstable and stressful living situation. Physical activity can help to address the health inequalities of youth homelessness by tackling the associated physical, mental, and social health problems.

A detailed description of the project is available here:

This PhD studentship in collaboration with St Basils will investigate patterns of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in homeless young people aged 16 to 25 years, and the relationships between these behaviours and markers of physical and mental health. Studies will be conducted to also explore the psychosocial factors underpinning these behaviours and identify innovative approaches for increasing activity levels in this vulnerable group.

Academic Requirements:
- You should hold (or expect to receive) a good honours degree at first or upper second class level in sport and exercise sciences or a related subject
- If applying for an award without an undergraduate degree, you may be accepted for doctoral funding if you have achieved a Master’s degree
- An English qualification (e.g., GCSE, IELTS, TOEFL etc.)
- Excellent research and communication skills, including experience in mixed methods research designs (minimum established competency in either qualitative and/or quantitative methods)

- An interest and/or experience in working with vulnerable young people
- A valid DBS check

This is a collaborative PhD studentship awarded by the Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP. In order to apply, you will need to complete the ‘Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP Collaborative Studentship Application’ form available here: (Word Document) and submit this along a cover letter and two references to to Louise
Bryan, PGR Administrator ([Email Address Removed]).

Additionally please read the Collaborative Guidance notes for Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP applicants (PDF Document) before completing the application form:

The School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences is one of the longest established in Europe for scientific research into sport, exercise, health and rehabilitation. Thanks to a £16.4 million investment, the School is one of the largest custom built Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences facility in the UK. Facilities include teaching and research laboratories for physiology, biochemistry, psychophysiology, biomechanics, sport psychology, motor skills, immunology, muscle mechanics and the neurophysiology of movement. Research conducted in the school uses sport, physical activity, health and rehabilitation from a range of perspectives that address current issues in the field through our three research themes: 1) Sport Performance, Policy, and Education 2) Exercise, Medicine and Health, 3) Human Movement and Rehabilitation. This research was recognised in the last Research Excellence Framework (REF; 2014), with 90 per cent if its research classified as world leading or internationally excellent.

Funding Notes

Residential eligibility

1. Home (UK) students are eligible for a full award from the ESRC
2. EU students who have lived in the UK continuously for the three years prior to the start date of the award (i.e. 1 October 2017) are eligible for a full award
3. EU students who have not lived in the UK for the three years prior to the start date of the award are eligible for fees only funding (i.e. no maintenance stipend)

For more information on availability, see here:

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.40

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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