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Practical real-world optimization of heat acclimation/acclimatization and/or cooling for elite sport training and competition

   School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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  Dr Lee Taylor  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF, 2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

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 College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. Find out more.


Full-time: 3 years

Part-time: 6 years

Start date: April 2022

This self-funded and open call project will involve practical real-world optimization of heat acclimation/acclimatization and/or cooling for elite sporting competition. As part of the project the thermal demands of the sport will likely be characterized. The precise scope of these projects are numerous, provided the below criteria can be fulfilled. This scope can and should be discussed informally with Dr Taylor before an application is made (as per below). Further supervisors and collaborators, both internal and external, can and will be invited in line with any agreed projects to realize project goals.

The applicant will typically be a practitioner already working full- or part-time within high-performance sport and have a desire to complete a PhD full- or part-time alongside their practitioner role. It is unlikely that data will be collected within Loughborough University laboratories, rather it will be collected in the ‘field’ from elite athletes undergoing training and/or competition as part of the applicants practice-facing role. Depending upon the data/samples collected, some analysis may be completed within the variety of laboratories across the Loughborough University Ecosystem.

Whilst Dr Taylor provides a global network of high-performance teams, athletes, practitioners and research centers, the successful applicant is expected to have access [through their current role(s)] to the athletes and infrastructure to complete the majority of this project. Specialist equipment related to this project can be made available (core temperature data loggers, phase change cooling vests, thermal imaging cameras, etc.), however consumables are typically provided by the applicant’s employer and/or through a bench fee (TBC). Both home and international applicants are encouraged to apply.

To provide context, previous successful projects within this space have delivered integrated high-performance solutions across elite male and female individual and team sports. These solutions have been adopted as Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in preparation for and during the highest level of competition, including Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cups, and other ‘Mega’ Events.

Interested applicants are directed to Dr Taylor's Research Gate page to explore various peer-reviewed publications that have contributed to the SOPs detailed above. Further, it is recommended to contact the  to confirm your fee status before contacting Dr Taylor via email for an informal discussion regarding your suitability and potential projects.


Primary supervisor: Dr Lee Taylor


Our entry requirements are listed using standard UK undergraduate degree classifications i.e. first-class honours, upper second-class honours and lower second-class honours.

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

Successful applicants will normally have as minimum:

  • An Undergraduate Honours degree with a minimum classification of a 2.1, or equivalent, in a relevant subject for the PhD topic.
  • Completed their studies in English or have an English Language qualification (Pre-sessional English courses are available for students to improve their English, and for those who have an offer but have not yet achieved the required IELTS score).

Advantageous (but not essential) pre-requisites include:

  • A Post-Graduate Master's degree (taught or research based) in a relevant subject for the PhD topic.
  • Accreditation through BASES, ESSA, NCSA or UKSCA (or a reputable equivalent).
  • Experience publishing peer-reviewed articles or practice-facing educational resources.
  • A current full- or part-time role in high performance sport which aligns to the project aims.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.

Find out more about research degree funding


All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select 'Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences'. Please quote the advertised reference number SSEHS/LT in your application. To avoid delays in processing your application please ensure that you submit the minimum supporting documents.

Apply now

Funding Notes

UK FEE: £4,500 - Full-time degree per annum
INTERNATIONAL FEE: £24,100 - Full-time degree per annum
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Fees are reviewed annually and are likely to increase to take into account inflationary pressures.
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