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  Promoting the health of commercial drivers through lifestyle behaviour change (Ref: SSEHS/SCBRC)

   School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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  Prof Stacy Clemes, Dr J King, Dr E Stamp, Dr E Petherick  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Over the last 10 years, researchers at Loughborough University have led a programme of research seeking to characterise the health and well-being of HGV drivers; and to develop bespoke health promotion interventions.

This work led to the creation of the SHIFT programme – a Structured Health Intervention For Truckers – which focuses on enhancing physical activity and improving dietary quality of HGV drivers. After evaluation in a cluster RCT, this health intervention has been translated into an industry Certificate of Professional Competence module and is currently being piloted within a major logistics operator, who have made the programme accessible to their 7000+ HGV driver workforce.

This PhD project seeks to build on our earlier work by evaluating the implementation of the SHIFT programme and extending this work to other commercial driver populations (e.g. bus, train, taxi). Specific objectives of this research are to:

  • Evaluate the implementation of the SHIFT CPC module over the longer-term within our partner logistics operator
  • Characterise the health profile, and health behaviours, of commercial drivers within the largest driver health surveillance study completed within the UK to date
  • Explore perceived barriers and facilitators of healthy lifestyle behaviours in commercial drivers including those within the working environment.

To meet these objectives, several studies will be undertaken drawing on qualitative and quantitative research methods.

This studentship is jointly funded by the Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (a collaboration between Loughborough University, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester) and by Loughborough University.

This PhD is based within the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, which is ranked number one in the world for sport-related subjects (QS World University Rankings).

The School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences offers an exciting, interdisciplinary research environment, where research students work alongside expert staff with a diverse range of interests and experience. By studying for a PhD with us, you will be joining a thriving research community of over 300 Doctoral Researchers from across the globe. You will add to world-leading research that is helping to shape the latest advancements across the sport, exercise and health sectors. 

In REF 2021, 94% of the work submitted was judged to be top-rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, with 100% of research impact from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences was rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. You will receive support from academic supervisors with different, but related, research expertise, while the University’s Doctoral College, postgraduate courses, group activities, and continuing professional development programmes, provide continual opportunities for building important research skills and networks among your peers and research academics.


Primary supervisor: Prof Stacy Clemes

Secondary supervisors: Dr James KingDr Elizabeth StampDr Emily Petherick

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in one of the following subject areas: Sport and Exercise Sciences, Health Sciences, Public Health or a physiology-related subject.

A relevant Master’s degree and/or relevant experience or insight into the UK’s logistics and transport industry is desirable.

English language requirements

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

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select SSEHS. Please quote the advertised reference number: SSEHS/SCBRC in your application.

To avoid delays in processing your application, please ensure that you submit the minimum supporting documents.

Please complete the online application form, please include within your application your CV and a cover letter. Shortlisted applicants will be required to provide transcripts and two references.

Apply now

Medicine (26) Nursing & Health (27) Sport & Exercise Science (33)

Funding Notes

The studentship is for 3 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £18,622 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK rate. Due to funding restrictions, this is only available to those eligible for UK fees.

Where will I study?