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Quantifying real world movements of children to inform footwear design

   School of Health, Sport and Rehabilitation Sciences

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  Dr C Price, Dr P Jones  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Academic Supervisor: Dr Carina Price

Academic Co-Supervisor: Dr Paul Jones

Industrial Supervisor: Kévin Dellion

Final date for applications: 8th July 2022

Interviews will be held on: 27th July 2022

The candidate must be in a position to register by 19th September 2022. 

On have the ambition to change the world of running. They are continuing their journey with a fully funded PhD studentship in collaboration with the University of Salford focussing on the development of children’s footwear with the input of biomechanical data.

There exists significant research in the footwear biomechanics field which ensures footwear is fit for purpose. This research involves aspects of the wearer, the task and the environment. Historically, this research has centred on adult footwear and is normally undertaken on running footwear or football boots. Most commonly this testing is undertaken in gait laboratory environments with systematic protocols which restrict participants performance of tasks and the number of trials to assist with experimental design, data management and processing.

Turning this on it’s head; the iPhD will capture the biomechanics of children in real world environments performing sports related tasks. This data is essential to the design and manufacture of footwear which meets the needs of children. It also offers the potential to add knowledge to the fields of children’s sport performance and injury prevention. The iPhD builds on work undertaking by the academic team exploring infant gait development, the influence of systematically modifying footwear characteristics on gait in children and biomechanical evaluations of multi-directional movements in sports.

Key phases of the iPhD will include a systematic review, the definition and validation of a real-world protocol and real world testing of children and product.

As part of the studentship, the researcher will be expected to work with the sport science team at On to develop a training provision. The iPhD candidate will also have the opportunity to attend the On lab and office in Zurich, Switzerland at key commercial milestones and to disseminate directly their research outcomes to the team.


Preferred candidates will have a background understanding, interest and passion of handling and exploring biomechanical data. They will have experience of working with children, experimental setup, participant management and data handling and statistics.

Candidates will hold a minimum of an upper 2nd class degree in a relevant subject area. Completion of a Masters degree in a relevant subject area is desirable but not essential. Relevant disciplines include (but are not limited to) Sports Engineering/Technology, Biomedical Engineering, Sports Science and Prosthetics & Orthotics. The project will utilise a range of data collection equipment including in-shoe pressure, motion capture and 3D scanners and their associated software for collection and processing. Experience of any of these techniques and data handling and processing is desirable, as is having worked with children in any setting. Candidates should have skills in biomechanics and human gait and should also demonstrate they have engaged with research and its community as a student.

Enquiries: Informal enquiries may be made to Dr Carina Price by email: [Email Address Removed]

Curriculum vitae and supporting statement explaining their interest should be sent to [Email Address Removed]

Note to applicant: In addition to applying for this role all shortlisted applicants will also be required to complete the University application process which applies to all students wishing to study at The University of Salford. How to apply for research studies can be found here: https://www.salford.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/applying/applying-for-research

Funding Notes

The studentship is fully funded and includes:
• A fee waiver
• A stipend of £16,000 p.a. for three and a half years
• All bench fees and consumable costs
• Dedicated time at On Running in Zurich
• Funds specifically allocated for conference travel
Funding Eligibility: This studentship is only available to students with settled status in the UK, as classified by EPSRC eligibility. Please visit: https://www.ukri.org/councils/epsrc/career-and-skills-development/studentships/industrial-case/
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