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Royal Navy Musculoskeletal Injury Mitigation Programme, PhD Programme 2: Modelling of internal loading to investigate relationships with injury risk in RN and RM Populations

   College of Life and Environmental Sciences

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  Dr Matthew Ellison, Dr S Dixon, Dr M Warner  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project


Department of Public Health and Sports Sciences, St Luke’s Campus, Exeter

The University of Exeter’s Department of Public Health and Sports Sciences is inviting applications for a PhD studentship fully-funded by the Royal Navy Musculoskeletal Injury Mitigation Programme to commence on 25 September 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter. For eligible students the studentship will cover Home tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £17,668 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.

This studentship is one of six projects that support the Royal Navy Musculoskeletal Injury Mitigation Programme (RN MMP) Doctoral Student programme (with the University of Bath and University of Southampton).

Project Description

This PhD project is part of the Royal Navy Musculoskeletal Injury Mitigation Programme, led by the Institute of Naval Medicine (INM). Musculoskeletal injury (MSKI) and poor health behaviours amongst Armed Forces personnel remain common and persistent problems, impacting employability, and reducing Force operational effectiveness. The Royal Navy MSKI Mitigation Programme (RN MMP), aims to support Sailor and Royal Marines’ health and performance through developing an organisational MSKI risk screening model; and supporting effective and efficient management of rehabilitation and recovery back to Service. To support the scientific evidence-based development, implementation and initial evaluation of the RN MMP, six PhD programmes have been established with the RN MMP Academic Partner University Consortium – comprising the University of Exeter, University of Southampton and University of Bath.

The focus of this PhD project (RN MMP Programme 2) is on the modelling of internal loading for previously identified ‘at risk’ musculoskeletal structures at the hip, knee, tibia, and metatarsals, to investigate relationships with injury risk in RN and RM Populations. The project will include estimation of structural loading for different physical tasks and training activities, and the identification of factors influencing internal loading (eg. load carriage and footwear). The collection of baseline data at commencement of training will be combined with injury monitoring for the prospective investigation of factors influential on injury risk.

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Exeter, with data collection at RN and RM establishments.

This position is open to UK nationals only. Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. This award provides annual funding to cover Home tuition fees and a tax-free stipend. 

The conditions for eligibility of home fees status are complex and you will need to seek advice if you have moved to or from the UK (or Republic of Ireland) within the past 3 years or have applied for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Entry requirements

Applicants for this studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent, in an appropriate area of engineering, science or technology.

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the required level (Profile B) as per our guidance at

The closing date for applications is midnight on Thursday 22nd June 2023. Interviews will be held virtually or on the University of Exeter St Luke’s Campus in the week commencing 22nd May 2023.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email [Email Address Removed] or phone +44 (0) 1392 722730. Project-specific queries should be directed to Dr Sharon Dixon: [Email Address Removed] .

For more information or to apply click here - Award details | Funding and scholarships for students | University of Exeter

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