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Sedentary Behaviour and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Individuals with a Spinal Cord Injury

   Health Sciences

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  Dr D Bailey, Dr Cherry Kilbride, Dr Alyson Warland  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

The Centre for Physical Activity in Health and Disease at Brunel University London is offering a fully funded PhD studentship to investigate the effects of sedentary behaviour interventions on cardiovascular disease risk in individuals with a spinal cord injury (SCI). Many individuals with SCI are dependent on a wheelchair, which leads to major challenges engaging in physical activity and avoiding sedentary behaviour. This may explain why cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of death in individuals with SCI. This PhD will investigate the effects of interventions on sedentary behaviour and CVD biomarkers in individuals with SCI.

Based in and funded by the College of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, this studentship offers a full-time annual London rate stipend of £19,668 (including London weighting) plus Home/EU tuition fees, for a maximum of 36 months.

The start date will be 1 January 2023.


The PhD studentship will involve systematically reviewing evidence investigating the effects of interventions on sedentary behaviour and CVD biomarkers in adults with SCI, and involving people with SCI and health professionals in the development of an intervention to reduce and break up sedentary behaviour. This will lead to testing the intervention to evaluate how it may affect CVD biomarkers.

The successful candidate will be supervised by an expert interdisciplinary team of researchers and clinicians who will provide full training for the research.

For informal discussions, please contact Daniel Bailey on [Email Address Removed].


Candidates should have an undergraduate degree (first or upper second class) or equivalent qualification in either physiotherapy, sport and exercise sciences, biosciences or a related field. A Masters qualification in a relevant area would be desirable. Experience in quantitative and/or qualitative research in areas relating to physical activity, sedentary behaviour, physiotherapy and/or clinical populations is essential. Desirable criteria include HCPC registration, REPs Level 3 or 4 and/or experience working with similar groups. Applicants who have not been awarded a degree by a University in the UK will be expected to demonstrate English language skills to IELTS 7.0 (minimum 6.5 in any section).

How to apply

If you wish to apply, please e-mail the following to [Email Address Removed] by 31 October 2022:

  • An up-to-date CV.
  • A single-page A4 single-spaced personal statement describing why you are a suitable candidate (i.e. outlining your qualifications and skills).
  • One example of your academic writing (e.g. an essay, a section from a dissertation).
  • A summary of your teaching experience or your willingness to support teaching activities.
  • Names and contact details for two academic referees.
  • A copy of your highest degree certificate and transcript.
  • A copy of your English language qualification, where applicable.

Short-listed applicants will be required to attend an interview week commencing 14th November 2022. Shortlisted applicants will be instructed to submit a formal online application via Admissions.

For further information about how to apply, please contact the College of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences Postgraduate Research Office on [Email Address Removed].

 Research journey

Doctoral research programmes (PhDs) take a proud place in the world-class research environment and community at Brunel. PhD students are recognised and valued by their supervisors as an essential part of their departments and a key component of the university's overall strategy to develop and deliver world-class research.

A PhD programme is expected to take 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time, with intakes starting in January, April or October.

The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (1st or 2:1) or an international equivalent. A Masters degree is a welcome, but not required, qualification for entry.

Find out how to apply for a PhD at Brunel

Research support

Excellent research support and training

The Graduate School provides a range of personal, professional and career development opportunities. This includes workshops, online training, coaching and events, to enable you to enhance your professional profile, refine your skills, and plan your next career steps as part of the Researcher Development Programme. The researcher development programme (RDP) offers workshops and seminars in a range of areas including progression, research management, research dissemination, and careers and personal development. You will also be offered a number of online, self-study courses on BBL, including Research Integrity, Research Skills Toolkit, Research Methods in Literature Review and Principles of Research Methods.

Library services

Brunel's Library is open 24 hours a day, has 400,000 books and 250,000 ebooks, and an annual budget of almost £2m. Subject information Specialists train students in the latest technology, digital literacy, and digital dissemination of scholarly outputs. As well as the physical resources available in the Library, we also provide access to a wealth of electronic resources. These include databases, journals and e-books. Access to these resources has been bought by the Library through subscription and is limited to current staff and students. 

Dedicated research support staff provide guidance and training on open access, research data management, copyright and other research integrity issues.

Find out more: Brunel Library

Careers support

You will receive tailored careers support during your PhD and for up to three years after you complete your research at Brunel. We encourage you to actively engage in career planning and managing your personal development right from the start of your research, even (or perhaps especially) if you don't yet have a career path in mind. Our careers provision includes online information and advice, one-to-one consultations and a range of events and workshops. The Professional Development Centre runs a varied programme of careers events throughout the academic year. These include industry insight sessions, recruitment fairs, employer pop-ups and skills workshops.

Funding Notes

This studentship offers a full-time annual London rate stipend of £19,668 (including London weighting) plus Home/EU tuition fees, for a maximum of 36 months

How good is research at Brunel University London in Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism?

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

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