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Stirred not shaken; exploring the responses to horse riding and vibration exposure, Sport and Health Sciences, Medical Sciences MSc by Research Part-Funded Ref 4300


   College of Life and Environmental Sciences

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  Dr G Williams, Dr B Bond  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Project Description:

There is a growing concern regarding head impacts during an athletic career and risk of long term neurodegenerative disease. This concern has extended “beyond” concussion, and it is thought that exposure of the head to vibrations or repeated low-level head accelerations may also promote brain microtrauma due to movement of the brain inside the skull.

The limited evidence available indicates that repeated head accelerations over a session and over a lifetime of riding as a high level jockey could be in the region of harmful ranges if proper riding techniques are not employed and exposure not limited.

The purpose of this project is to 1) quantify the typical exposure to head accelerations in jockeys across a 12 month period, and 2) explore the acute influence of these accelerations on a range of potentially important outcomes, including cognitive function, neuromotor control and cerebrovascular reactivity. This is therefore an exciting, interdisciplinary research opportunity which will develop a range of scientific skills in order to further our understanding of a contemporary health concern.

We are seeking to appoint two students. This award provides one year of funding to cover Home tuition fees only. You will need to cover your own living costs. The MSc by Research has a maximum period of study of two years full-time and no minimum period of study (part-time pro-rata). Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will only provide £4,500 towards the international tuition fee. 

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. International applicants need to be aware that you will have to cover the cost of your student visa, healthcare surcharge and other costs of moving to the UK to study.

Entry Requirements:

Applicants for these two studentships must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology. Applicants must be willing to travel to and perform work at horse riding stables in the local areas at least 4 times per year. Desirable criteria include good IT proficiency as well as experience of collecting data from humans or animals.

If English is not your first language you will need to have achieved at least 6.5 in IELTS and no less than 6.0 in any section by the start of the project. Alternative tests may be acceptable (see http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/english/).

How to apply

Please visit https://www.exeter.ac.uk/study/funding/award/?id=4300 to apply.

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents. 

• CV

• Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project).

• Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying)

• Two references from referees familiar with your academic work. If your referees prefer, they can email the reference direct to [Email Address Removed] quoting the studentship reference number.

• If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English.

The closing date for applications is midnight on 24th November 2021. Interviews will be held virtually in the week commencing 6th December 2021.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email [Email Address Removed] or phone +44 (0)1392 722730 or 0300 555 60 60 (UK callers), or +44(0)1392 725150 or +44 (0)1392 723044 (EU/International callers). Project-specific queries should be directed to Drs Williams and Bond.


Funding Notes

The University of Exeter’s College of Life and Environmental Sciences, in partnership with The Racing Foundation, is inviting applications for two part-funded MSc by Research studentships to commence in January 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter. We are seeking to appoint two students. This award provides one year of funding to cover Home tuition fees only. You will need to cover your own living costs. The MSc by Research has a maximum period of study of two years full-time and no minimum period of study (part-time pro-rata).
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