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The effects of exercise on the ocular stress response to dry environments (RDF19/HLS/SER/PEART)

  • Full or part time
    Dr D Peart
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 25, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Unpublished pilot work from our group has identified that a single one hour exposure to a desiccating environment (<20% relative humidity) can artificially induce symptoms of dry eye, such as reduced tear production, increased perception of eye discomfort, and increased protease expression in tears. These symptoms were reduced with the addition of a moderate intensity exercise in the final 15-min of exposure to the environment. The purpose of this PhD will be to build upon this novel pilot work to advance knowledge in the area, and explore the impact for those at risk of dry eye (e.g. those with dry-eye disease, those who work in dry environments, shift workers, and those training in extreme environments).

The successful applicant will contribute to shaping the direction of the project, and full training will be provided in all of the relevant methods of data collection. This makes the studentship suitable for those from an exercise physiology or biological sciences background.

For further details or informal enquiries, please contact Dr Dan Peart ().

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF18/…) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Friday 25 January 2019

Start Date: 1 October 2019

Northumbria University is an equal opportunities provider and in welcoming applications for studentships from all sectors of the community we strongly encourage applications from women and under-represented groups.

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences
Department: Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Principal Supervisor: Dr Dan Peart

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Home/EU students where a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2018/19, this is £14,777 pa) and full fees.


Qin, G., Baidouri, H., Glasser, A., Raghunathan, V., Morris, C., Maltseva, I., & McDermott, A. M. (2018). Development of an in vitro model to study the biological effects of blinking. The ocular surface, 16(2), 226-234.

Clemens, L. E., Jaynes, J., Lim, E., Kolar, S. S., Reins, R. Y., Baidouri, H., Hanlon, S., McDermott, A. M., & Woodburn, K. W. (2017). Designed Host Defense Peptides for the Treatment of Bacterial Keratitis. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 58(14), 6273-6281.

O'Doherty, A., Jones, H., Sathyapalan, T., Ingle, L., & Carrol, S. (2017). The effects of acute interval exercise and strawberry intake on postprandial lipaemia. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 49(11), 2315-2323.

Sweeney, E. L., Jeromson, S., Hamilton, D. L., Brooks, N. E., & Walshe, I. H. (2017). Skeletal muscle insulin signaling and whole‐body glucose metabolism following acute sleep restriction in healthy males. Physiological reports, 5(23).

Peart, D. J., Kirk, R. J., Madden, L. A., & Vince, R. V. (2016). Implications of a pre-exercise alkalosis-mediated attenuation of HSP72 on its response to a subsequent bout of exercise. Amino acids, 48(2), 499-504.

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