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The effects of insect protein in sport and exercise settings. Can sustainable protein sources induce similar muscular performance, recovery and adaptation compared to animal protein?

   Faculty of Health and Medicine

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  Dr S Moss, Prof Jamie Highton, Dr S Mushtaq  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Exercisers represent a key population that have additional protein requirements and many choose to supplement with formulated protein products. The global sports nutrition market accounts for several billion USD annually. In Europe alone, it is projected to be worth 15.2 billion USD by 2025 (Market Data Forecast, 2025).

Despite enhanced sustainability of insect-based products, it is not yet known whether they can provide the same performance and recovery benefits as animal-based protein. Considering the increasing global demand for supplements, by assessing the efficacy of insect protein in sport and exercise settings there is potential for millions of exercisers to regularly consume a more sustainable protein source.

The aims and objectives of this PhD project are to assess the effect of insect protein in comparison to animal (whey) protein on:

  1. muscular performance
  2. muscular recovery from exercise
  3. muscular adaptations to resistance training

Qualifications & Eligibility

Applicants should have a good first degree and preferably a Masters degree in Sports Science, Sports Nutrition, Physiology or other related discipline. Applicants should have experience of conducting laboratory and field-based measures for assessing human health and performance. The position requires the candidate to have excellent oral and written communication skills, confidence in research methods and a passion for science. Criteria that must be met by applicants and the terms and conditions relating to the Studentship are attached.


  • Samantha Moss (Sport & Exercise Sciences)
  • Jamie Highton (Sport & Exercise Sciences)
  • Sohail Mushtaq (Clinical Sciences)

Application process

A completed University of Chester Postgraduate Research Degree application form including contact details of two referees. Candidates should apply online by clicking the button below and quoting reference number as above.

Further information

Prospective applicants are encouraged to initially contact Dr Samantha Moss [[Email Address Removed],01244512514] to discuss the project further. For general enquiries contact Postgraduate Research Admissions, University of Chester at [Email Address Removed]

Essential Criteria

  • Good BA/BSc Honours degree (1st or 2:1) in Sport and Exercise Sciences, Sports Nutrition, Physiology (or equivalent)
  • Prior experience of the study of applied human physiology.
  • Excellent completion of an extended piece of research (such as a dissertation) at either undergraduate or postgraduate level
  • Experience of field- and laboratory-based measures for the assessment of human health and performance.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Ability to communicate scientific information orally and in written formats across a variety of levels.
  • Competency in IT, experience of data management (preferably Excel) & statistical analysis skills (preferably SPSS Statistics).
  • Hard-working, self-disciplined and committed.

Desirable Criteria

  • Masters degree in Sport Science, Sport Nutrition or Physiology (or equivalent)

Funding Notes

The successful applicant will receive a bursary, to cover UK fees up to 3 years full time. All fees due above the UK/EC rate will normally be paid by the Student.
For the academic year 2022/23 the stipend will be £15,921, as determined by the National Minimum Doctoral Stipend specified by UKRI and will be subject to an inflationary increase (normally in line with increases in the UKRI National Minimum Doctoral Stipend) in October each year up to a maximum of a 4% increase per annum.
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