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The neurophysiological basis of fatigue during exercise (Ref: SF20/SER/THOMAS)

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

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Dr K Thomas Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Fatigue is a debilitating symptom that limits exercise performance in healthy individuals, and negatively impacts day-to-day function in disease. The underpinning aetiology of fatigue varies depending on the individual and task, and understanding these interactions is a key focus of research. We recently proposed that fatigue during exercise in healthy humans is influenced by the interaction between exercise intensity and mode, and the subsequent demand to limit homeostatic disruptions in multiple physiological systems (Thomas et al., 2018, ESSR, 46, 240-246). We would welcome applications from prospective self-funded students to further test this hypothesis.
At Northumbria University we have expertise in the study of neurophysiological responses to exercise, including the use of magnetic and electrical stimulation of nervous tissue, and high-density surface EMG. The proposed project will employ these techniques to study the aetiology of fatigue during exercise, and how these are modulated by characteristics of the exercise task (e.g. intensity, mode, duration) and the individual.

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., SF20/…) will not be considered.
Deadline for applications: Open
Start Date: October 2020 or March 2021
Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Enquiries can be forwarded to Dr Kevin Thomas ([Email Address Removed])

Funding Notes

Please note, this is a self-funded project and does not include tuition fees or stipend; the studentship is available to Students Worldwide. Fee bands are available at . A relevant fee band will be discussed at interview based on project running costs


Ansdell, P., Brownstein, C. G., Škarabot, J., Hicks, K. M., Howatson, G., Thomas, K., Hunter, S. K. & Goodall, S. (2019). Sex differences in fatigability and recovery relative to the intensity‐duration relationship. The Journal of physiology.
2. Goodall, S. Howatson, G & Thomas K. (2018). Modulation of specific inhibitory networks in fatigued locomotor muscles of healthy males. Experimental brain research, 236, 463-473.
3. Thomas, K., Goodall, S., & Howatson, G. (2018). Performance fatigability is not regulated to a peripheral critical threshold. Exercise and sport sciences reviews, 46(4), 240-246.
4. Thomas, K., Brownstein, C. G., Dent, J., Parker, P., Goodall, S., & Howatson, G. (2018). Neuromuscular Fatigue and Recovery after Heavy Resistance, Jump, and Sprint Training. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 50(12), 2526-2535.
5. Thomas K, Dent J, Howatson G & Goodall S. (2017). Etiology and Recovery of Neuromuscular Fatigue after Simulated Soccer Match Play. Medicine and science in sports and exercise 49, 955-964.
6. Thomas, K., Elmeua, M., Howatson, G., & Goodall, S. (2016). Intensity-Dependent Contribution of Neuromuscular Fatigue after Constant-Load Cycling. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 48(9), 1751.

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