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Using Sport as a Vehicle to Enhance Communication Skills in Young People Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)


About This PhD Project

Project Description

• Basic Funding details – Full-time Home/EU fees and a stipend of £15,009 p.a.
• Application deadline – 28th October 2019
• Start date – January 2020
• Duration – 3 years full-time
• Location – Colchester campus, University of Essex, Colchester, Essex, UK.

The project is a collaboration between the School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Science, Department of Psychology, and the School of Health and Social Care.

A brief overview of the studentship:


Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) can be defined as persistent difficulties with communication and social interaction, as well as restricted and repetitive interests, activities, and behaviours, which limit and impair everyday functioning. Within the UK, ASDs are most commonly identified in those under the age of 14 with somewhere in the region of 1:69 to 1:88 children diagnosed annually. As an intrinsically motivating context for many children and young people, sport may offer an environment where psychosocial competencies, such as communication and social skills, can be developed. The purpose of the present research, then, is to examine the use of sport as a vehicle to enhance communication and social interaction skills in children and young people diagnosed with ASDs.

Given the nature of the project, candidates with a background in coaching science and/or psychology (i.e., social psychology / developmental psychology / cognitive psychology / sport psychology) and a willingness to adopt both quantitative and qualitative methodologies are encouraged to apply. Those with experience of working with children and young people within a sporting setting are particularly desirable.

Detailed funding information – The award consists of a full Home/EU fee waiver or equivalent fee discount for overseas students (see https://www1.essex.ac.uk/fees-and-funding/research/default.aspx for further fee details), a doctoral stipend equivalent to the Research Councils UK National Minimum Doctoral Stipend (£15,009 in 2019-20), plus £2,500 training bursary via Proficio funding, which may be used to cover the cost of advanced skills training including conference attendance and travel.

Supervisors


John P. Mills PhD is a Lecturer in Sport Psychology and Coaching within the School of Sport, Rehabilitation, and Exercise Sciences (SRES) at the University of Essex. John specialises in leadership ethics, implicit bias, and using sport as a vehicle to develop psychosocial competencies. John is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS), a member of the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology (DSEP), and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). He leads up the Developing Young People through Sport (DYPS) Research Group within the School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, and is the Executive Chair of the Society for Transparency, Openness, and Replication in Kinesiology.

• The candidate will also be supported by Dr Tom Foulsham (https://www.essex.ac.uk/people/FOULS46308/tom-foulsham), Dr Edward Hope (https://www.essex.ac.uk/people/HOPEE39609/edward-hope), and Dr Natasha Sore (https://www.essex.ac.uk/people/SOREN37401/natasha-sore).
• The candidate must include a CV, covering letter, personal statement, transcripts of any undergraduate or masters programmes within this application, and a copy of their most recent dissertation.
• You will also be required to provide a referee. This should be your most recent dissertation supervisor (academia) or line manager (industry). Your referee will not be contacted until a conditional offer has been made.

For more information and details on how to apply please follow this link https://www.essex.ac.uk/postgraduate-research-degrees/opportunities/using-sport-as-a-vehicle-to-enhance-communication-skills

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