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  Welsh Rugby Union National Schools & Colleges – Physical Performance Testing Project

   Faculty of Life Sciences and Education

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  Dr Morgan Williams, Dr Kate Williams  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Applications are invited for a Sport PhD studentship in the Faculty of Life Sciences and Education, University of South Wales. The successful applicant will be part of the Performance, Injury & Sports Therapy group based at the USW Sport Park campus in South Wales.

Player development is a key priority for the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU). The WRU player pathway has been recently revised with a focus on developing athletic, skilful and attacking rugby players (WRU, 2022). Physical profiling is an important part of this process, used to assess the physical attributes of youth players, identify talent and track changes as individuals progress through the pathway towards senior/professional rugby. The WRU National Schools and Colleges league is a key part of the player development pathway in Wales, greatly expanding the pool of talent. The WRU National Schools and Colleges League comprises of 13 teams from across Wales who compete between September and December of each year. Players are aged between 16-18 years and typically sit outside of the regional academy pathway. To enter the league, schools and colleges apply for an ‘A’ license which is granted based upon several specific criteria including staffing, resources and facilities. As part of the recently revised license, each team is now required to participate in triannual testing of physiological parameters as specified by the WRU. The Performance, Injury & Sports Therapy team from USW have been invited to conduct the tests on behalf of the WRU, using their protocols. The aim of this collaboration is to monitor long term development of the talented players, identify risk factors for injury and establish national standards of athlete profiling for this rugby population. 

The supervision team include Dr Morgan Williams, Dr Kate Williams

Scholarship details

The studentship includes tuition fees at the UK home student rate (£4712 per year, full-time) and a stipend of £18,622 per annum for three years.


Eligible applicants will:

  • Have an undergraduate degree (2:1 or higher) in an appropriate discipline e.g., Sport Science or Sport Therapy.
  • Possess a reasonable understanding of Sport Science research methods and have an interest in research with developing young talented athletes.
  • Be highly self-motivated, with capacity to learn and develop new research skills.
  • Have well-developed interpersonal skills for collaborative work.
  • Have ability to conduct field testing using a range of equipment. 
  • Have an ability to produce technical reports and communicate findings.


  • Have a postgraduate degree in an appropriate discipline (e.g., Sport Science or Sport Therapy).

This studentship is only open to UK residents.

How to apply

Please visit the Graduate School webpages

You will need to select MPhil / PhD (Sport) from the drop-down course list in the online application form. Please indicate in your personal statement that you are applying for this studentship. Please note: A research proposal is not required.

You may contact Jane MacCuish [Email Address Removed] for advice on the application process.

For informal discussions about the research, please contact Dr Morgan Williams([Email Address Removed].

The closing date is Wednesday 30th August.

Interview date: TBC.

Start date: 1st October 2023.

Sport & Exercise Science (33)

 About the Project