Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work

Research opportunities

  • A research degree in the Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work allows you to develop your skills and contribute to internationally recognised health and sports research, supported by skilled staff and a vibrant research student community. Learn more about our research degrees and how to apply or look at the funding opportunities below

    Details of funding opportunities will be advertised on this page when they become available, or look at research opportunities across the whole university.


  • Oxford Brookes University

    Faculty of Health and Life Sciences,

    Department of Sports, Health Sciences and Social Work

     

    Part-time, 5 Year, fees only funded PhD studentship

     

    Project title:  Using a modified intervention mapping approach to develop an active recovery programme for hospitalised older adults with frailty

     

    This Studentship is available on a Part-time basis only.

    Eligibility: Home UK/EU applicants who must be permanently resident in UK/EU

    Fees.:  Part-time Home/EU fees paid by the University (max 5 years)

    Closing date: 5.00pm on 31 October  2019

    Start date: January 2020

     

    Supervisors: Professor Helen Dawes


    Project:

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a safe and painless form of non-invasive brain stimulation, with the potential to enhance cortical plasticity and improve motor function in a range of neurological conditions. In people with Cerebral Palsy (CP), functional deficits limit independence and participation in daily activities. Therefore, the potential to utilise tDCS as an adjunct to physical therapies is an attractive concept warranting investigation.

     

    This PhD aims to contribute to a better understanding of the potential for tDCS to target both the upper and lower limb simultaneously using combined upper and lower limb functional training.

    For further information contact: hlsapplications@brookes.ac.uk

     

    Requirements:
    Applicants should have (or be expecting) a first or upper second class honours degree from a Higher Education Institution in the UK or acceptable equivalent qualification in Physiotherapy. EU Applicants must have a valid IELTS Academic test certificate (or equivalent) with an overall minimum score of 7.0 and no score below 6.0 issued in the last 2 years by an approved test centre.  

    Applicants should have experience in a research role and at least 2 years experience working in research with children, research in schools and children with cerebral palsy. Experience of NHS ethics and R&D procedures is also desirable for this project.


    How to apply:

    Download the application form here: http://www.hls.brookes.ac.uk/images/research/phd-studentship-application-form-jan-14.doc


    The completed application form should be sent by email to:  hlsapplications@brookes.ac.uk 

    Oxford Brookes University,

    Faculty of Health and Life Sciences,

    Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work,

    Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health

     

    Masters (MSc) by Research one year, full-time self-funded programme

     

    Eligibility:                   Home UK/EU applicants who must be permanently resident in UK/EU

    Academic Fees:           £4,427.00 (self-funded by applicant)

    Bench Fees:                 £3,000.00 (self-funded by applicant)

    Closing Date:              15th November 2019, 12 noon

    Interview Date(s):       20th November 2019

    Start date:                   January 2020 or September 2020

     

    Project Title: The influence of ten plus portions of fruit and vegetables daily on dietary intake among athletes.

     

    Director of Studies and main supervisor: Dr Alaaddine El Chab

    2nd supervisor: Dr Sarah Hillier

     

    Eligibility: Applicants require a good Honours degree (2.1 or equivalent) in Nutrition, Sports Science, or a related scientific subject. Applicants must be eligible for registration as a Registered Associate Nutritionist (ANutr) or Sport and Exercise Nutritionist (SENr) or equivalent. Home UK, EU only are eligible to apply for January 2020. 

     

    Project Description:

    The current UK recommended intake of fruit and vegetables is 5-a-day with one portion set at 80g. However, recent studies have shown that the optimal intake is ten portions daily; this recommendation comes from a large study which found that those consuming ten portions of fruit and vegetables had the lowest risk of cancer,  coronary heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality. In addition to these health benefits, athletes are recommended to increase their fruit and vegetable intake to meet the high demands in vitamins and minerals to maintain and improve performance. However, it is still unclear whether an increase in fruit and vegetable intake would have any impact on total dietary intake. Fruit and vegetables are rich sources of fibre, which has been shown to lower appetite resulting in reduced energy intake and potentially weight loss if sustained over a long period. It is also unclear whether an increase in fruit and vegetable intake would have any impact on the carbohydrates, protein, and fat content of the diet. The primary aim of the study is to examine the influence of 10 portions of fruits and vegetables daily on energy and macronutrient intake among athletes. The secondary aims will examine changes in body composition and body weight.

     

    The project will be based in the Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health at Oxford Brookes University. /shssw/nutrition/research/oxbcnh/

     

    For further information on the project please e-mail: Dr Alaaddine El-Chab a.el-chab@brookes.ac.uk

     

    NB Please note that this is a self-funded research project, and the academic fees and bench fees must be paid for by the successful applicant.

     

    How to apply:

    Email the Research Administrator alangford@brookes.ac.uk for an application pack. Completed application forms should be returned to hlsapplications@brookes.ac.uk by the deadline.

    Oxford Brookes University,

    Faculty of Health and Life Sciences,

    Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work,

    Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health

     

    Masters (MSc) by Research one-year, full-time self-funded programme in collaboration with the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

     

    Eligibility:                   Home UK/EU applicants who must be permanently resident in UK/EU

    Academic Fees:           £4,427.00 (self-funded by applicant)

    Bench Fees:                 £5,000.00 (self-funded by applicant)

    Closing Date:              20th November 2019, 12 noon

    Interview Date(s):       27th November 2019

    Start date:                   January 2020

                           

    Project Title: Genetic Predisposition and Clinical Risk Factors on Bone Injuries in Competitive Female Rugby Union Players

     

    Director of Studies: Dr Sarah Hillier

    Main supervisor: Dr Catherine Graham

     

    Eligibility: Applicants require a good Honours degree (2.1 or equivalent) in Nutrition, Sports Science, or a related scientific subject. Applicants must be eligible for registration as a Registered Associate Nutritionist (ANutr) or Sport and Exercise Nutritionist (SENr). Home UK, EU only are eligible to apply. 

     

    Project Description:

    Rugby union is a collision sport, played by 1.5 million females’ globally. The Women’s Rugby Injury Surveillance Project report 17/18 details bone injuries across the Premier 15s and England squad has one of the highest mean severity scores and burden rates when compared to other documented injuries. Clinical determinants of fracture risk include age at puberty, blood glucose levels, nutritional status (sub-optimal), bone mineral density and genetic predisposition. All of which, alongside potential demands of rugby union (repeated movement pattern and/or game-related impacts) coupled with the known potential for a suboptimal energy balance within sport (i.e. REDs), may further increase injury risk. In addition, the BASES Statement on Genetic Research and Testing in Sport and Exercise Science 2012 concluded: “The future of sport and exercise science will become increasingly focused on genetic research and testing as the relevant molecular technologies become faster, cheaper and more widely available. Sport and exercise scientists need to ensure that they keep abreast with genomic science to capitalise on recent and anticipated findings in an ethically acceptable manner”. This project aims to assess if traditional clinical risk factors, genetic predisposition and rugby specific match-play is associated with a history of bone injuries in a female rugby union cohort. The successful applicant will visit RFU training sessions for data collection. The project will be based in the Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health at Oxford Brookes University. /shssw/nutrition/research/oxbcnh/

     

    For further information on the project please email Dr Catherine Graham cgraham@brookes.ac.uk

     

    NB Please note that this is a self-funded research project, and the academic fees and bench fees must be paid for by the successful applicant. This project is subject to contract.

     

    How to apply: Email the Research Administrator alangford@brookes.ac.uk for an application pack. Completed application forms should be returned to hlsapplications@brookes.ac.uk by the deadline.

    Oxford Brookes University,

    Faculty of Health and Life Sciences,

    Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work,

    Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health

     

    Masters (MSc) by Research one year, full-time self-funded programme

     

    Eligibility:                   Home UK/EU applicants who must be permanently resident in UK/EU

    Academic Fees:           £4,427.00 (self-funded by applicant)

    Bench Fees:                 £5,000.00 (self-funded by applicant)

    Closing Date:              15th November 2019, 12 noon

    Interview Date(s):       27th November 2019

    Start date:                   January 2020 or September 2020

     

    Project Title: The effect of diet quality, genotype and taste sensitivity in pre- and post-menopausal women

     

    Director of Studies and main supervisor: Dr Sarah Hillier 

    2nd supervisor: Dr Catherine Graham

     

    Eligibility: Applicants require a good Honours degree (2.1 or equivalent) in Nutrition, Human Biology or a related scientific subject. Applicants must be eligible for registration as a Registered Associate Nutritionist (ANutr) or equivalent professional body. Home UK, EU only are eligible to apply for January 2020.

     

    Project Description:

     

    Over three million people suffer from osteoporosis in the UK (NHS, 2019). Diet quality, hormonal regulation and genetic predisposition have been linked to osteoporosis risk (Movassagh & Vatanparast, 2017; Trajanoska et al., 2018). In females a loss in taste sensitivity has been associated with ageing, partly due to the hormonal change as a result of menopause (Mojet, Heidema, & Christ-Hazelhof, 2003; Sergi, Bano, Pizzato, Veronese, & Manzato, 2017). This has been demonstrated with the five defined human tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami) however there is currently no research investigating the newer researched fat taste sensitivity (Sergi et al., 2017). It is hypothesised that individuals who cannot taste fat efficiently (hyposensitive) may consume larger amounts than an average taster, impacting overall diet quality (Besnard, Passilly-Degrace, & Khan, 2016). Genetic predisposition to fracture risk is understood, with 15 genetic loci identified (Trajanoska et al., 2018). Personalised nutrition offers an avenue for targeted prevention of chronic disease (Ordovas, Ferguson, Tai, & Mathers, 2018). The applicability of knowledge of genetic risk to osteoporosis has not been explored. The aim of this project is to assess whether diet quality, genotype and taste sensitivity differ between a post-menopausal control group and post-menopausal group osteoporotic group.

     

    The project will be based in the Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health at Oxford Brookes University. OxBCNH undertakes leading edge research focused on tackling overweight and obesity, improving glycaemic control and reducing inflammation, thereby helping to improve the health and well-being of the global population. /shssw/nutrition/research/oxbcnh/

     

    For further information on the project please e-mail: Dr Sarah Hillier sarahhillier@brookes.ac.uk

     

    How to apply:

    Email the Research Administrator alangford@brookes.ac.uk for an application pack. Completed application forms should be returned to hlsapplications@brookes.ac.uk by the deadline.

    Oxford Brookes University,

    Faculty of Health and Life Sciences,

    Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work,

    Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health

     

    Masters (MSc) by Research one year, full-time self-funded programme

     

    Eligibility:                   Home UK/EU applicants who must be permanently resident in UK/EU

    Academic Fees:           £4,427.00 (self-funded by applicant)

    Bench Fees:                 £4,000.00 (self-funded by applicant)

    Closing Date:              15th November 2019, 12 noon

    Interview Date(s):       25th November 2019

    Start date:                   January 2020 or September 2020

     

    Project Title: The effects of a plant-based diet on nutrient intake, metabolic rate and markers of metabolic diseases

     

    Director of Studies and main supervisor: Dr. Sangeetha Thondre

    2nd supervisor: Dr Sarah Hillier

     

    Eligibility: Applicants require a good Honours degree (2.1 or equivalent) in Nutrition or related scientific subject. Applicants must have or be eligible for AfN registration as a Registered Associate Nutritionist (ARNutr) or equivalent. Home UK, EU only are eligible to apply for January 2020.

     

    Project Description:

    In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of individuals following plant-based diets, which eliminate animal-based foods, including meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, honey and insects. Evidence from human trials indicate that a plant-based diet may lead to improved metabolic profile compared to omnivorous diets, under controlled conditions. However, considering the current increase in highly processed and ready-to-eat vegan products, it is not certain whether the nutrient intake of individuals following a vegan diet will be adequate in micro and macronutrients. Considering that protein is the main macronutrient responsible for increasing diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT) and the proven differences on DIT based on different food sources of protein, it is important to investigate the effects of vegan diets on metabolic rate.  This project aims to explore the effect of plant-based diets on nutritional adequacy, metabolic rate and specific inflammatory markers in human participants.

     

    The project will be based in the Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health at Oxford Brookes University. OxBCNH undertakes leading edge research focused on tackling overweight and obesity, improving glycaemic control and reducing inflammation, thereby helping to improve the health and well-being of the global population. /shssw/nutrition/research/oxbcnh/

     

    For further information on the project please e-mail: Dr Sangeetha Thondre (pthondre@brookes.ac.uk).

     

    NB Please note that this is a self-funded research project, and the academic fees and bench fees must be paid for by the successful applicant. This project is only available to applicants eligible for Home / EU fees in January 2020.

     

    How to apply:

    Email the Research Administrator alangford@brookes.ac.uk for an application pack. Completed application forms should be returned to hlsapplications@brookes.ac.uk by the deadline.

    Oxford Brookes University

    Faculty of Health and Life Sciences,

    Department of Sports, Health Sciences and Social Work

     

    Part-time, 5 Year, fees only funded PhD studentship

     

    Project title:  Using a modified intervention mapping approach to develop an active recovery programme for hospitalised older adults with frailty

     

    This Studentship is available on a Part-time basis only.

    Eligibility: Home UK/EU applicants who must be permanently resident in UK/EU

    Fees.:  Part-time Home/EU fees paid by the University (max 5 years)

    Closing date: 5.00pm on 31 October  2019

    Start date: January 2020

     

    Supervisors: Professor Helen Dawes


    Project:

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a safe and painless form of non-invasive brain stimulation, with the potential to enhance cortical plasticity and improve motor function in a range of neurological conditions. In people with Cerebral Palsy (CP), functional deficits limit independence and participation in daily activities. Therefore, the potential to utilise tDCS as an adjunct to physical therapies is an attractive concept warranting investigation.

     

    This PhD aims to contribute to a better understanding of the potential for tDCS to target both the upper and lower limb simultaneously using combined upper and lower limb functional training.

    For further information contact: hlsapplications@brookes.ac.uk

     

    Requirements:
    Applicants should have (or be expecting) a first or upper second class honours degree from a Higher Education Institution in the UK or acceptable equivalent qualification in Physiotherapy. EU Applicants must have a valid IELTS Academic test certificate (or equivalent) with an overall minimum score of 7.0 and no score below 6.0 issued in the last 2 years by an approved test centre.  

    Applicants should have experience in a research role and at least 2 years experience working in research with children, research in schools and children with cerebral palsy. Experience of NHS ethics and R&D procedures is also desirable for this project.


    How to apply:

    Download the application form here: http://www.hls.brookes.ac.uk/images/research/phd-studentship-application-form-jan-14.doc


    The completed application form should be sent by email to:  hlsapplications@brookes.ac.uk