Biomechanical risk factors for injury in rugby union academy players - SHS - PhD (Funded) Ref: 2719

About the award

Location: St Luke’s campus, Exeter and Exeter Chiefs, Sandy Park, Exeter.

Academic Supervisors:

Dr Sharon Dixon, Sport and Health Sciences, University of Exeter

Dr Alan Barker, Sport and Health Sciences, University of Exeter

Project Description:

This project will investigate risk factors for the development of injury in Exeter Chiefs Rugby Union Academy players, with a specific focus on biomechanical risk factors. Results will inform appropriate training conditions and other potential interventions for this population.  This new PhD project will integrate with an ongoing collaborative project with Exeter Chiefs investigating biomechanical risk factors for injury in senior players.  This new project will take a similar approach to the assessment of injury risk and development of screening methods for young Academy players.  Specifically, the project objectives will include: (1) The provision of a comprehensive record of academy player injury incidence through development of the database of injury, including additional detail such as playing surface and footwear; (2) Development of a screening and monitoring process for the assessment of player injury risk to inform appropriate training, and treatment and rehabilitation methods; (3) Provision of recommendations regarding footwear for specific playing surfaces.

This award provides annual funding to cover UK/EU tuition fees and a tax-free stipend.  For students who pay UK/EU tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least £14,553 per year tax-free stipend.  Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will only provide payment for part of the international tuition fee and no stipend.  

The studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 4 years of full-time study to commence on 1 November 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter.   

Entry requirements:

Applicants for this studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of sport and health sciences or similar. 

If English is not your first language you will need to have achieved at least 6.5 in IELTS and no less than 6.0 in any section by the start of the project.  Alternative tests may be acceptable (see


Application deadline:29th September 2017
Number of awards:1
Value:£ 14,553 for 4 years
Duration of award:per year
Contact: 01392

How to apply

Click here to apply

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents.  Please note our preferred format is PDF, each file named with your surname and the name of the document, eg. “Smith – CV.pdf”, “Smith – Cover Letter.pdf”, “Smith – Transcript.pdf”. 

  • CV
  • Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project).
  • Research proposal
  • Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying)
  • If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English

The closing date for applications is midnight on 29 September  2017. Interviews will be held on the University of Exeter St Luke’s Campus the week commencing 9 October  2017.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email or phone +44 (0)1392 725150/723706.  Project-specific queries should be directed to the main supervisor, Dr Sharon Dixon (