PhD Studentship - Sympathetic activation during hypoxia

Applications are invited for a three-year, full-time PhD studentship funded by the School of Sport and Exercise (SHES), Bangor University, as part of the Institute for Research Excellence in Sport and Exercise(IRESE) research collaboration between SHES and the Cardiff School of Sport (CSS), Cardiff Metropolitan University.

The successful candidate will conduct research into sympathetic nervous system activation and cardiac and vascular function during acute and chronic exposure to hypoxia. This is a joint project; Dr Jonathan Moore (SHES) will be the primary supervisor, working with Dr Mike Stembridge (CSS), Dr Sam Oliver (SHES) and Professor Rob Shave (CSS). 

The studentship will cover UK/EU registration fees plus maintenance stipend of £12,000 per annum. You will also receive £2,000 per annum in return for 100 hours of yearly work within the school.

Why investigate sympathetic activation during hypoxia?

Understanding the actions and interactions of chemoreceptors and baroreceptors that regulate sympathetic nervous system activity and cardiovascular control in healthy lowlanders exposed to hypoxia and high altitude natives may explain the nature of sympathetic over-activity in chronic illnesses such as heart failure and sleep apnoea. 

What are we looking for?

We seek a determined, motivated scientist with a strong interest in autonomic cardiovascular control and/or environmental physiology. The successful applicant must be able to work as part of a group but must also be able demonstrate the ability to work independently with support from a supervisor. Essential attributes include willingness to travel between Bangor and Cardiff, flexibility to adapt to different research environments, and real enthusiasm to contribute to a vibrant postgraduate community within the Extremes Research Group (ERG) at Bangor

A good honours degree (i.e. minimum 2.1) and ideally an MSc, or working towards an MSc, or equivalent. A background in life sciences, sport and exercise sciences or clinical physiology is essential. Applicants must have experience undertaking a practical, primary research project. If a non-native English speaker, you must demonstrate that you are proficient in written and spoken English.

Why study with IRESE at Bangor?

In 2012 IRESE was established to facilitate world leading and internationally excellent collaborative research across SHES and CSS. In 2014, the UK wide assessment for research quality, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), ranked IRESE 7th out of 51 submissions (1st in Wales) both for research power and research quality. 

The successful applicant will benefit from the infrastructure, state-of-the-art facilities and equipment and specialist training provided by the Extremes Research Group in Bangor and the Cardiovascular research group at the CSS. The supervisory team have access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, collaborate with leading laboratories around the world and strive to perform impactful research within the field of cardiovascular and environmental physiology.

Situated between the mountains, lakes and forests of the Snowdonia National Park and miles of dramatic coastline, Bangor provides one of the most attractive study locations in the UK, and is a great base for all kinds of outdoor sports and activities.

Structure of the Programme

The successful candidate will register as a full-time postgraduate research student at Bangor University. The first year of registration will be provisional and the candidate may be required to take a Postgraduate taught module (MSc) in Research Skills (20 credits). Under guidance of the supervisory team, the student will develop knowledge and understanding of the effects of hypoxia on cardiovascular and autonomic nervous system function. During the first year of registration, the student will complete a review of the literature, present a research proposal and be expected to perform data collection. This will include involvement in a large-scale field study to Nepal in October 2016 coordinated by Dr Stembridge and led an external collaborator Professor Phillip Ainslie (University of British Columbia). 

Progression to full registration in Year Two is subject to satisfactory progress, completion of the Graduate Programme and the approval of a research proposal by a Thesis Committee and the SHES Board of Studies. For the remaining two years of the studentship, the student will be required to develop the initial proposal into a completed PhD project.


Please contact Dr Jonathan Moore (before 17th June) or Dr Mike Stembridge (from 13th June) for more information or an informal chat prior to submitting an application.

Jonathan Moore, School of Sport Health and Exercise Sciences, Bangor University, Tel: (+44) 01248 383480, Email: 

Mike Stembridge, Cardiff School of Sport, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Tel: (+44) 02920 205404, Email:

For further details on research training in the SHES, please read the Guidelines and Code of Conduct for Research Training.

How to apply

If you meet the criteria outlined above, and you wish to apply for the studentship, please send a covering lettercurrent CV, and two academic references to Mark Chitty, Senior Clerical Officer, School of Sport Health and Exercise Sciences, Bangor University, Email: In the letter you should state clearly what motivates you to pursue a PhD in this research area and identify what about your experiences and background makes you an ideal candidate for this scholarship. 

The closing date for formal applications is Friday 1st July 2016, and short-listed applicants will be required to attend interview on either Wednesday 20th or Thursday 21st July 2016. The successful applicant will be required to complete the Bangor University’s online application form.

Please note that unsuccessful applications will not receive an acknowledgement.

Publication date: 16 June 2016