Research opportunities in the Schools of Sport, Health and Exercise Science

Specialisations

The School specialises in the areas listed below. Visit the School research pages and School academic staff pages for further details.

Candidates seeking entry onto PhD and other research degrees are encouraged to present research proposals related to these areas of specialism.

Alternatively, candidates may undertake a research degree in a topic specified by the School. Visit the ‘Research Projects’ section for details of these topics.

Psychology of High level Performance, with specialisations in:

  • Personality
  • Risk taking
  • Mental resilience
  • Stress and Anxiety
  • Psychological skills
  • Leadership
  • Attention
  • Skill Acquisition
  • Motor Control and Learning
  • Sensorimotor processes and emotion
  • Psychophysiology of performance

Human performance and health in ‘extreme’ environments and conditions, with specialisations in:

  • Thermal stress
  • High altitude physiology
  • Dehydration and markers of hydration status
  • Energy restriction
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Immune response to exercise

Health, Exercise and Rehabilitation, with specialisations in:

  • Exercise rehabilitation for arthritic conditions
  • Influence of nutrition and exercise on metabolism and endocrine regulation
  • Obesity and diabetes
  • Motivation and self-regulation with respect to exercise and other health behaviours
  • Role of implicit cognition in exercise and eating behaviours
  • Causes and treatments of muscle wasting associated with chronic disease
  • Exercise rehabilitation for rheumatic, kidney & cardiac diseases
  • Cardiovascular physiology in health and disease

Research Project Opportunities

Please note the research project opportunities detailed here are NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Candidates wishing to research any of the projects listed in this section should apply as follows:

  • International candidates requiring a pre-sessional English course will be enrolled on a Combined English / Study Skills and Research Course at the University before starting the PhD degree. The research proposal will be developed and written when enrolled on this course.
  • UK nationals or European and International candidates who have already reached the level of English required for entry should present a relevant research proposal when applying for admission.

Alternatively candidates may present a research proposal related to the research expertise & specialisms within the School. Please refer to the 'Apply' section for further details.

Assessments of endothelial function in patient populations

Supervisor: Dr Aamer Sandoo

T: +44 (0) 1248 383486/ E: a.sandoo@bangor.ac.uk

Dr Aamer Sandoo is a cardiovascular physiologist specialising in clinical research involving patients with autoimmune disease, breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. Aamer has considerable expertise in several non-invasive assessments of vascular function and morphology in the microvessels (laser Doppler imaging with iontophoresis) and the large vessels (pulse wave analysis, flow-mediated dilatation and carotid artery intima-media thickness using ultrasound) and has extensively utilised these techniques in clinical populations. Aamer is always looking for determined, motivated individuals with a strong interest in cardiovascular physiology/pathology and who enjoy working with clinical populations in order to help with research projects as part of self-funded MRes or PhD programs. To be eligible for consideration for such opportunities, students must have achieved a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours in exercise physiology, clinical physiology or other relevant health science degrees or possess a Masters in these subjects and be able to pay their own tuition fees. If you are an international student, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in written and spoken English and this must exceed common English language test thresholds. If you would be interested in this opportunity then please email Aamer directly.

Links

Video Methods Article: http://www.jove.com/video/52339/a-methodological-approach-to-non-invasive-assessments-vascular

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=5IRCnz4AAAAJ&hl=en

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Cardiovascular control mechanisms in health and disease

Supervisor: Dr Jonathan Moore

T: +44 (0) 1248 383645 / E: j.p.moore@bangor.ac.uk

My research focuses on investigating cardiovascular control mechanisms in health and disease. My main contributions have addressed: reflexes from the heart and lungs; the effects of lifelong hypoxia and hypocapnia on cardiovascular control; and, the effect of hypoxia on microvascular reactivity

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Chronic disease and muscle mass

Supervisor: Prof. Andrew Lemmey

T: +44 (0) 1248 383932 / E: a.b.lemmey@bangor.ac.uk

Prof Andrew Lemmey has long-standing research links with the local NHS (primarily the Rheumatology, Renal, and Orthopaedic Departments). The work of his group focuses on the effects that chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis and chronic renal failure (CRF) have on body composition (i.e. muscle wasting and increased fatness); in turn, how these adverse changes in body composition affect physical function and the ability to perform daily tasks; and finally, the efficacy of different strategies for restoring muscle and reducing fat (e.g. exercise, anabolic steroids, disease-modifying drugs, nutrition). The research findings of this group, in relation to the beneficial effects exercise has on patients with RA and CRF, have changed the treatment offered by Health Boards in Wales and England. Prof Lemmey’s international standing regarding exercise for arthritis is evident in his authorship of the Arthritis chapters in the world’s leading clinical exercise physiology texts: Clinical Exercise Physiology, 3rd edition (Human Kinetics) and the upcoming edition of the American College of Sports Medicine text, ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 10th edition (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins).

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Effects of nutrition and environmental stress

Supervisor: Dr Samuel Oliver

T: +44 (0) 1248 383965/ E: s.j.oliver@bangor.ac.uk

Dr Samuel Oliver is Deputy Head of School (Impact) in the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences and a founder member of the Extremes Research Group. Sam has published extensively on the topic of exercise and environmental physiology. Sam's research interest is examining the interaction of exercise or environmental stress (e.g. altitude, heat, cold, dehydration, nutrient restriction and sleep loss) on human performance and health. To date, Sam has supervised 5 PhD students including international students. This research is conducted in our state-of-the-art environmental chambers or the great outdoors. Indeed, we have just returned from a multi-national medical research expedition to the Himalayas. For more information about current and previous research projects please visit the Extremes Research Group website (http://extremes.bangor.ac.uk).

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Examining the psychology of high level performance

Supervisor: Dr Stuart Beattie

T: +44 (0) 1248 383963 / E: s.j.beattie@bangor.ac.uk

Topics include: Mental Toughness and resilient behaviours and personality; self-confidence/efficacy performance relationships; anxiety, psychophysiological and performance relationships; performance catastrophes; self-discrepancies in self-report inventories; goal setting, goal importance and self-efficacy relationships. Research projects are available in the following fields:

  • Using personality theories in explaining mentally tough behaviours
  • Examining the within and between subject effects of the self-efficacy and performance relationship
  • Examining moderators to the within and between person effect in the self- efficacy and performance relationship
  • Examining personality characteristics as a predictor of psychophysiological responses to
  • Performance catastrophes within an engagement/disengagement framework

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Exercise immunology; Performance physiology in 'extreme' conditions

Supervisor: Prof Neil Walsh

T: +44 (0) 1248 383480/ E: n.walsh@bangor.ac.uk

Neil is currently Director of the Extremes Research Group http://extremes.bangor.ac.uk. He is the Physiology Editor for the Journal of Sports Sciences, is a BASES accredited researcher in Physiology and contributes as a guest writer for Runners’ World. Neil has published many journal articles, is a co-author of a textbook in Exercise Immunology (2013) and led a position statement with the world’s leaders on this topic for the journal, Exercise Immunology Review. Neil’s team has recently developed a novel skin patch test to assess immune function in laboratory, clinical and field settings. He has also published landmark papers showing that saliva (2004) and now tear fluid (2011) can be used to identify hydration status. Neil’s very recent work, funded by the MOD, UK, has shown the benefits of preventing nutritional deficits in soldiers under heavy training for both immune health and exercise performance. Neil is interested in hearing from potential PhD students in the topics outlined herewith.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Health and Performance in 'Extreme' Conditions

Supervisor: Extremes Research Group

The Extremes Research Group takes a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding human performance and health in 'extreme' natural and artificial environments and conditions. The group’s research foci are on human responses and adaptations to a range of stressors including: thermal, altitude, dehydration, energy restriction, sleep deprivation, psychological, and prolonged exercise. Previous research conducted by the group has utilised both laboratory and field environments to study human responses and adaptations to a range of stressors. Typically research has investigated underlying mechanisms and novel methods to optimise human performance and health. These research findings have been implemented by organisations including the Ministry of Defence (Army) and Medical Expeditions. Students interested in these are encouraged to view the group’s website and contact a member of the group.

 

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Health, Exercise, and Rehabilitation

Supervisor: Health, Exercise and Rehabilitation Group

The Health, Exercise, and Rehabilitation Group is a multidisciplinary group of researchers concerned with the influence of exercise and nutrition on life-long wellbeing and health. The group has strong links with clinical practitioners addressing chronic disease and obesity. Areas of research include the physiological and psychological factors that influence eating behaviours and associated diseases such as obesity and diabetes. For example, the group is investigating the influence of nutrition and exercise on metabolism and endocrine regulation, as well as the roles that motivation and implicit cognitive processes play in eating and exercise behaviours. The group’s research on rheumatic, kidney and cardiac diseases has been instrumental in the development of rehabilitation approaches that diminish disability in chronic disease. Related research topics include exercise rehabilitation; causes and treatments for muscle loss in chronic disease; and cardiovascular physiology in health and disease. Interested students are encouraged to view the group's website for more information and contact details.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Influence of nutrition and exercise on metabolism and endocrine regulation

Supervisor: Dr Hans-Peter Kubis

T: +44 (0) 1248 388261 / E: h.kubis@bangor.ac.uk

The body metabolism responds to stressors like exercise or certain nutrients (e.g. high sugar intake) with short and long term adaptations. These adaptations can be health promoting (increased fitness), or deleterious for health as in the case of obesity and type 2 diabetes. My group is investigating the mechanisms of skeletal muscle adaptation to various nutritional factors and exercise. Moreover, we investigate how eating behaviour is regulated in response to exercise on endocrine and perceptual levels. Additionally, we are working on the development of weight loss programs for overweight / obese people and investigating obesity related morbidities like obstructive sleep apnoea in collaboration with Ysbyty Gwynedd hospital. PhD applicants are welcome to excel in all fields of interest.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Motivation and implicit cognitive processes in exercise and health behaviours

Supervisor: Dr David Markland

T: +44 (0) 1248 383487/ E: d.a.markland@bangor.ac.uk 

Research projects may be available in the following areas: motivation and self-regulation, and in particular the application of self-determination theory to exercise and other health behaviours; the role of implicit cognition in exercise and eating behaviours.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Motor Control and Learning / Skill Acquisition

Supervisor: Dr Vicky Gottwald

T: +44 (0) 1248 382824 / E: v.m.gottwald@bangor.ac.uk

General topics of interest: effects of an internal versus external focus of attention on performance; anxious performance; movement planning and control under optimal and sub-optimal performance.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Motor control and the attainment of expertise

Supervisor: Gavin Lawrence

T: +44 (0) 1248 388283/ E: g.p.lawrence@bangor.ac.uk

My research encompasses two broad areas, the control and planning of goal directed movements, and the attainment of expertise. Research projects may be available in the following areas: The planning and execution of target directed movement; visual feedback processing; prescription/delivery of feedback and instructions; focus of attention; anxiety and performance.

For more information or to view some of my recent publications please visit http://www.bangor.ac.uk/sport/staff-gl.php

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Optimizing human performance: A psychophysiological perspective

Supervisor: Dr Andy Cooke

T: +44 (0) 1248 38 8250 / E: a.m.cooke@bangor.ac.uk

Research projects could focus on one or a combination of the following areas: Psychophysiological responses to competition / stress; Psychophysiological mechanisms underpinning motor performance; Expert and novice differences in psychophysiological response patterns underpinning motor preparation; Biofeedback / Neurofeedback training.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Performance Psychology

Supervisor: Prof Tim Woodman

T: +44 (0) 1248 383494/ E: t.woodman@bangor.ac.uk

Professor Woodman is the Head of the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences. He has supervised eight PhD students (including international students) to completion, all within the PhD registration period. Professor Woodman has published extensively in peer- reviewed international journals on the topic of personality and performance psychology and he is frequently asked to lead workshops with directors of multinational companies for his expertise in high-performance environments. He is also the Associate Editor of The Sport Psychologist and on the editorial board of Psychology of Sport and Exercise. Professor Woodman’s current research interests encompass the global area of performance psychology, including personality, leadership, stress, and performance, as well as other stress-related areas such as body image and high-risk environments. He would welcome students interested in these areas.  Given his multicultural background and experience, Professor Woodman fully understands the challenges of being an international student.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Personality and individual differences, and high level performance

Supervisor: Dr Ross Roberts

T: +44 (0) 1248 388137 / E: ross.roberts@bangor.ac.uk

My research interests are centred on the impact of personality and individual differences in performance contexts. In particular, I am interested in understanding how and why some individuals perform well in certain circumstances and others do not. In addition, I am also exploring personality in relation to group functioning and group performance. I am also keen to explore the potential trade-off between performing well under pressure and one’s health, and whether personality has an effect on this. For some people, performing well under pressure might have beneficial effects on their physical and mental well-being, but for others such sustained high level performance in the face of pressure might be particularly damaging. I would be interested in discussing PhD topics in the above areas. While sport is an obvious medium to examine these research questions, they are also applicable to a number of performance domains (e.g., business, military etc.) and so I would be happy to hear from potential students who have interests in performance that do not necessarily relate to sport.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Psychological processes underpinning high level performance

Supervisor: Institute for the Psychology of Elite Performance

The Institute for the Psychology of Elite Performance (IPEP) is housed within the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences. It was formally established in 2000 and now contains one of the largest concentrations of performance focused psychology researchers anywhere in the world. The group has strong links with a number of external organisations both nationally and internationally in a variety of performance domains including sport, business, and the military and regularly secures funding from these organisations to conduct research. The research foci of the group is wide, but current research avenues include personality, risk taking, mental resilience, psychological skills, attention, sensorimotor processes and emotion, visual processes underlying movement control, and psychophysiology of performance. The group is collaborative and many researchers work together on specific projects in order to pool expertise. Students interested in topics covered by IPEP are encouraged to view the IPEP website and contact the group at: http://ipep.bangor.ac.uk/contact.php.en?menu=5&catid=8059&subid=0

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Psychology of performance: Self-talk and group dynamics

Supervisor: Dr James Hardy

T: +44 (0) 1248 383493/ E: j.t.hardy@bangor.ac.uk

Research projects are available in understanding how self-talk influences sporting performance as well as the examination of group dynamic related issues in sports teams.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Rehabilitation of Musculoskeletal Disorders with Exercise Science

Supervisor: ReMeDES Group

This group uses techniques usually associated with exercise science to assess and treat patients with chronic diseases. The principal research foci of ReMeDES are to assess the impact adverse body composition changes (loss of muscle, and increased fat mass) have on physical function, disability, and health in various conditions characterised by muscle wasting (on-going and completed studies feature patients with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, total hip replacement surgery, ankylosing spondylitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, fibromyalgia, chronic renal failure, and prostate cancer), and to evaluate the efficacy of interventions (e.g. exercise, anabolic agents, anti-cytokine therapy, nutritional supplementation) aimed at restoring muscle mass, attenuating fat mass, improving functional capacity, and reducing risk of cardio-vascular disease.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Rehabilitation; High altitude physiology

Supervisor: Dr Jamie Macdonald

T: +44 1248 383272 / E: j.h.macdonald@bangor.ac.uk;

Research projects are available in two distinct areas: ii) Rehabilitation of patients with chronic kidney disease; ii) High altitude physiology.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Sport and educational psychology

Supervisor: Prof. Nichola Callow

T: +44(0) 1248 383491 / E: n.callow@bangor.ac.uk

My research interests span sport and educational psychology. Areas in which I would be particularly keen to supervise PhD students include:

  • Cognitive and motivational effects of imagery on sport performance
  • Transformational leadership in different context (sport, expeditions, education) For further information please visit http://www.bangor.ac.uk/sport/staff-nc.php

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

The influence of motor actions on emotional responses

Supervisor: Dr Amy Hayes

T: +44 (0) 1248 383964 / E: a.hayes@bangor.ac.uk

My research investigates interactions between perception, action and emotion. I am particularly interested in how the quality of our motor actions influences our emotional responses to a situation. Recent projects have examined the role that motor fluency plays in modulating emotional responses. Research projects may be available in the following topic areas: the relationship between motor actions and emotion; the role of kinaesthetic processes in emotion; the emotional consequences of movement imagery. Other topics of perception and motor control are also possible, including the role of attention in the perception of dynamic scenes.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Entry requirements

For information and further detailed guidance on entry requirements for International Students, including the minimum English Language entry requirement, please visit the Entry Requirements by Country pages on the International Education Centre section of our website.

Ask the IEC for assistance...

If you want advice or a general chat about what’s available contact the International Education Centre on +44 (0) 1248 382028 or email international@bangor.ac.uk

Fees & Scholarships

Please take a look at our Fees & Scholarships pages for details.

How to apply

Step 1 – Select your research topic

You have three options with regards the selection of your research topic;

Option 1

Prepare your Research Proposal, based on the research expertise at the School.

Option 2

Select a research project from the Directory for PhD opportunities (Also available as a PDF document). Enter the name of the project and the name of the supervisor on the application form. The ‘Research Project’ route is delivered in two parts:

  • Part 1: A Combined English / Study Skills and Research Proposal course. This is when you will write a research proposal based on the selected research project. Duration is up to 1 year, dependent on the English language level.
  • Part 2: The PhD programme.

Option 3

Occasionally, the University advertises PhD Studentships. Studentships are funded / sponsored PhD placements which cover tuition fees and sometimes living costs, usually for a period of 3 years. They are offered for specific research projects. Studentships are advertised on the University website and Academic Schools’ websites and there is normally a deadline for submitting applications. The terms and conditions of Studentships vary and may become available at different times of the year.

If you are applying for a Studentship, enter the name of the studentship on the application form

Step 2 – Prepare your documentation

You will need to gather the following documentation to present with your application:

  • Bachelor degree certificate and transcript
  • Masters degree certificate and transcript (if undertaken)
  • English language test certificate (if undertaken)
  • Academic reference / support letter
  • Confirmation of funding / sponsorship (if applicable)
  • Passport
  • Research Proposal (if you are NOT selecting a project from the Directory of PhD opportunities or applying for a Studentship). Click here for guidance about how to write a good research proposal.

Step 3 – Apply Online

International students have two options when applying;

Apply online

Option 1 – Apply online yourself

Option 2 – Apply online with the help of a recruitment agent

  • If you would like help in completing and managing your application you may seek help from one of our authorised representatives or agents. To see a list of our representatives for your country please visit the Country pages.

Application advice

Applications for research degrees differ substantially from applications for taught courses such as Masters degrees. Although the application form is the same, the way in which you approach your application can make all the difference.

Applying for a self-funded or externally-funded Research Degree

As with all of our courses, you can apply to fund yourself through a PhD/MPhil at Bangor, or you may already have sourced external funding (e.g. from your employer or government), and we warmly welcome all expressions of interest in so doing. However, rather than simply filling in an application form, there are a few steps that you can take in order that your application stands a greater chance of being successful.

All PhD/MPhil students require supervision from at least one academic member of staff at the University, and if you are considering a PhD/MPhil, you will already have a good idea of the specific area or theme that you want to research. In order to ascertain that we hold sufficient expertise in your chosen topic to provide supervision, you should first look at our staff pages. This will provide you with a breakdown of each staff member’s area of academic focus.

Once you have found a member of staff whose research interests broadly accord with your own, you should contact them directly with a concise research ‘brief’ that outlines your proposal and ask whether s/he would consider supervising your project. If the academic expresses his/her interest, you may then further discuss your ideas and develop a full PhD/MPhil research proposal.

At this stage, you should formally apply online for the PhD/MPhil programme. You should fill the form out thoroughly, including academic references, your research proposal and the name of the academic member of staff under whose supervision you intend the research to be conducted.

Your research proposal

A good research proposal is essential if you are applying for a PhD or MPhil. The proposal should include:

  1. Overview – give a brief abstract of the subject area you wish to research and include information on the key theoretical, policy or empirical debates that will be addressed.
  2. Planning – you need to demonstrate that you are aware of the research timescales and have a plan in place to conduct your work. You need to demonstrate that the research is manageable in the given time period.
  3. Literature references – you need to show that your planned area of research has not been studied before. Provide references to key articles and texts relevant to your area of study.
  4. Methodology – you need to show that you are aware of the methodological tools available and have identified which ones would be suitable for your research.

When do I Apply?

You can apply at any time of the year.

It is possible to start a PhD degree at any point in the year at most academic Schools, subject to agreement with the supervisor.

We advise that you submit your application in enough time to:

  • organise funding
  • undertake an English course
  • obtain documents such as transcripts and references required for meeting the conditions of the offer
  • apply for a visa
  • make accommodation arrangements

Further information

Admission related queries

If you need any assitance in completing your application, contact the International Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1248 382028 or email international@bangor.ac.uk