PhD Studentship/Junior Technician

Applications are invited for a six year, 50% FTE part time PhD studentship/50% FTE part time Junior Technician post funded by the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences at Bangor University. The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Hans-Peter Kubis and Dr Paul Mullins and line managed by Mr. Kevin Williams, Chief Technician.

As part of the PhD programme, the successful candidate will use various complex techniques i.e. functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to investigate fatigue and the response to exercise training in clinical population. The project will build on existing collaborations with School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences and School of Psychology (Bangor University).

As part of the Junior Technician role, duties will include providing support to research, teaching and technical colleagues within our School.
 
Candidates should be educated to at least 1st class (honours) undergraduate standard (or equivalent) in sport science, physiology or a health-related science subject and have previous experience completing scientific research. Exceptional candidates with extensive technical experience and at least GCSEs grade C in Maths and English (or equivalent) will also be considered. The ability to communicate in Welsh is desirable for this post.

The studentship will cover UK/EU registration fees plus a maintenance stipend of £16,937 per annum paid quarterly.

The closing date for formal applications will be 24th January 2020. The successful candidate will be expected to commence as soon as possible following appointment, subject to any notice period of current employment.

Committed To Equal Opportunities.

Outline of the research project

Fatigue is a common symptom associated with many medical conditions as obstructive sleep apnoea, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome and others. Fatigue’s symptomatology and presentation is non-specific, it can result from psychological, physiological or physical issues and it manifests itself in the form of exhaustion and tiredness (Shahid et al., 2010). Interestingly, it is suggested that fatigue in depression is associated with self-depreciation, sadness and anhedonia, while fatigue in connection with inflammatory diseases is associated with lack of motivation to invest resources in effort-full behaviour (Dantzer et al. 2014) Animal experiments with lipopolysaccharide injection supports the view that inflammation reduces incentive motivation and willingness to invest effort, which highlights that sustained response to reward is impaired under fatiguing conditions (Nunes et al. 2013).

In this PhD various clinical population with severe fatigue symptoms will be investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy before and after exercise training. The aim is to investigate how exercise training alleviates fatigue symptoms with focus on brain mechanisms related to perception of effort and cost/reward evaluations.

The candidate needs to be highly motivated facing complex technical and mathematical challenges.

Excellent computer skills and ability to learn IT-relevant techniques quickly.

Excellent understanding of Human Physiology.

Excellent interpersonal communication skills for working with patients.

Outline of the Junior Technician roleUnder the direction of Mr. Kevin Williams, the post holder will be responsible for providing support to research, teaching and technical colleagues within our School.

Research duties will include:

  • The preparation of basic samples and specimens
  • Operation under supervision of some basic equipment;
  • Setting out basic laboratory equipment; routine construction of laboratory equipment under supervision. 
  • Respond to equipment loan requests
  • Preparation of samples
  • Under guidance be involved in measuring samples

Teaching support will include:

  • Helping to ensure equipment requested is available and set up for teaching sessions
  • Demonstrate basic equipment usage
  • Under guidance demonstrate common physiological procedures
  • Complete student attendance records

Technical support will include:

  • After training, clean laboratory equipment and spaces
  • Undertake basic preventative maintenance measures
  • Report and control stock levels of equipment and consumables
  • Order replacement stock as necessary, ensure all ordered stock has been received, stored tidily using a stock rotation system, and correctly recorded

Other duties and responsibilities will include:

  • The post holder will be expected to participate in performance review and developmental activities.
  • The post holder will be expected to comply with the University’s equality policies and statements, Dignity at Work and Study Policy and the University’s Welsh Language Scheme.
  • The post holder has a general and legal duty of care in relation to health, safety and wellbeing and must take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for him/her self and for other members of staff, students and visitors affected by his/her actions or inactions.  The post holder is also required to comply with all applicable health and safety policies, procedures and risk assessments.
  • The post holder must comply with relevant legal and financial policies and procedures and be aware of their responsibilities in terms of the legal requirements of their posts.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Head of School

What are we looking for?

We are looking for a determined, motivated individual with a strong interest in technology who also enjoys working practically and in laboratory environments. The successful candidate must be able work in multiple research, teaching and technical teams but equally be comfortable working independently. The successful candidate will must be able to manage their time effectively, and will be expected to work professionally with students, external clients, and colleagues within our School (including lecturers, postgraduate researchers, technical and administrative staff). 

Successful applicants will be educated to at least 1st class (honours) undergraduate standard (or equivalent) in sport science, physiology or a health-related science subject and have previous experience completing scientific research. Exceptional candidates with extensive technical experience and at least GCSEs grade C in Maths and English (or equivalent) will also be considered. Successful applicants will also show an ability to work independently with support from a supervisor and line manager, and demonstrate enthusiasm to contribute to a stimulating research, applied practice and teaching environment. The ability to communicate in Welsh is desirable for this post.

Disclosure & Barring Service

This post is subject to a satisfactory standard Disclosure & Barring Service check.

As Bangor University meets the requirements in respect of exempted questions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, all applicants who are offered employment will be subject to a criminal record check from the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) before the appointment is confirmed. This will include details of cautions, reprimands or final warnings as well as convictions. DBS checks will be updated every 3 years.

Why study and work at Bangor University?

The School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences (SHES) has been providing high-calibre undergraduate and postgraduate degrees since 1978. Over this time SHES has become one of the very best sport and exercise science Schools in the UK, due to its unique ability within the sector to perform highly in teaching and research and impact activities in multiple disciplines. Bangor University was awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework. 91% of students studying Sport Science in SHES are satisfied with their experience (National Student Survey, 2019). Our School was also rated 7th in the most recent (2014) Research Excellence Framework, and 100% of the School’s research and impact activities were judged either world leading or of an international standard.

The School’s teaching, research and impact activities are structured into three groups: The Institute for the Psychology of Elite Performance (IPEP); the Extremes Research Group (ERG); and the Physical Activity for Health and Wellbeing Centre (PAWB). Teaching and Research staff, Teaching and Scholarship staff, post-doctoral researchers, and a vibrant postgraduate research community contribute to these groups. The School is particularly well known for its work in performance psychology, environmental physiology, motor control, psychophysiology, and clinical exercise physiology. The School is well resourced for the scientific study of these disciplines, with an extensive range of laboratories and state-of-the-art equipment, all housed in buildings overlooking the Menai Strait, or nearby within the College of Health Sciences. Our staff are thus in demand to provide support to elite athletes and sporting organisations, the military, the health service, and industry.

A Strategic Management Group made up of a Head of School and four Directors (of Teaching and Learning, of Research, of Impact, and of Postgraduate Research) leads the School. All staff also meet monthly to contribute to strategic decisions and for continuous professional development purposes. Being situated in one of the prime university locations in Britain for pursuing sport and outdoor activities, SHES offers a close knit, friendly community and provides a challenging but enjoyable work/life environment. The School, its associated College, and the University are committed to enhancing health and wellbeing, equality of opportunity and diversity, and support of family friendly working arrangements for both its staff and students.

Structure of the Programme

The period of registration for this PhD will be six years part-time. During the first two years of study, students will normally take our MSc Advanced Research Skills module and take courses from Bangor University’s Graduate Programme.

The first year of registration will be provisional. Under guidance by the supervisory committee, the student will be required to develop knowledge and understanding of research background of fatigue and fMRI and MRS technology, as well as preparing research designs. In Year Two is subject to satisfactory progress, completion of the Graduate Programme, and the approval of a research proposal by their Thesis Committee and the School's Board of Studies. For the remaining four years of the studentship, the student will be required to develop the initial proposal into a completed PhD project.

Eligibility

Eligibility depends on your ability to register as a home/EU student (students from other countries may apply but must be prepared to pay Bangor University international student fees).

Enquiries

Please contact Dr Hans-Peter Kubis if you have any queries regarding the PhD programme.
E-mail: h.kubis@bangor.ac.uk
Tel: 01248 388261

Please contact Mr. Kevin Williams if you have any queries regarding the Junior Technician role:
E-mail: kevin.williams@bangor.ac.uk
Tel: 01248 388260

For further details on PhD programs and research training in the School, look at our PGR web page here: www.bangor.ac.uk/sport-health-and-exercise-sciences/phd.php.en

How to apply

If you meet the criteria outlined above, and you wish to apply for the studentship, you should include a cover letter, CV and include two completed references. The cover letter should include a clear statement detailing how your qualifications, experience and research interests make you a suitable candidate for this scholarship and technical role.

Apply Now: The online application form is available here https://apps.bangor.ac.uk/applicant/.

The closing date for formal applications will be 24th January 2020.

Interview Process

Short-listed applicants will be required to complete the University’s online application form:

http://www.bangor.ac.uk/courses/postgrad/research/apply_research.php.en

Short-listed applicants will then be required to attend interview on or shortly after 31st January 2020, with exact date to be confirmed. At interview you will be asked to complete a 15 min presentation on the PhD topic and answer further questions.

Selection Criteria

Qualifications/Training  

Essential

  • First Class Honours Degree (or equivalent) in sport science, physiology or a health-related science subject OR GCSE grade C in Maths and English (or equivalent) and extensive technical experience

Desirable

  • Masters degree in sport science, physiology or a health-related science subject
  • First Aid at Work Qualification

Experience/Knowledge  

Essential

  • Experience of conducting relevant research projects;
  • Experience in an exercise physiology laboratory environment, using a range of commonly used procedures and equipment

Desirable

  • Experience of working with clinical/sporting populations
  • Proven track record of disseminating findings to both scientific and lay audiences;
  • Experience of developing research protocols and completing ethics proposals (particularly NHS ethics)

Skills/Abilities  

Essential

  • Able to work flexibly;
  • Ability to problem solve;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to prioritise workload and work to deadlines;
  • Good verbal and written skills;
  • Proficient computer skills, including MS Office and PowerPoint;
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.

Desirable

  • Proven project management skills;
  • Good analytical skills, with an ability to analyse numerical data, utilise statistical software (e.g. SPSS or R) and present results appropriately;
  • Any other skills/abilities relevant to the duties and responsibilities.

Other  

Essential

  • Ability and willingness to travel to attend various research sites and meetings as required to successfully deliver the role;
  • Able to undertake manual handling tasks.

Desirable

  • Awareness of confidentiality and data protection issues;
  • The ability to communicate in Welsh is desirable but not essential for this post.