Funded PhD Studentship Neurophysiological studies of fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis

Deadline: 12th January 2014.

Supervisory Team:

Primary: Professor John Saxton

Secondary: Dr Niamh Kennedy

The Project:

Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience low-energy fatigue, which interferes with their usual and desired daily activities. Research shows that approximately three-quarters of people with MS can experience fatigue on a regular basis or intermittently and over half of all people with MS describe it as their most severe symptom. MS fatigue negatively affects quality of life, mental alertness and the ability to think clearly and has a major influence on the high levels of unemployment. Hence, effective fatigue treatments for people with MS could have a major impact on their daily functioning and ability to work. This PhD studentship will have the aim of developing a deeper understanding of the neurophysiological causes of MS fatigue. Another important aim will be to evaluate the suitability of progressive resistance exercise for people who are experiencing high levels of MS fatigue and to get an insight into how effective this treatment might be for reducing fatigue symptoms. A stronger mechanistic evidence-base, together with improved knowledge of the effectiveness of exercise therapy for ameliorating MS fatigue, will help the development of new self-management approaches for controlling this debilitating symptom.

This exciting PhD studentship, which is funded by the Multiple Sclerosis Society, is a collaboration between leading researchers at UEA and Oxford Brookes University. The appointed person will benefit from a high standard supervision and training opportunities at both sites within outstanding neurorehabilitation and clinical exercise physiology research laboratories. They will also benefit from a comprehensive personal and professional development programme designed to enhance the postgraduate research experience and develop the skills needed for future employment.

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Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold a 2:1 degree or above or a master’s degree in exercise science, physiotherapy, physiology, biomedical science or other health related subject or equivalent.

Those applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate evidence of appropriate English language proficiency, normally defined as a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (Overall Band Score) with 6.0 in all elements or equivalent.


This studentship is funded by the MS Society and covers Home/EU student fees, an annual tax-free stipend of £14,982, project costs and costs for conference attendance in year 3. Candidates from overseas are welcome to apply but due to funding restrictions must fund the international fee difference themselves.

To discuss the application process or particular projects, please contact the: Admissions Office, email: or telephone +44 (0)1603 591709. 

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