Deadline: 2016-02-04
Value of Scholarship: Bath
Level Of Study: PhD

PhD studentship: Organisational stressors, immune function, and performance in elite sport

We welcome applications for a full-time PhD studentship in our Department for Health.

The successful candidate will undertake an interdisciplinary programme of research that spans the domains of sport and performance psychology (guided by Dr Rachel Arnold) and behavioural immunology (guided by Dr James Turner). The research will be conducted in the context of elite sport in close collaboration with Dr Kate Hays (Head of Psychology at the English Institute of Sport).

Background and the project

Organisational stressors, immune function, and performance in elite sport.

Organisational stressors, defined as the environmental demands associated with the organisation within which an individual is operating, are prevalent and problematic in competitive sport (cf. Arnold & Fletcher, 2012).

The appointed candidate will undertake a systematic programme of research that will examine the effects of organisational stressors on elite sport performance, aspects of athletes’ immune function, and other outcomes of interest. To achieve this, cross-sectional and longitudinal studies which incorporate robust psychological, physiological, biochemical, and immunological measurements will be conducted.

The proposed PhD will also advance the management of organisational stressors with the design, implementation, and evaluation of an innovative, evidence-based intervention in elite sport.


The successful candidate should:

  1. fulfil the entrance requirements for a Department for Health PhD
  2. have at least a strong understanding of sport and performance psychology and associated research methods (including quantitative/qualitative methodologies)
  3. have an interest in, and some understanding of, biosocial research, demonstrating aptitude for making physiological and immunological measurements (including willingness to take blood samples)
  4. be willing to commence their research from Monday 3 October 2016 (or as soon as possible thereafter)
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The award

Funding lasts for three years and includes:

  • £14,057 (2015/16 rate) yearly stipend
  • Home/EU tuition fees
  • annual Training Support Grant

This award will be funded by a one of several studentships with their own terms and conditions.

How to apply

1. Apply online to study for a full-time PhD in the Department for Health

  • you must quote the project title in section 3.2 of your application: Organisational stressors, immune function, and performance in elite sport
  • you do not need to upload a formal research proposal as this studentship is for a specific project

2. Complete the application form for an academic-led PhD studentship

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 12.00 noon (GMT), Thursday 4 February 2016.

Informal enquiries

For project enquiries contact Dr Rachel Arnold and Dr James Turner.

For application procedure enquiries email: or tel. 01225 38 5233.

Apply Now

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