PhD Studentships in Exercise and Sports Science Genetic Characteristics of Elite Team Sport Athletes



MMU Cheshire

In work conducted in our labs at MMU, in collaboration with the University of Glasgow, Swansea University and others, we have preliminary data regarding the genetics of elite team sport players. Certain genetic characteristics may help players cope with the demands of training and playing elite team sports where the risk of injury is considerable, good sprinting ability is required to beat opponents and rapid recovery between repeated efforts is required to remain effective for the duration of a match. In addition, players in some team sports (e.g. rugby codes) also require high levels of muscle mass, strength and power to be successful during high-velocity collisions with opponents. There are also marked physiological differences between playing positions within some sports, perhaps most notably in rugby union. In this project, a large biobank of DNA samples from elite team sport players will be produced. Rugby union will be the initial focus, but we may also include rugby league (players move regularly between codes) and football. UK teams will be the major focus but we will collaborate internationally where feasible.

Project Aims and Objectives

The aims of the project will be to establish a large biobank of DNA samples from team sport players, and investigate whether gene variants associated with injury risk and muscle function differ between (i) successful team sport athletes and the general population; (ii) successful athletes in different team sports; (iii) successful athletes in different positions on the field of play within each team sport.

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The successful PhD candidate will require:

  • A higher degree in exercise and sport science
  • An English qualification (e.g., GCSE, IELTS 6.5, TOEFL, etc.)
  • Strong research and communication skills
  • An interest and/or experience in working in a team sport environment
  • Experience in biochemistry/molecular biology laboratory techniques
  • A UK or EU driving licence

No curriculum vitae should be submitted. Successful applicants will be invited to interview for the post. The starting date will be September 2013. The studentship is fully funded, jointly by MMU’s Research and Knowledge Exchange and the charity Dream It Believe It Achieve It (DBA), and will cover tuition fees and a bursary for three years. There may be opportunities to earn additional income through teaching activities, subject to satisfactory progress on the studentship.

The supervisory team will provide training in specific genetic laboratory techniques. The successful candidate will be based in the Institute for Performance Research at MMU Cheshire in Crewe and/or Manchester.

The studentship is fully funded by MMU’s Research and Knowledge Exchange and The Policy and Evaluation Unit (PERU) and will cover tuition fees (Home/EU only) and a bursary for a fixed period of 3 years (tax free stipend of £12,000 per year).

There may be opportunities to earn additional income through teaching activities subject to satisfactory progress on the studentship.

Closing Date 21 July 2013

www.mmu.ac.uk/studentships

For more information and how to apply click on the ‘Apply’ button below.

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