PhD studentship: Player load monitoring and performance in elite Scottish Rugby Union

Edinburgh Napier University - School of Applied Sciences

Edinburgh Napier University is seeking to strengthen and expand niche areas of research excellence across a broad portfolio of both discipline-based and inter-disciplinary research. A new strategic partnership launched in 2016 saw Edinburgh Napier become home to one of the new BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy venues. As part of this ongoing work, the present PhD studentship represents a collaborative research partnership between Edinburgh Napier University and the Scottish Rugby Union.

Applications are invited for a full-time bursary available in the School of Applied Sciences, for a 3 year PhD, open to both Home, EU and International students. The PhD Scholarship will cover full annual tuition fees and include an annual stipend at the UK Research Council rate. International students will be required to fund the difference between the Home/EU and International fee rate plus annual stipend of £14,625. 

Project Description: Sports team coaching and support staff face a regular challenge to provide optimal player workloads in order to elicit positive development and performance adaptations, while at the same time minimising the associated fatigue and risk of injury. Numerous micro-technology tools for assessment of player load have been developed in recent years and their use and validity in performance settings are being explored.

Studentship aims:

  1. Examine the utility, validity and reliability of assessing player load, including the use of micro-technology devices, in determining a number of components of measurement in player workload, in Scottish Rugby Union.
  2. Provide evidence-based performance solutions to physical capacity assessments, recovery monitoring, and workload management to help inform injury risk reduction.

Essential criteria:

  • A first class degree or an MSc (equivalent) specialising in sports science and medicine or strength and conditioning.
  • Experience of working within a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Good IT skills, including Excel, and database management.
  • Attention to detail and accuracy in handling large volumes of data.
  • Ability to engage, build relationships and work co-operatively with others whose assistance and support is required.
  • Ability to work appropriately with confidential medical, training and match data and deal with individuals involved in the project sensitively.
  • Ability to communicate fluently in English.
  • Ability to travel within the region and throughout Scotland, including occasional overnight stays.
  • Ability to prioritise own workload, and balance conflicting demands and tight deadlines.
  • Highly motivated with a passion for sport performance research.
  • Ability to invoke trust and respect from others.

Desirable criteria:

  • Research experience, i.e. an early career researcher who is keen to develop their own path and research area within elite sport, and injury prevention.
  • Evidence of previous work (paid or unpaid) in a high performance sport environment.
  • An understanding of and empathy to the needs of athletes and coaches in a sporting environment.

Application: UK/EU and Non-UK/EU residents are eligible to apply. Study will commence February/March 2017.

Informal enquiries should be directed to: Dr Debbie Palmer-Green

Interviews will take place week commencing 16th January 2017

Edinburgh Napier University is committed to supporting equality in the workplace and encourages diversity. We currently hold a bronze Athena SWAN institutional award.

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