PhD Studentship - Cardiovascular Adaptation to Exercise Training During Adolescence

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Applications are invited for a three-year, full-time PhD studentship in the Cardiff School of Sport, Cardiff Metropolitan University.

The successful candidate will conduct research into “The effects of exercise training on cardiac structure and function during specific periods of adolescence.” The Project will be led by Dr Mike Stembridge and co-supervised by Dr Jon Oliver and Professor Rob Shave. In addition, Dr Aaron Baggish (Harvard Medical School) completes the supervisory team as an external advisor.

The studentship includes a three-year bursary plus tuition fees (at EU/UK rate). Stipend amounts are in line with RCUK rates. For 2016/17 this is set at £14,296. For subsequent years, the doctoral stipend will match those outlined annually by the RCUK. 

Why investigate cardiovascular adaptations to exercise?
Aerobic fitness is not only a determinant of sports performance but is also closely related to long-term health. Consequently, there are significant advantages to improving aerobic capacity for young people that extend beyond athletic performance. Although it is generally accepted that physically active children have a higher aerobic capacity than their sedentary counterparts, it is not known whether performing exercise training at different stages of maturational development results in different degrees of cardiovascular adaptation. Maximising cardiovascular adaptation early in life is vital, as this period may ultimately dictate cardiovascular health and performance for the remainder of adult life.  As such, knowing whether adaptations to training are more pronounced during certain periods of maturation than others would be useful to those aiming to maximise endurance performance later in life, or those wanting to promote long-term health. 

What are we looking for?
We seek a determined, motivated scientist with a strong interest in paediatric exercise training and/or cardiovascular physiology. The successful applicant must have a passion for exercise physiology and the confidence and ability to deliver exercise training.

An Undergraduate Honours degree is required with a minimum classification of a 2.1 and ideally an MSc or equivalent. A background in life sciences, sport and exercise sciences or clinical physiology is needed. In addition, the ability to obtain Disclosure Barring Service clearance to work with paediatric populations is essential. 

Why study with Cardiff Metropolitan University?
In 2014, the UK wide assessment for research quality, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), ranked Cardiff Metropolitan University 7th out of 51 submissions (1st in Wales) both for research power and research quality in Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism. The successful applicant will benefit from the infrastructure, equipment and specialist training provided by the cardiovascular research group at the Cardiff School of Sport. The supervisory team have access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, both at home and through national and international collaborations with leading laboratories around the world and strive to perform impactful research within the field of cardiovascular and paediatric exercise physiology.

The successful candidate will be based at the Cyncoed Campus in Cardiff. The city itself is a vibrant capital that is home to multiple international sporting events, boasts an array of top class entertainment and has a unique cultural history.  

Structure of the Programme
The successful candidate will register as a full-time postgraduate research student at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Under guidance of the supervisory team, the student will initially develop knowledge and practical skills to perform cardiac ultrasound (echocardiography). During the first year of registration, the student will complete a review of the literature and present a research proposal.

Applicants are encouraged to contact Dr Mike Stembridge for more information or an informal conversation prior to submitting an application.

Dr Mike Stembridge, Cardiff School of Sport, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Tel: (+44) 02920 205719, Email: 

How to apply
If you meet the criteria outlined above, and you wish to apply for the studentship, you should send a completed application form and full CV to: Susie Powell (, Research and Enterprise Officer, Cardiff School of Sport. Application forms can be downloaded from the following website: the application you should aim to clearly convey what motivates you to pursue a PhD and identify what about your experiences and background makes you an ideal candidate for this specific scholarship. 

The closing date for formal applications is 5pm on the 23rd December 2016, and short-listed applicants will be required to attend an interview on the 19th/20th January 2017.

Should you not receive any correspondence within three weeks of the closing date, please assume that you have been unsuccessful on this occasion.