Cognitively-Demanding Physical Activity Effects On Cognition And Academic Performance In Primary School Children

University of Chichester - Department of Sport & Exercise Sciences

The Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences is offering up to 4 research bursaries PhD studentships across different discipline areas. The bursaries offer students the opportunity to undertake a programme of doctoral research whilst also, potentially, developing their experience of learning and teaching in higher education in a supportive and supervised environment.

The studentships carry a tax-free stipend of £12,500 and a full-time home-fees waiver. Students accepting the bursary may also undertake teaching duties up to a maximum of 6 hours per week 120 hours per annum , subject to availability. Such duties will be remunerated currently at £25.83 per hour . The bursary is funded for 3 years, subject to satisfactory annual review.

The preference is for students to undertake full-time research starting on the 1st October 2017.  Part-time research is possible and will be considered on a case by case basis.

The Department of Sport & Exercise Sciences has a strong research environment and has achieved excellent results in the most recent Research Evaluation Framework with 97% of our research deemed to be internationally recognised and over 50% deemed to be internationally excellent . We have 28 full-time members of staff researching various topics within sport and exercise sciences with particular research strengths and interests in Occupational Performance, Developing Coaches and Athletes, Health and Well-Being and Nutritional Supplementation . We currently have a cohort of 22 MPhil/PhD students.

Details of the available project and who to contact for informal enquiries are provided below.

The Application Process

For further information on the projects we are recruiting to including person specifications for each project , the studentship role and an application form please visit our website or email: Successful applicants will be shortlisted and advised of interview dates.

Application deadline: 20th August 2017

Interview date: w/c 4th September 2017

Cognitively-demanding physical activity effects on cognition and academic performance in primary school children

A recent review into the effects of exercise on cognition in children concluded that the research demonstrates the potential of chronic exercise to promote cognition and academic achievement. Recent developments among researchers have shown that cognitively-demanding physical activity C-DPA may be more facilitative than simply running or cycling. This is based on similarities in the neural pathways activated during physical and mental activity. However, observation of the reviewed research raises some questions with regard to design issues. Moreover, doubts have been raised concerning the transfer from the C-DPA to cognitive performance of children in the classroom. However, cognitive neuroscience theories of between-task transfer suggest that this is a definite possibility. Therefore, the aim of this project is to develop a number of C-DPA tasks which will aid the cognitive and academic performance of primary school children.

The successful candidate will be jointly supervised by Dr Mandy Gault Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology, tel: 01243 816472, email: , Dr Jenny Smith Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology Skill Acquisition and Professor Terry McMorris Emeritus Professor of Motor Behaviour

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South East England