From theory to practice - investigating the efficacy of interventions in applied Sport Psychology

University of Essex - The School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences

This fully funded studentship offers an annual stipend of £14,777 plus Home/EU tuition fees and for International students; the studentship would cover fees (£14020) with the remainder paid as a small stipend, for a maximum of 36 months.  Start date is 1st October 2018.


Current practice in applied Sport Psychology usually involves the delivery of interventions designed to improve targeted mental skills, which in turn should usually have a positive effect on the performance of the athlete or the team.  Unfortunately, the efficacy of the interventions is seldom measured against performance and likewise the effectiveness of one intervention against another are seldom compared or contrasted.  The successful applicant will undertake research to address this gap in the literature.

You will work with a team of experienced supervisors from within the School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences; Professor Ian Maynard, Dr Murray Griffin and Dr Paul Freeman, with the opportunity to bring in external advisors from further afield.  The successful applicant can focus on one distinct core skill or could investigate combinations of techniques as determined by a systematic review of contemporary research.

The Student

You will be able to demonstrate your ability to write and communicate your ideas for an academic audience, evidenced by holding or expecting to obtain a master’s degree in a relevant subject.  Advanced training in both quantitative and qualitative methods is desirable.  You must be able to evidence your rationale for the chosen research topic, preferably linking with previous experience of working in this or related areas.  You should also demonstrate the ability to work under pressure and manage your own time effectively.  You need to have excellent interpersonal skills and be able to form strong relationships with different sporting stakeholders, to facilitate recruitment and data collection.    

The primary supervisor for the project is Prof Ian Maynard.  For informal discussions about this studentship, please contact Prof Ian Maynard (

How to apply

You should submit a full application for a PhD in Sport and Exercise Psychology (via and include on the application form the title of the studentship under ‘Proposed research topic or area of research’.  In addition to the required application documents, you should upload a 1500 word research proposal.  The closing date for applications is 8th August 2018.  Interviews for shortlisted applicants will be held on 16th August 2018.

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South East England