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Optimising the Parent-Coach Relationship in Youth Tennis

Loughborough University - School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Loughborough
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £15,009 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 31st May 2019
Closes: 7th July 2019
Reference: SSEHS/CGH


Primary supervisor: Professor Chris Harwood

Secondary supervisor: Professor Sophia Jowett

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more:

The School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences has been ranked 1st in the world for Sport-related Subjects (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017, 2018 and 2019)

Full Project Detail:

This PhD studentship offers an opportunity to connect and accelerate the science behind the roles of two exceptionally important stakeholders in terms of the development and health of young athletes. Grounded in youth tennis, the project represents a national and international collaboration between Loughborough University, the Lawn Tennis Association and International Tennis Federation. Supervision will be provided by two leaders in the psychology of parents and coaches in sport, alongside the Heads of Coaching for the LTA and ITF.

The overall aim of the research will be to produce new knowledge on the critical factors, contexts, interactions and skills that underpin relationship quality between parents and coaches in tennis. It will focus primarily on the earlier stages of participation and involvement in the game and seek to understand the impacts of the parent-coach relationship on players, as well as parents and coaches. We remain open to the preciseness of the research question and design. To this end, applicants will be required to submit a 1,500 word research proposal that presents their approach to this project Applied implications that support the development of parents, coaches and young players will be important outcomes.

Entry requirements:

Applicants should be highly motivated and have achieved at least an upper second class degree in a relevant discipline (e.g., sport and exercise science, psychology, coaching science). A strong MSc in sport psychology (or related subject) will also be highly desirable alongside a background in the subject matter of this project, and an understanding of youth tennis.

In addition, we are seeking applicants with promising oral and written communication skills, as well as a confidence in, and passion for, qualitative and/or qualitative research methods. Evidence of research dissemination (e.g., student conferences; manuscript submission; or publications) is also welcomed.

Your proposal of 1,500 words will enable you to present your ideas for this project in a written form. Please submit this alongside your application form and a short, current CV.

Funding information:

The studentship is for three years and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. International (non-EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will cover the international tuition fee only.

For informal enquiries, please contact:

Name: Professor Chris Harwood

Email address:

Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 226342

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select “School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences”.  

Please quote reference number: SSEHS/CGH

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