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PhD Studentship: Promoting the Health of Commercial Drivers: a Vehicle to Improve Road Safety

Midlands Graduate School Doctoral Training Partnership - ESRC DTP Collaborative Studentship

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Loughborough
Funding for: UK Students, International Students
Funding amount: Refer to the advert text
Hours: Full Time, Part Time
Placed On: 26th January 2024
Closes: 25th February 2024

Loughborough University and D4Drivers

The Midlands Graduate School is an accredited Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP). One of 15 such partnerships in the UK, the Midlands Graduate School is a collaboration between the Universities of Warwick, Birmingham, Nottingham, Aston Leicester, Loughborough, De Montfort and Nottingham Trent.

Loughborough University as part of Midlands Graduate School is now inviting applications for an ESRC Doctoral Studentship in association with our collaborative partner D4Drivers to commence in October 2024.

PhD Project Description

Collaborative research project between Loughborough University (School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences) and D4Drivers – one of the largest commercial providers of professional driver medicals across Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Over the last 10 years, researchers at Loughborough University have led a programme of research seeking to characterise the health and well-being of lorry drivers; and to develop bespoke health promotion interventions. This work led to the creation of the SHIFT programme – a Structured Health Intervention for Truckers – which focuses on enhancing physical activity and improving dietary quality of HGV drivers. After evaluation in a cluster RCT, this health intervention has been translated into an industry Certificate of Professional Competence module and is currently being accessed by drivers within England.

This PhD project seeks to build on the SHIFT programme by extending the research team’s focus to other commercial driver populations (e.g. bus, train, taxi), as well as more closely scrutinising factors which influence driver’s health behaviours (physical activity, sedentary time, sleep, diet).

The specific objectives of this research are to:

  1. Characterise the health profile of commercial drivers within the largest health surveillance study completed within the UK to date
  2. Evaluate the ‘driving better health’ campaign
  3. Explore perceived barriers and facilitators of healthy lifestyle behaviours in commercial drivers including those within the working environment

To meet these objectives, several studies will be undertaken drawing on qualitative and quantitative research methods.

This PhD programme is likely to be of interest to candidates with backgrounds in disciplines including (but not limited to) human biology, biomedical sciences, exercise science, and psychology. Furthermore, this project may specifically appeal to candidates with an interest and/or experience with relevant qualitative (interviews, focus groups) and quantitative (surveys, health assessments) research techniques.

Application Process

To be considered for this PhD, please complete the Collaborative Studentship application form available online here. Please upload an anonymised CV and cover letter as part of the online application process. Shortlisted applicants will also be required to provide transcripts and two references.

Application deadline: 25th February 2024

Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP

Our ESRC studentships cover fees at the home rate, a maintenance stipend, and extensive support for research training, as well as research activity support grants. Support is available to both home and international applicants. For further details, visit: www.mgsdtp.ac.uk/studentships/eligibility/.

Informal enquiries about the research or School of Sport, Exercise & Health Sciences (Loughborough University) prior to application can be directed to Prof Stacy Clemes (S.A.Clemes@lboro.ac.uk).

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