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PhD Studentship: A Spatiotemporal Investigation of Soccer Match Officials’ Movement and Positioning in the Context of Decision Making

Manchester Metropolitan University

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Manchester
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Annual stipend of the research council minimum rate (set by UKRI) of £19,237 for 2024/25
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 17th June 2024
Closes: 15th July 2024
Reference: SciEng-XF-2024-spatiotemporal-investigation

This is a full-time, funded PhD opportunity in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. It is open to both home and overseas students. Please note that only home fees will be covered - eligible overseas students will need to make up the difference in tuition fee funding.

This opportunity provides an annual stipend of the research council minimum rate (set by UKRI) of £19,237 for 2024/25.

PROJECT CONTACT

Dr Xinqi Fan (x.fan@mmu.ac.uk

PROJECT ADVERT

The project forms part of an exciting new research and innovation partnership between Manchester Metropolitan University and the Professional Game Match Officials Limited.

This project aims to develop deep insights into the spatiotemporal characteristics of soccer match officials’ movement and positioning in the context of decision-making. The successful candidate will be embedded across the two institutions, thereby undertaking empirical research while gaining first-hand industry experience and mentorship from professionals across the fields of sports science and data science.

The PhD will apply cutting-edge AI techniques to the data captured in soccer game situations and a multi-modal approach is proposed to extract actionable insights from the plethora of match data available. Analysis has become an integral part of match official coaching, and this PhD seeks to develop and extend the current practice of match official coaching, evaluation, and preparation.

A background in AI is essential, with links to sports science desirable. However, training will be provided to the successful candidate by the highly experienced supervisory team.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

This PhD studentship has the following objectives:

  • To explore and profile the spatiotemporal patterns of soccer match officials’ in the context of decision-making.
  • Investigate which movement variables and characteristics are sensitive to soccer match officials’ decision-making.
  • Develop statistical models to explain and predict decision-making in soccer matches.

SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS OF THE PROJECT

Essential Criteria:

  • A first-class or upper second-class (2:1) degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline such as mathematics, computer science, AI, data science or statistics.
  • Experience in training machine models with at least one of the following (Python, MatLab, R))
  • An ability to critique and analyse scientific evidence, methodology and data.
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and organisational skills.

Desirable Criteria:

  • M.Sc. or Research Masters in a relevant discipline such as mathematics, computer science, data science or statistics.
  • Experience with event and/or tracking data in sport.

HOW TO APPLY

Interested applicants should contact Dr Xinqi Fan for an informal discussion.

To apply you will need to complete the online application form for a full-time PhD in Computing and Digital Technologies (or download the PGR application form).

You should also complete the (PGR thesis proposal) form addressing the project’s aims and objectives, and a CV, demonstrating how the skills you have maps to the area of research and why you see this area as being of importance and interest. 

If applying online, you will need to upload your statement in the supporting documents section, or email the application form and statement to PGRAdmissions@mmu.ac.uk.

Closing date  15 July 2024.

Expected start date October 2024.

Please quote the reference: SciEng-XF-2024-spatiotemporal-investigation

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