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spreece71
02-22-2010, 10:52 PM
PhD studentship
University of Salford, School of Health, Sport and Rehabilitation Sciences

Developing bespoke diabetic footwear based on an improved understanding of foot and ankle biomechanics.

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an ambitious and dedicated graduate looking to obtain a PhD within an international project related to the design of diabetic footwear. During the course of the PhD the successful candidate will develop a range of experimental skills in human motion analysis and measurement of pressures under the foot, increase their knowledge of foot biomechanics, and gain skills related to the management of clinical trials. In addition, they will learn about the latest technological developments in diabetic footwear design and manufacture, working with partners in Italy, Spain and Germany. The successful candidate will also benefit from working in a multidisciplinary applied research environment within one of the fastest growing human movement science research groups in the UK.

This three year PhD studentship provides a three year stipend (approximately 13,500 PA rising in line with nationally agreed pay awards) and tuition fees will be paid at home/EU rate. The preferred starting date is May 2010.

Project background:

One of the major problems to affect people with diabetes is foot ulceration. This ulceration often results from elevated pressure or shear within footwear and, if left untreated, can result in full or partial amputation of the foot. Diabetic footwear is designed to reduce in-shoe pressure and shear. Although research has shown that diabetic footwear should be individually customised, there lack of understanding about how this customisation should be implemented in a clinical setting.

During this project you will first develop an in-depth understanding of the effect different footwear design features have on plantar pressures. You will then combine this understanding with gait laboratory assessment to produce a systematic approach for prescribing diabetic footwear. This approach will be developed in conjunction with other research and industry groups who are developing new rapid manufacturing processes for the production of footwear components.

The work is funded as part of an EU project (www.sshoes.eu) that seeks to produce a complete solution for specifying, designing and manufacturing bespoke footwear for people with diabetes. The work will involve liaison with research groups in other EU countries, including Italy, Spain and Germany.

You will be an enthusiastic and self-motivated individual with a 2(i) or 1st in a health care or exercise science related discipline, e.g. podiatry, physiotherapy or sport science and candidates with a Masters qualification are particularly encouraged to apply. You will have an interest in foot health, footwear design and in gait assessment. Experience of working with patients or clinical trials, and an awareness of foot problems associated with diabetes would be advantageous. You will be able to work independently and as part of a team and must have excellent communication and 'people' skills. Closing date for applications: 15th March 2010.

To Apply: Please contact Graham Green for the job description, person specification and application details e-mail: g.greene@salford.ac.uk

General enquiries to: Dr Steve Preece, Email: s.preece@salford.ac.uk.