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PhD studentship in Biomechanics

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  • PhD studentship in Biomechanics

    Department of Life Sciences, Roehampton University, London

    PhD studentship

    The Department of Life Sciences intends to offer two full-time PhD studentships to start early in 2011. We are inviting applications for five projects in total, and one of them is related to the biomechanics area.

    Dynamic stability in community dwelling older adults

    The shortlisted student for the above project will compete with students from the four other projects for the two places available. The studentship includes a tax-free bursary (currently 15,200 p.a.) and payment of Home/EU tuition fees for 3 years. Overseas students are welcome to apply, although if they are successful, they will have to pay the difference between home and overseas tuition fees.

    Project outline:
    Falling is a major issue for older people. Clinical tests have been used to determine if falling is a result of poor mobility or balance but these are not effective at predicting the risks of falling. The purpose of this project is to develop an effective tool of evaluating dynamic balance and predicting falls. Motion sensors and associated software will measure the physical properties of walking, and the data obtained will be used to develop a statistical model for predicting the risk of falling. The reliability and accuracy of the prediction will be examined.

    In addition to the general admission criteria of Roehampton University, the successful applicant is expected to be a graduate in biomedical, mechanical or electronic engineering, medicine, health or sport sciences, or an appropriate field. Applicants with either physical or life science background are welcome. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the project, a PhD candidate with physical or engineering science background may be required to undertake training in anatomy and physiology, and one with life science background may require training in engineering mechanics. The candidate is also expected to be mathematically competent and have some experience of data acquisition and signal processing.

    Reading materials

    Applicants are expected to read the following articles which are related to the proposed projects, and if shortlisted for interviews, will be asked questions about these articles. Please contact the supervisors if you have difficulty in finding these articles.

    Vanicek, N., Strike, S., McNaughton, L., and Polman, R., Gait patterns in transtibial amputee fallers vs. non-fallers: Biomechanical differences during level walking, Gait& Posture 29 (3), 415-420, 2009.

    Muir SW, Berg K, Chesworth B, Klar N, Speechley M. Quantifying the magnitude of risk for balance impairment on falls in community-dwelling older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Epidemiol. 2010 Apr;63(4):389-406

    For an informal discussion on the project and studentship please contact one of the research supervisors:
    Dr Siobhan Strike, Senior Lecturer, Department of Life Sciences.
    Email: Tel: + 44 (0)20 8392 3546
    Professor Raymond Lee, Professor of Biomechanics and Head, Department of Life Sciences, Email: Tel: +44 (0)20 8392 3539

    To apply please complete an application form 'Initial application form for MPhil/PhD' which can be downloaded from You are also required to submit a full CV, a written statement of why you would like to do the PhD study at Roehampton and the skills that you can bring to the project.

    Closing date for applications: Wednesday 5 January 2011

    It is hoped interviews will take place on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 January 2011

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