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PhD Studentship – Movement variability & shot variability during the golf swing - UK

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  • PhD Studentship – Movement variability & shot variability during the golf swing - UK

    Applications are invited for the following DEL CAST studentship (Co-operative Awards in Science and Technology):

    PhD Studentship – Movement variability and shot variability during the golf swing

    This is a three-year studentship based at the Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, in collaboration with The R&A in St Andrews, Scotland. It is envisaged that the student will spend a significant proportion of their time with the collaborating body. The project would suit a graduate with a sound biomechanics knowledge and practical experience from a Sports Science, Computer Science, Engineering/Technology, or Mathematics background. Candidates will be expected to draw on their biomechanics knowledge and expertise to collect, process and statistically analyse kinematics and kinetic data for a range of golf swings and golf clubs for the duration of a longitudinal study.

    Golf performance is largely determined by the golfer’s ability to control the distance and direction of shots and strokes using a range of clubs including ‘metal’ headed driver clubs, irons and a putter. Many single discipline and some interdisciplinary studies have been conducted to account for shot outcomes, with biomechanics featuring in many investigations in an attempt to gain a better understanding of the swing mechanics involved in the execution of successful strokes. Recently, movement variability in the golf swing of golfers has received scientific attention (for example, Betzler et al., 2012, Horan at al., 2011) with results showing some key body movement variability trends, but with recognition of the need to explore the causal relationship between neuromotor variability and shot outcome measures for a golfers of both genders and across a range of handicaps. This project seeks to build on previous published work and on-going studies by our research team to develop our understanding of the relationship between movement variability and performance via a longitudinal study within the context of golf. It is anticipated that the scientific findings will not only inform the governing bodies of golf, but also the knowledge and practices of both clinicians and coaches with further potential impact on other sports. Aspects such as player variation between/ across sessions and variability within sessions will be assessed together with the development of methods used to quantify a player’s performance using both temporal and spatial methods.

    The student will analyse the body movement variability, variability in clubhead presentation to the ball, and the resulting ball impact location on the club face and resulting shot outcomes for a range of golfers of different ability using discrete single test sessions and repeated tests over a longitudinal study period.

    Applicants should hold ordinary UK residence to be eligible for both fees and maintenance. Non-UK residents who hold ordinary EU residence may also apply but if successful will receive fees only. All applicants should hold a first or upper second class Honours degree (including substantive biomechanics content) in Sports Science, Technology/ Engineering, Mathematics, or a related discipline. Successful candidates will enrol on a full-time research programme, of up to three years subject to satisfactory progress leading to the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

    The studentship will comprise tuition fees and a maintenance award (subject to UK residence status) of not less than £15,000 per annum, funded by DEL (the Department for Employment & Learning in NI) and R&A Rules Ltd.

    The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 18th July 2014

    Interviews will be held on 8th August 2014 at The R&A, St Andrews, Scotland.

    If you wish to discuss your proposal or receive advice on the research project please contact: Professor Eric Wallace, tel: 028 9036 6614, email:
    For further information on the application process please visit our website:

    Apply online