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PhD Scholarship - University of Kent, UK

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  • PhD Scholarship - University of Kent, UK

    PhD Scholarship - Effect of Age-Based Stereotypes on Physical Performance and Rehabilitation Measures in Later Life

    The UK population is ageing and it is projected to continue to age over the next few decades, with the fastest population increases for those aged 85 and over. These demographic changes present many social and economic challenges: maintaining autonomy, physical functioning and independence into and through old age, and how to tackle prevalent negative stereotypes about age in order to prevent age-based social exclusion. This interdisciplinary project will explore the effect of age based stereotype threat (ABST) and stereotype embodiment on clinically relevant biomechanical measures of muscle function and movement. The purpose of this project is to quantify how biomechanical aspects of muscle force production and movement are altered by 1) situations that evoke an age-related stereotype threat in older adults, or 2) by stereotype embodiment in older and younger adults. It is anticipated that the findings will have implications for the measurement of functional capacity by clinicians, and the delivery of rehabilitation and exercise interventions in older adults.

    The successful PhD candidate will require the necessary academic credentials and skills to be able cope with PhD level study. Whilst there will be strong leadership from the supervisory team, working on their own initiative is a required skill. The successful scholarship candidate will have a keen interest in human movement, and theories of motivation and/or stereotyping processes. It is essential that applicants demonstrate some post-GCSE mathematics experience and have familiarity with, or experience in experimental methods, questionnaire design, and data analysis.

    Applicants are required to have a good Honours degree (at least 2.1 or equivalent) in an appropriate subject. Appropriate subjects are considered to be: Sport and Exercise Science with modules in Biomechanics and Psychology (indicated by dissertation title and transcript of modules taken); or Computing, Engineering, Physics or Mathematics with some experience of human factors and a willingness to engage with psychological theories; or a degree in Psychology with exceptional skills in Mathematics and Statistics. A Masters in a relevant subject would be a significant advantage. More specific details about the project can be obtained by emailing Dr. Samantha Winter ( Note that the project will be co-supervised by Dr Hannah Swift ( of the School of Psychology and Dr Carla Meijen ( of the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. Please visit our website for more information on the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences

    Funding Details
    The School of Sport & Exercise Sciences is offering one Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA). Students engaged as Graduate Teaching Assistants hold a unique position in the University; they are both registered students in receipt of a scholarship award and employees of the University. The GTA will cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate plus a combined maintenance grant and salary equivalent to the maintenance grant offered by the UK Research Councils which is £14,057 for the 15/16 academic year. The GTA will be offered for one year in the first instance, and extended to a maximum of three years in total subject to satisfactory academic performance at the end of the each year.

    How to Apply
    Applications to the University of Kent should be completed on-line at . Applicants should also send a CV and covering letter stating the title of the scholarship to: Nicola Johnson, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Kent at Medway, Medway Building, Chatham Maritime, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4AG. A hard copy of these can be sent by mail or a scanned copy can be sent to (

    The closing date for applications is Friday 4th March 2016 with interviews expected to be held week commencing Monday 28th March 2016