Dear All,

We are looking for an excellent candidate for the following PhD position

Ideally suits candidates with a keen interest in knee biomechanics and strategies of injury prevention with a strong background in human biomechanics, maths and injury prevention.

Deadline for submissions is 9th July.

Full project details:

ACL injury in female athletes

Damage to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a common debilitating sports injury, occurring predominantly in agility sports such as soccer, rugby union and skiing but is found across all sports. Approximately 70% of ACL injuries occur due to non-contact mechanisms and the incidence occurring within a female population are 4-8 times greater than in males. Despite the number of prevention training protocols that are utilised, there has been no decrease in the incidence of ACL rupture in female athletes. The consequences of ACL rupture can be to prevent a return to sport participation, decrease the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks and can lead to early onset of osteoarthritis. Therefore, there is a need to develop new and novel strategies to prevent or reduce the risk of this type of injury in sport.

The project
This project will look at knee joint stability in female athletes under fatiguing conditions that increase the risk of ACL injury due to increased contraction delay during a movement. Most interventions to prevent ACL injury utilise stretch movements prior to exercise. However, in this project we wish to look at nutritional strategies that can promote remodelling within the ligament. In-vitro, omega 3 uptake elevates collagen synthesis in ligament cells and we believe that this remodelling of the collagen fibres will enhance stabilisation of the knee in-vivo.

In order to do this we will utilise 3D motion capture, using the Vicon 8 camera system, to model the movement of female athletes carrying out cutting and jumping manoeuvres in both the unfatigued and fatigued states. This will enable us to explore the dynamics of the knee movement (such as valgus movement, flexion at impact) in female athletes. This will be combined with the use of force platform and electromyography data to allow us to fully explore the changes in movement (such as ground reaction force, ground contact time and magnitude of muscular contraction) that are happening in the unfatigued and fatigued states.

Due to the importance and innovative nature of the project, there will be large datasets developed from all measurements to model the movement of the knee. This will require a student who is confident in using excel and willing to learn how to utilise MATLAB to develop novel analysis algorithms. This project would suit a student with an interest in sports injury and human movement. This is an exciting interdisciplinary project and candidates should expect to develop an in depth understanding of the knee from both a biomechanical and physiological perspective and the physiological impact of omega 3 supplementation and exercise on the body. The successful candidate should expect to present findings from the studies at scientific conferences and at informal meetings with sports professionals (nutritionists, medics and physiotherapists).

Each PhD studentship provides a package valued at around £75,000. This includes a fully funded tax free stipend of £14,553 per year over 3 and a half years, tuition fees as well as a travel and equipment budget. Applications will be sought for specific R-LINCS studentship titles and the best (up to) four candidates meeting our quality threshold will be offered the studentship they applied for.

The Abertay Graduate School
Abertay’s PhD students are located in the Abertay Graduate School ( and have access to our dedicated study and social spaces – a forum in which you can meet, work and learn with other researchers and postgraduates from across the University. We provide training and professional development opportunities to our postgraduate community, and offer help with funding applications, placement opportunities, teaching support, public engagement and outreach activity.

You will be expected to undertake limited teaching duties of no more than 70 hours a year. We provide training on this activity and it is a valuable part of career development.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Ashley Richardson (

Entry requirements
A related Masters level qualification is desirable but not essential, but candidates must have, or expect to obtain a first class or upper second-class honours degree in a relevant discipline as detailed above. For applicants who are non-native speakers of English, the University requires IELTS of 6.5 (with no band less than 6.5) or an equivalent qualification accepted by the Home Office.

The Studentships are available for an October 2017 start for a period of up to 3.5 years.

Applicants should submit through HIREWIRE submitting a personal statement of application detailing which project you are interested in, why you are interested in undertaking this project and a CV. (NOTE: HIREWIRE ONLY ALLOWS YOU TO SUBMIT ONE DOCUMENT, PLEASE MERGE YOUR SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS).

If you are selected for interview you will be required to complete an online Research Degree Student Application Form which includes the submission of a research proposal. Guidance on how to write the proposal can be found here: , under 'how to apply'. Applicants are also encouraged to contact Dr Ashley Richardson ( for advice on developing a proposal prior to submitting it.

The closing date for submissions is midnight on Sunday 9 July 2017. Submissions after this date will not be considered. Interviews are likely to be held during the weeks 31 July – 11 August
Closing date: 09 July 2017