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World Rugby-funded PhD; Cardiff University, UK

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  • World Rugby-funded PhD; Cardiff University, UK

    The latest generation of synthetic surfaces include innovative design features that ensures player and ball behaviour closely replicates that observed on natural turf. This success has led to an increased up-take in synthetic surfaces across elite-level rugby and soccer providing high-quality, season-long playing conditions.

    This PhD, sponsored by World Rugby, now seeks to advance the frictional characteristics of synthetic turf design. This project will first focus on characterising player-surface interactions that have caused skin abrasions, forming the most comprehensive knowledge and understanding of this complex, multi-parameter environment. The PhD student will then spend 6 months working at Sports Labs ( - a world-leader in pitch testing, to design and develop a new apparatus that will quantify synthetic turf friction. This new test device will then be used to investigate existing and emerging synthetic turfs, to identify those that exhibit the most favourable frictional characteristics, whilst retaining compliance with the Regulation 22 performance criteria.

    This PhD will provide a stimulating, dynamic and industrially-focused environment, with extensive support provided from academic, industrial and governing body partners. The research team is highly experienced at engaging with elite sport to reduce injury, including being a recent winner of the prestigious HeadHealthTech programme (

    Informal Enquiries:

    Please contact Dr Peter Theobald to informally discuss this opportunity, via either email ( or phone (00 44 2920 874726).

    Application process:

    Candidates should hold or expect to gain a first class degree or a good 2.1 (or their equivalent). Applicants are encouraged from backgrounds that encompass: Medical/Biomechanical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Sports Science-based technologies; Product Design. It is anticipated that the successful candidate will be interested in sport.
    UK or EU candidates will be provided with an annual stipend equivalent to current Research Council rates (approx. £14,771 stipend for academic year 2018/19), with their tuition fees also paid. Candidates from outside the EU may also apply, though would have to personally pay an addition fee (approx. £16k per year), due to the UK funding structure.
    Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent)

    Applicants should submit an application for postgraduate study via the Cardiff University webpages, including;

    • CV
    • Covering letter
    • Two references (applicants are recommended to have a third academic referee, if the two academic referees are within the same department/school)
    • Current academic transcripts

    Applicants should select Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering), with a start date of April or July 2019.

    In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select "I will be applying for a scholarship / grant" and specify that you are applying for advertised funding, reference PT-PSE-2019.

    Last edited by Peter Theobald; January 28, 2019, 07:52 AM.