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Funded postdoc position in Respiratory Biomechanics - University of Salford, Manchester, UK

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  • Funded postdoc position in Respiratory Biomechanics - University of Salford, Manchester, UK

    A postdoctoral position is available in the laboratory of Stephen Preece ( in the Centre for Health Sciences Research at the University of Salford. The successful candidate will work as part of a multidisciplinary team to develop a new avatar-based biofeedback system for the management of dysfunctional breathing. This new position is funded by a research grant from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The appointment is for 16 months with an extension anticipated depending on project progress.

    Position Details: Working alongside computer scientists, health psychologists and an animation team, the successful candidate will play a central role in the development and ongoing testing of this new system. This will involve the collection of biomechanics data to characterise the muscular control of breathing, including the use of EMG to quantify muscle patterns and the use of ultrasound to monitor diaphragmatic excursion. Through this work, we will create an algorithm linking muscle patterns with 3D data obtained with inexpensive camera technology, e.g. Microsoft Kinect. This algorithm will then be used to specify a render on a personalised digital avatar, providing patients with a real-time visualisation of their muscular control of breathing. This visualisation will be complemented with auditory biofeedback to support the learning of new muscle patterns and embedded within a behaviour change intervention, suitable for delivery by a physiotherapist.

    Minimum Requirements: A degree in bioengineering, rehabilitation science, movement science, biomechanics, or related field.

    Preferred Qualifications: A Ph.D. in a related field with evidence of scientific productivity. Effective English written and oral communication skills. Ability to work independently. Prior experience with human subject research. Experience of writing Matlab programmes would be valuable but is not essential.

    Dr. Preece’s lab: Our research explores whether abnormal ways of moving or coordinating muscles leads to musculoskeletal pain or other physiological impairment, such as altered breathing. We aim to integrate biomechanics research with behaviour change theory to create physiotherapy-led interventions. We have recently developed a new intervention for knee osteoarthritis ( and envisage applications across other areas of musculoskeletal disease, along with sports applications, using the approach we will develop in this project. As part of the role, the successful application will be provided with exposure to other biomechanics applications and encouraged to develop their own ideas in this area.

    The University of Salford: The School of Health and Society at the University of Salford offers an innovative environment with unique research opportunities and inspiring experiences. We are now recognised as a centre for excellence in research related to human movement and rehabilitation, with recent grants of £2.5M from the EPSRC to establish a Centre for Doctoral Training and £1.4M from the Global Challenges Research Fund. For more details on our research areas visit our website ( . The University of Salford is based in Manchester, one of the UKs largest cities. As well has having a vibrant culture, Manchester is located close to a number of national parks.

    Additional Information: Interested applicants should apply via the online portal:
    The expected start date is 1st October 2021.

    For questions about the position, please contact:

    Dr Steve Preece
    Research Centre Director

    Centre for Health Sciences Research
    University of Salford
    Manchester, M6 6PU, UK


    Title: Research Assistant in Respiratory Biomechanics. Application Deadline: