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PhD and MS positions available in Neuro-Motor Control and/or Biomechanics at Montana State University.

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  • PhD and MS positions available in Neuro-Motor Control and/or Biomechanics at Montana State University.

    ​​​​​​PHD and MS Assistantships in Biomechanics and Motor Control at Montana State University
    The Neuromuscular Biomechanics Laboratory ( and the Aging Research Collective ( at Montana State University currently have multiple openings for graduate students to start in Fall, 2023. The openings are through the Exercise and Nutrition Sciences program in the Department of Health & Human Development.

    Working with Dr David Graham (
    The focus of Dr Grahams work is understanding the mechanisms underlying balance recovery performance in older adults, Dr Graham will consider MS and PhD applicants for the listed projects:
    • Evaluating how deficits in both the central and peripheral nervous systems influence movement coordination and movement efficacy in older adults. This project involves the implementation of a longitudinal training study in conjunction with a current student. Applicants with EEG and Neurophysiology experience highly regarded.
    • Development of forward driven (predictive) musculoskeletal models of the neuromuscular system to determine the critical factors associated with successful balance recovery in older adults. Experience with Matlab and/or Python, and OpenSim are highly regarded.
    • Evaluating the role of variance and invariance in skilled discrete sporting movements.

    Working with Dr Jim Becker (
    Dr Becker’s work has a focus on running and running related injury mechanisms, Dr Becker will consider MS and PhD applicants for the listed projects
    • Factors contributing to common running injuries (particularly medial tibial stress syndrome, Achilles tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis, and tarsal/metatarsal stress injuries). Screening for, prevention of, and rehabilitation strategies for these injuries.
    • Foot and ankle mechanics, especially role of intrinsic foot musculature, as related to running injuries.

    The Department of Health and Human Development offers both Master of Science and Doctoral Degrees with a focus on Biomechanics and/or Motor Control, both degrees fall under the general designation of “Exercise and Nutrition Science”. The curriculum provides students with an interdisciplinary experience in biomechanics and motor control with taught courses from both the Exercise and Nutrition Science and Mechanical Engineering programs. The MS program requires a minimum of 30 credits, the PhD program is a 60-credit program with an option to transfer in portions of previously completed MS degree credits. The exact coursework for each program is tailored based on the interests and goals of each individual student and involves some core courses along with complimentary course work to develop the students’ specific interests and goals.

    Associated with the research projects listed we will award Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA) to up to 4 successful candidates. Specifically, students applying for each position should be capable of teaching lab and tutorial classes in undergraduate Biomechanics and Motor Control classes. It is desirable to have experience with using common laboratory equipment such as force plates, EMG, and motion capture systems. Assistantships are issued annually for a 10-month contract and require up to 19 hours effort per week on average. Each assistantship provides a tuition waiver and monthly stipend. Assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis based on student qualifications and experience.

    Prior to applying, prospective students must contact Dr. James Becker ( or Dr. David Graham ( to discuss their research interests and whether they would be a good fit for the academic and research aspects of the program. Following this discussion and with the encouragement of the respective faculty member you will be directed to apply using the Universities application portal.

    Information regarding the application process can be found on the Department’s website:

    Application deadline is February 15th, 2023.
    Last edited by David Graham; December 8, 2022, 05:35 PM.