PhD Studentship (Graduate Teaching Assistantship): Personal development for professional practice in sport psychology

Sport, Outdoor and Exercise Science, University of Derby


Qualification type:



University of Derby, Kedleston Road campus

Funding for:

UK Students, EU Students

Funding amount:





7th October 2016




About the studentship:

Applications are invited for a full-time PhD studentship commencing December 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter. The successful applicant will work within the Sport, Outdoor and Exercise Science discipline area at the University of Derby to address a predefined research topic (see details below). The studentship will be granted in the form of a Graduate Teaching Assistantship which means that, alongside your research, you will undertake a limited amount of teaching through which you will contribute to the wider University community and develop skills you need for a successful academic career.

This is a great opportunity for a suitably qualified and ambitious student who wants to join the University of Derby’s commitment to inspiration, innovation and impact.

If granted a PhD studentship, subject to satisfactory progress you’ll receive £14,296k p.a. for three years and your fees will be fully covered at a UK/EU level (international/overseas students will be required to find funding to cover the remaining fees balance).


About the research topic:

Sport psychology literature has highlighted the importance of ‘knowing thyself’ through vigorous self-examination in line with Socratic ideals, which has been reflected within the profession through, for example, increased emphasis on understanding professional philosophy and engaging in reflective practice. It is widely acknowledged within branches of psychology, such as counselling psychology, that the therapist’s personal qualities will directly impact the relationships they build with their client and therefore the effectiveness of their work. Given the growth of sport psychology practice to encompass approaches housed in humanistic, counselling psychology in recent years, it is important to understand the personal development and qualities of psychologists working within the sporting domain.

In addition, it is important to consider the context within which these practitioners will work. Performance sport environments are recognised as being particularly challenging and potentially hostile even for the most experienced of practitioners, and it is essential that sport psychology practitioners are adequately prepared, both personally and professionally, to engage effectively in these cultures. It is therefore important to understand the contribution of the practitioner’s self to their understanding of and practice within performance sport environments to inform how this can be best-developed throughout education and training. It is envisaged that the research will involve qualitative methodologies to fully explore these concepts in sufficient depth.

The successful applicant will conduct research into:

  1. The personal development of sport psychology practitioners and the contribution of education and training.
  2. The nature of performance sport environments and how personal develop of practitioners can aid their work within these contexts.

 The precise body of research to be conducted is very much open to input from the student, and informal enquiries to the supervisors are welcome (see contact details below).


About the supervisors:

Dr Charlotte Chandler, Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology




Dr Andy Hooton





We are looking for a highly-motivated student who is capable of studying at PhD level and enjoys independent research. An interest in the research topic is essential. Prospective candidates are also expected to have a good Honours degree in a relevant subject (e.g. sport and exercise science, sport psychology, psychology).


How to apply:

For information about how to apply, please visit:

In addition to the application documents listed as required on the website, please upload the supporting documents listed below:

  1. A curriculum vitae
  2. A 500 word personal statement explaining your interest in and aptitude for this studentship. In particular we would like to learn about what qualities you feel you can bring to the project
  3. A sample of your own writing, such as a journal article, conference abstract, or essay/dissertation from your degree

When submitting your application, please quote reference SSPY16 GTA in the financial support section of the application form (i.e. form RD02, section 9b) and in the subject line of your email.

For queries about the application process and to submit your completed application, please email:

Closing date: 7 October 2016

Interviews: week commencing 14/11/16

If you have not heard from us by the interview date, please assume that on this occasion your application has not been successful.