L&NS PhD Studentship (Physical Activity) - Studentship & Funding opportunities - University of Derby

Employing contemporary behaviour change theory and techniques (Behaviour Change Wheel/COM-B) to promote increased engagement with family based physical activity interventions.

Human Sciences Research Centre, College of Life and Natural Sciences, University of Derby


Qualification type:

PhD (Traditional Route)


University of Derby, Kedleston Road campus

Funding for:

UK Students, EU Students, International Students

Funding amount:





Friday 27th April 2018




About the studentship:

Applications are invited for a full-time PhD research studentship (traditional route) commencing in the early summer of 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter. The successful applicant will work within the Human Science Research Centre at the University of Derby to address contemporary behaviour change techniques to promote increased engagement with family based physical activity interventions. Throughout the process you will be expected to communicate the findings of your research within peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations. To coincide with your research, you will engage with opportunities to undertake professional training and where relevant teaching opportunities within the College to enable you to develop the skills needed for a successful academic career.

The PhD research studentship will be granted subject to the interview process, and following satisfactory progress, you will receive £14,553 p.a. for three years and your fees will be fully covered at a UK/EU level. If your application is successful and you are assessed as Overseas/international student for fees purposes, you will need to pay the difference between the Home/EU fees and the overseas fees. Funding will be awarded for a period of up to three years subject to satisfactory progress.

About the research topic:

Significant resource has been provided to support individuals considered physically inactive to become more active, especially children. However, there is a paucity of work considering the family unit within physical activity and behaviour change. Acknowledged as a primary socialising agent, the family unit play considerable roles in the development of attitudes that progress from childhood to adulthood (Telama, 2009). Within areas of socio-economic deprivation, the prevalence of physical inactivity and poor health is positively correlated (Kohl et al, 2012). Family units in these deprived communities have complex issues relating to social mobility and health inequalities.

Further information about the research environment and supervisory package

This project aims to identify key predictors of physical activity, associated positive psychophysiological outcomes and barriers and enablers of regular exercise activity participation among families. This will be achieved using contemporary theory and evidence to refine existing programmes to encourage an active family lifestyle and provide support to increase physical activity participation levels.

This is a collaborative study between academic staff from the University of Derby UK, and staff at Erewash Borough Council. The project will be based in Derby, but there will be a need for travel between the University and the area covered by the intervention. The supervisory package will consist of Dr Mark Faghy, Dr Vicki Staples, and Dr Sally Akehurst from the University of Derby. We will ensure that you have the required training necessary for you to complete your PhD and encourage you to attend at least one international or national conference associated with the above research topic during your studentship.

Please see the staff profiles or email Dr Mark Faghy (M.Faghy@Derby.ac.uk) for more information related to this project.


We are looking for a highly-motivated graduate student capable of studying at PhD level and enjoys both independent and applied collaborative research. Prospective candidates are also expected to have a good Honours degree. An interest and experience within the research topic and expertise in health psychology is essential. 

Job Description

Job Specification


For details of how to apply, please see:

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 2 page curriculum vitae
  2. A 500 word personal statement explaining your interest in and aptitude for this project. In particular we would like to learn about what skills you feel you can bring to the project and any novel ideas you would like to take forward under this theme if given the opportunity. Please reference where necessary. 

Completed applications should be sent to the Research Student Office at researchoffice@derby.ac.uk, quoting reference number: L&NS_PhysicalActivity_PGRS_0318

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Mark Faghy (M.Faghy@Derby.ac.uk). Please note that applications sent directly to these email addresses will not be accepted. If no contact has been received by the interview date the application has been unsuccessful. 

Closing Date: 27April 2018

Interviews: Mid-May 2018

If you have not been invited to interview by 9th May 2018, please assume that on this occasion your application has not been successful.

This studentship is funded by the University of Derby as part of the College of Life and Natural Sciences REF investment bid.

Studentships are available to UK/EU and International applicants. If your application is successful and you are assessed as Overseas for fees purposes, you will need to pay the difference between the Home/EU fees and the Overseas fees.