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PhD Studentship: Optimising warm-up strategies in female soccer


The Institute of Sport, Nursing and Allied Health (IOSNAH) is offering up to 3 full-time research bursaries (PhD studentships) across different discipline areas within Sport and Physical Activity. The bursaries offer students the opportunity to undertake a programme of doctoral research whilst also, potentially, developing their experience of learning and teaching in higher education in a supportive and supervised environment.

The studentships carry a tax-free stipend of 12,500 and a full-time home-fees waiver. Students accepting the bursary may also undertake teaching duties up to a maximum of 6 hours per week (120 hours per annum), subject to availability. Such duties will be remunerated (currently at 27.66 per hour). The bursary is funded for 3 years, subject to satisfactory annual review.

The preference is for students to undertake full-time research starting on the 1st April 2022. Part-time research is possible and will be considered on a case by case basis.

The IOSNAH has a strong research environment and has achieved excellent results in the most recent Research Evaluation Framework (with 97% of our research deemed to be internationally recognised and over 50% deemed to be internationally excellent). We have over 50 full-time members of staff researching various topics within sport and physical activity (with particular research strengths and interests in Occupational Performance, Developing Sporting Performance, Health and Well-Being and Equality and Inclusion). We currently have a cohort of 24 MPhil/PhD students.

Successful applicants will be shortlisted and advised of presentation/interview dates.

In team sports, the warm-up is considered a holistic activity with the aim of preparing players from a physiological, psychological, and technical/tactical perspective whilst reducing the risk of injury and minimising fatigue. Players may engage in warm-up activity prior to kick-off, during half-time, or for substitutes, throughout the match. Although warm-up activity is deemed an essential component of player preparation there remains equivocal evidence regarding optimal strategies in team-sport environments. Research has typically found improvements in subsequent physical performance following short-duration warm-ups compared to traditional soccer-specific warm-ups. However, players have reported to feel more psychologically prepared for competition following a longer duration warm-up. The influence of the warm-up on performance throughout match-play as well as the contribution to overall weekly training load are important questions for practitioners who aim to balance performance and recovery for a squad of players. Therefore, the aim of this research project is to investigate optimal warm-up strategies in female soccer.

For an informal discussion concerning the project please contact the project Director of Studies, Dr Naomi Datson (

Interview date: w/c 13th December 2021

Click here to download the person specification.