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PhD Scholarship Optimising Sport Specific Training Practices

PhD Scholarships in Optimising Sport-Specific Training Practices, UK

The Swansea University International Sports Scholarship is available to international students studying Sport and Exercise Sciences, Performance Science, Strength, and Conditioning, or Youth Development at the undergraduate level. This scholarship is worth £16,062 and there is no set number of awards given out each year.

Applicants must normally hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University) in Sports Science or a similar relevant science discipline.

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Nice opportunity for international applicants in the UK.

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Application Deadline: 14 October 2022.

Brief Description

  • Organization: Swansea University
  • Department: N/A
  • Course level: PhD
  • Award Amount: £16,062
  • Number of Awards: N/A
  • Access Mode: Online
  • Subject: Sport and Exercise Sciences, Performance Science, Strength, and Conditioning, Youth Development
  • Nationality: Domestic Students
  • Eligible Countries: UK
  • Eligibility: Students can apply for a PhD degree offered at Swansea University.
  • The award can be taken in the UK.

PhD Scholarship Optimising Sport-Specific Training Practices


Designing training practices that provide an age and playing level appropriate, the engaging bio-psycho-physical stimulus is central to the successful development and retention of youth talent and long-term retention in sport. Despite the importance of practice design and the considerable hours invested by players and coaches in the implementation of such practices, little is known about the relative effectiveness of different practices for developing youth talent.

This collaborative Ph.D. will examine the bio-psycho-social responses to typical practice designs and their long-term implications for the development of physical characteristics, technical execution, and decision-making in youth football. The Ph.D. will comprise three themes:

Development of a library of practices classified according to bio-psycho-social responses and their translation to the longer-term development of technical execution, decision-making, and game-related performance in youth footballers.

Design and validation of a series of bio-psycho-social measures that are sufficiently sensitive and reliable to quantify responses to the practices identified.

Implementation of a series of training practice interventions to assess their real-world effects on youth athletes.

Each intervention will involve an 8–10 week training period (36-40 practices) and include multiple competitive games (10-12) to allow the development of technical execution and decision-making to be monitored.

In summary, this Ph.D. seeks to systematically understand the impact of modern coaching practices on long-term development in youth football. It is expected that the tools and knowledge generated through this Ph.D. will significantly advance an under-developed area of research, and have significant impacts on training practice and policies in youth talent development academies across sports on a national and international scale.

The aim of the study is to better understand how different coaching practices impact long-term development in youth football. In doing so, it is hoped that the tools and knowledge generated will significantly improve training practices and policies for youth talent development programs across the world.


Candidates must normally hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University) in Sports Science or a similar relevant science discipline.

Other desirable skills/experiences include:

  • Evidence of managing a high-quality research project with human participants to completion at either undergraduate or MSc level
  • Experience working with youth athletes
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work independently and as part of a small research team
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Experience with handling complex datasets and performing appropriate statistical analysis
  • Ability to think critically and apply well-reasoned and evidence-based solutions to problems that are encountered.

English Language Requirements: If applicable – IELTS 6.5 overall (with at least 5.5 in each individual component) or Swansea recognized equivalent. Details on the Swansea University English Language entry policy can be found here.

How To Apply

To apply for this position, please complete the online application form with the following information:

  • Two-page CV
  • Degree certificates and transcripts (if you are currently studying for a degree, screenshots of your grades to date are sufficient)
  • A one-page cover letter outlining why this specific research topic/question appeals to you and how your skills and experience will allow you to excel on this research project.
  • Two references (academic or previous employer) on the headed paper or using the Swansea University reference form. Please note that we are not able to accept references received citing private email accounts, e.g. Hotmail. Referees should cite their employment email address for verification of reference.
  • Evidence of meeting English Language requirements (if applicable).
  • Copy of UK resident visa (if applicable)

Please note that all required materials must be submitted in order for your application to be considered complete. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.


This scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend of £16,062. Additional research expenses will also be available.

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