Doctoral Studentship (PhD) in the Equestrian Performance Research Centre

Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Wednesday, 6 May 2020
Friday, 29 May 2020
Life sciences, Veterinary Science
Fixed Term
Full Time

Title: Doctoral Studentship (PhD)

Application Closing Date: 29th May 2020

Proposed start date: 1st September 2020

Location:  Hartpury University, Gloucestershire.

Stipend: £13,000 per annum

Contract Type: Full Time (3 years)

Area of Research:

Investigating the effect of rider weight on back kinematics in healthy sport horses

The aim of this studentship is to investigate the effects of rider weight on equine back posture and kinematics. We will use a combination of 3D motion capture and inertial motion sensor technology (IMUs) to measure back angle changes under the saddle using IMUs. Initially, the successful candidate will use treadmill studies to develop a method for the measurement of back angular motion patterns using IMUs, enabling further study to progress from the treadmill environment to the overground environment. The PhD therefore includes direct comparison of back kinematics on a treadmill with overground kinematics. The final study will apply the method to the investigation of back angular motion pattern variability in horses representative of the sport horse population, carrying loads equivalent to that of a dressage rider.

Applicants should have a background and interest in equine science or veterinary physiotherapy, and have experience working with horses. The successful candidate will be comfortable handling large digital datasets. Previous experience of Qualisys or IMU technology is desirable. 

For more information and for an initial discussion please contact Assoc. Prof. Kathryn Nankervis

Description of studentship:

Hartpury is pleased to be offering three fully funded studentship to start on 1st September 2020.  This studentship will be based in the Equestrian Performance Research Centre at Hartpury University. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to become part of new Postgraduate Community in an idyllic rural setting, with world leading facilities undertaking impactful and cutting-edge practice-based and industry related research.  University of the West of England is the awarding body for this degree.

Studentships comprise tuition fees at home / EU rates and a stipend of GBP 13k per year tenable for 3 years. Alongside their research projects, successful candidates will be asked (as a condition of their stipend) to deliver up to 7 hours per week teaching or research support within the department in which the PhD is hosted. 

PhD Studentship Selection Criteria:

The following criteria will be taken into account when considering applications:

  • The strength of your professional and academic profile, as demonstrated through previous study and/or professional experience
  • The quality, invention and viability of ideas relating to the research project you are applying for
  • The contribution you are able to make to the Hartpury research community and your host department, in terms of both research and teaching

Candidates should also be aware of the following:

The normal expectation is that applicants will hold at least a 2:1 or a Masters qualification from a UK university or a degree of comparable standing from a university outside the UK. The candidate’s degree relevant to the studentship should demonstrate their potential for practice-led research or alternative evidence of research aptitude.

Applicants whose first language is not English require a recognised English language qualification. The minimum entry requirement is GCSE English at grade C or above or IELTS score 7.0 or TOEFL score 600 (or demonstrable equivalent).

Applying for a PhD studentship

To apply for a PhD studentship you must send the following documents to

  • A curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages)
  • A covering letter outlining your suitability for the studentship
  • A recent piece of critical writing you have completed (max 3000 words)
  • If English is not your first language, certification of English language qualification

Applications that do not arrive by Midnight (UK time) on Friday 29th May 2020 will not be considered.

If your application is selected. You will be invited for interview on Thursday 18th June 2020.  All applicants must ensure their availability on this date.

Key dates

29th May 2020: Deadline for submission of applications

8th June 2020: Interview invitations sent to shortlisted candidates*

18th June 2020: Interviews at Hartpury

30th June 2020: Studentships announced

10th July 2020: Deadline for accepting studentship

1st September 2020: Studentship begins

* Please note that by submitting an application you are confirming your availability to interview on 18th June 2020.

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.  We will ensure that all our recruitment and selection practices reflect this commitment.  All successful candidates will be subject to Disclosure and Barring Service checks along with other relevant employment checks. 

Hartpury values a diverse workforce and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.