Postgraduate Research Opportunity

The effect of training status on muscle force control


Title: The effect of training status on muscle force control

Funding: We regret that we are not currently able to offer funding for this studentship.

Application deadline: 31st July 2022.

Start date: October 2022.

Duration: 1 year (full time)

Location: Colchester Campus.

Based in: School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences

This studentship is now closed to applications. Please view our other opportunities.


The human body exhibits remarkable plasticity to training. For example, adaptations within the cardiovascular and respiratory systems arising from long-term endurance training serve to increase VO2max, while adaptations within the neuromuscular system arising from long-term resistance training serve to increase maximal strength.

One important physiological variable that has received little attention with regards to the effects of training is muscle force control, which can be quantified according to the magnitude and temporal structure of force fluctuations during targeted isometric contractions. The ability to control muscle force is of critical importance for many activities of daily living, such as balance and locomotion.

The project

Both endurance and resistance training have been demonstrated to alter the behaviour of motor units, which is the main determinant of force fluctuations. However, no study to date has examined the effect of either long-term endurance or resistance training on muscle force control.

Given the importance of force control for activities of daily living, understanding how training programs can influence force control is of great interest.

The purpose of this project is, therefore, to compare force control in long-term endurance trained, long-term resistance trained and sedentary individuals. This will involve a variety of advanced physiological techniques, including isokinetic dynamometry and electromyography.


How to apply

You can apply for this postgraduate research opportunity online

You will need to upload the following documents:

  • Research proposal of no more than 600 words, outlining suggested research focus(es), approach(es) and/or studies that applicants would be interested to include within their MSD.
  • CV
  • Covering letter
  • Transcripts of any undergraduate or masters qualifications.

Applications must be submitted by 31st July 2022. The successful candidate will start in October 2022.

Instruction to applicants

When you apply online you will be prompted to fill out several boxes in the form:

  • For "Course title" please select "MSc (by Dissertation) Sport and Exercise Science".
  • For "Proposed research topic or area of research" please put the title of this studentship “The effect of training status on muscle force control”.
  • For "If you have contacted a potential supervisor..." please put the name of the Essex supervisor (Dr Jamie Pethick).

If you have any informal queries about this opportunity please email Dr Jamie Pethick (