2020 applicants
Postgraduate Research Opportunity

Strength training in pulmonary rehabilitation


Title: SCH07: Strength training in pulmonary rehabilitation

Funding: Full time Home/EU fees and a stipend of £15,009 p.a. (terms & conditions)

Application deadline: 7 May 2019

Start date: October 2019

Duration: 3 years (full time)

Location: Colchester Campus

Based in: School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences (in collaboration with the School of Health and Social Care)


This studentship is now closed to applicants. View our latest opportunities.


The project aims to explore the clinical application of strength assessment and training in pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) settings in the UK.

Whilst current guidelines (Bolton et al., 2013) suggest strength assessment and progressive strength training should be included in a PR programme, a national 2017 audit by Steiner et al. (2018) showed that only 27% of services are actually assessing strength, up from 15% in 2015.

Without a reliable strength assessment measure, it is difficult to establish the effectiveness of the strength training undertaken within PR services. It is anticipated the project will involve both quantitative and qualitative research approaches.


  1. A review of the literature surrounding strength assessment and training in patients eligible for PR services will be undertaken.
  2. A focus group with PR lead clinicians in East of England will be held to understand barriers and facilitators to strength training and assessment from the service provision perspective.
  3. Utilising findings from the research evidence and service providers a randomised controlled trial (RTC) applying strength assessment interventions to a local PR service will be undertaken.
  4. Alongside this an exploration of the patient’s perspective, through interviews and questionnaires will be undertaken to establish perceptions and variables that impact on patient’s strength assessment, training, function and quality of life following the intervention.


The award consists of a full Home/EU fee waiver or equivalent fee discount for overseas students (further fee details), a doctoral stipend equivalent to the Research Councils UK National Minimum Doctoral Stipend (£15,009 in 2019-20), plus £2,500 training bursary via Proficio funding, which may be used to cover the cost of advanced skills training including conference attendance and travel.


We are looking for an enthusiastic person with a good undergraduate and/or master’s degree in a related subject.

You must possess well-developed oral and written communication skills, interpersonal skills and be able to manage your time effectively.

How to apply

You can apply for this postgraduate research opportunity online.

Applicants are required to submit the following:

  • research proposal (500 words)
  • CV
  • personal statement (outlining their interest in this research project & why they are best suited to carry out the work)
  • transcripts of any undergraduate or masters programmes MUST be included.

Instruction to applicants

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

  • For "Course title" please put "PhD Health and Exercise Science"
  • For "Proposed research topic or area of research" please put the title of this studentship (SCH07: Strength training in pulmonary rehabilitation)
  • For "If you have contacted a potential supervisor..." please put the name of the lead supervisor (Dr Benjamin Jones)

If you have any informal queries about this opportunity please email the lead supervisor, Dr Benjamin Jones (bjonesa@essex.ac.uk)

You can find the terms and conditions of this studentship here (PDF).