PhD Studentship: Effect of Exercise on Cognitive Function, Self-control and Resilience in Young People with ADHD

Nottingham Trent University
Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Nottingham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,200 per year
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 3rd December 2019
Closes: 10th January 2020
Bursary: Standard PhD stipend of £15,200 per year

Contract Type: Full time, 3 years full time PhD

Start Date: April 2020

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder in young people and affects around 5% of children and adolescents worldwide. ADHD is characterised by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Young people with ADHD typically struggle academically, with a likely mechanism being the negative effects of the condition on cognitive performance, psychological well-being and behaviour. ADHD is most commonly treated with pharmacological interventions (i.e., medication); yet such medications have a number of negative side-effects including high blood pressure, sleep problems and mood disturbances, whilst numerous non-pharmacological interventions have limited efficacy. Therefore, there is huge potential for an intervention aimed at enhancing cognitive performance and psychological outcomes in young people with ADHD; with one such intervention being physical activity. Physical activity is a potentially attractive therapeutic intervention given that it has been shown to enhance certain aspects of cognition, such as executive control, that are typically affected in young people with ADHD.

This PhD will be centred around 4 experimental studies that examine the effect of physical activity on cognitive function, self-control and resilience in young people with ADHD. These studies are likely to include a study to examine the acute effects of a single bout of activity, alongside a training study to look at the long-term effects. Studies will also look to examine the optimal dose (i.e. modality, intensity and duration) of exercise for cognition, self-control and resilience, in young people with ADHD. Finally, the mechanisms responsible for these effects will also be examined, using technologies such as electroencephalography (EEG) and near infra-red spectroscopy (NIRS).

The successful candidate will have a strong academic background in Sport and Exercise Science and/or Psychology. Experience of working with young people is also desirable, including young people with ADHD where possible.

Entry requirements: First or Upper second class degree or equivalent in Psychology or Sport and Exercise Sciences.

Funding: competition funded project for UK and European students only. This PhD project is match funded by the Waterloo Foundation and Nottingham Trent University.

Vacancy website address:,-self-control-and-resilience-in-young-people-with-adhd

Vacancy email address: