PhD Studentship: Developing an Understanding of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Challenges and Facilitators Across the UK Para-Athlete Life-course

Midlands Graduate School Doctoral Training Partnership – Loughborough University and The English Institute of Sport (EIS)

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Loughborough
Funding for: UK Students
Placed On: 24th August 2021
Closes: 3rd September 2021
ESRC DTP Collaborative StudentshipThe Midlands Graduate School is an accredited Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP). One of 14 such partnerships in the UK, the Midlands Graduate School is a collaboration between the University of Warwick, Aston University, University of Birmingham, University of Leicester, Loughborough University and the University of Nottingham.

Loughborough University as part of Midlands Graduate School is now inviting applications for an ESRC Doctoral Studentship in association with our collaborative partner The English Institute of Sport (EIS) to commence in October 2021.

The Project

Targeted research is required to enhance the current understanding of mental health and well-being in Para Athletes. This research will help inform development of para-specific resources, athlete and practitioner education and mental health support provided by the English Institute of Sport (EIS). The programme of research proposed within this PhD aims to develop an understanding of the mental health and wellbeing challenges and facilitators of the UK para-athlete life-course (in collaboration with the EIS) and to generate a toolkit to guide future researchers, practice, and policy. This PhD closely aligns with the strategic priority of the EIS to plan for the upcoming 2021-2024 Paralympic cycle. The aims of the project are as follows:

  • (1) To conduct an in-depth exploration of the challenges and facilitators of UK para-athlete mental health and wellbeing across the sporting life-course.
  • (2) To explore expert perspectives of the occurrence and management of mental health issues among para-athletes
  • (3) To develop and evaluate a toolkit to support UK para-athlete mental health and wellbeing across the sporting life-course.

This PhD programme will adopt a mixed-methods approach across a series of related studies.

The supervisory team will comprise the following individuals:

Dr Jamie Barker, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University.

Dr Carolyn Plateau, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University.

Dr Tom Paulson, Head of Paralympic Performance Support at the English Institute of Sport.

The successful candidate will be provided access to EIS resources and CPD activities throughout the duration of the PhD.

Application Process

To be considered for this PhD, please complete the Collaborative Studentship application form available online here along with providing transcripts, a one page cover letter, and a CV via email to Miss Jo Bebb clearly marked as ESRC DTP Lboro/EIS Application.

Shortlisted applicants will also be required to provide two references prior to interview.

Application deadline: Friday 3rd September 2021, 12pm

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will take place on Wednesday 8th September.

Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP

Our ESRC studentships cover fees, a maintenance stipend, and extensive support for research training, as well as research activity support grants. Support is available only to applicants eligible for a Home award under UKRI rules. For full eligibility guidance, visit:

Informal enquiries about the research or Loughborough University prior to application can be directed to either Dr Jamie Barker or Dr Carolyn Plateau