Project detail

This studentship provides an opportunity to join a world-class multi-disciplinary team on a project to enhance anticipation and return-of-serve in wheelchair tennis. The project will utilise the ‘embedded scientist’ approach supported by researchers within the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport. Principle supervisor is Dr Robin Jackson whose expertise lies in anticipation, deception, and perceptual training in sport. The project is jointly funded by the Lawn Tennis Association, which will facilitate access to players.

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

The programme of research will address the following objectives.

  1. Understand the importance of anticipation and deception in the return-of-serve in wheelchair tennis. This phase of the project will likely involve: (1) observational analysis of the time constraints for returns-of-serve in junior and senior players; (2) interviews with players and coaches to identify factors that influence serve returns; and (3) lab and field-based tests of anticipation skill and susceptibility to deception.
  2. Enhance anticipation skill. In the second phase of the project we will design a perceptual training intervention to improve return-of-serve through (a) improved anticipation of early visual information, or (b) improved ability to distinguish between genuine and deceptive actions.

You will have the opportunity to engage in related activities, such as assisting with development and delivery of coach education tools, supervision of undergraduate and Masters student projects, and biomechanical analysis of serve returns. The studentship aligns with our world-leading Para Sport strategy, to create life-shaping opportunities through the development of an inspirational and inclusive Para Sport offer

Find out more

The School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences is ranked 1st in the world for Sport-related Subjects (QS World University Rankings).


Primary supervisor: Dr Robin Jackson
Secondary supervisor(s): Professor Vicky TolfreyProfessor Mark KingDr Barry Mason

Funding information

The studentship is for 3 years and is intended to start on the 1 April 2021. The studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £15,285 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. International (non-EU) students may apply; however, the total value of the studentship will cover the International Tuition Fee only.