Funded PhD opportunities

The effect of extreme stressors on metabolic and cardiovascular health in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus

  • Application end date: 1st December 2017
  • Funding Availability: Funded PhD project (European/UK students only)
  • Department: Department of Sport and Exercise Science
  • PhD Supervisor: Dr Shepherd, Dr Zaynor and Dr Corbett

Part-Time Fees only bursary

The total cost of direct and indirect care of individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in the UK is ~ £20 billion, equating to 8% of the annual NHS budget. It is anticipated that by 2030, 439 million individuals will have T2DM worldwide. With the population growing and the proportion of individuals with T2DM expanding, these costs are likely to become unsustainable.

T2DM is a disease of progressive hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia is strongly associated with macrovascular (e.g., cardiovascular disease) and microvascular (e.g. retinopathy, neuropathy and nephropathy) complications. However, strategies to improve cardiovascular and metabolic health in this clinical group have the potential to reduce these vascular complications, which will could help reduce the associated economic and health burden.

Simple, inexpensive interventions to improve glycaemic control are needed.  Environmental stressors, and the physiological responses induced with exposure, have potential to improve cardiovascular and metabolic health in humans. However, little research has been conducted in clinical cohorts. This projects presents an exciting opportunity to work within a multidisciplinary team to examine whether environmental stressors provide a therapeutic strategy for maintaining cardiovascular and metabolic health in clinical cohorts. 

The research environment will be the world leading extreme environments laboratories at the University of Portsmouth (, with further collaboration with the Diabetes and Endocrine Centre ( at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth. Additional biochemical testing and analysis will occur within the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences ( The student will work in a team with his/her supervisors and clinical staff and will be fully immersed in running clinical trials and the analyses. 

Candidate specification:

  • A taught Masters degree in a relevant discipline, involving a dissertation of standard length written in English in the relevant subject area with a minimum of a merit profile: 60% overall module average and a minimum of a 60% dissertation mark;

 In addition to at least one of the following:

  • Experience conducting research in a clinical setting;
  • Experience conducting research using extreme stressors;
  • Experience working with individuals with T2DM; 

How to Apply

To apply or make an enquiry, please visit postgraduate research:

All applications should use our standard application forms and follow the instructions given under the ‘Research Degrees’ heading on the following webpages:

When applying please note the project code - SPES3601017

Interviews will take place on the 18th December 2017. 

Funding notes

PART-TIME Fees only bursary

Funding for the studentship is limited to part-time fees for the first 3 years and a £4,000 per annum stipend (for 2 years), we will also ensure that all project costs are covered. We will also endeavour to provide part-time hourly paid teaching and research assistant opportunities to supplement any other income (~£3,000 per annum). The successful candidate will also receive full access to the Graduate School Development Programme, relevant research training, and the internal qualifications that enable applications for Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. Finally, all department-wide development activities will be made available to the successful candidate and where appropriate, supporting budgetary requirements.

Applications will be welcomed from International candidates who wish to self-fund