Project code



School of Sport, Health, and Exercise Science

Start dates

October 2023

Closing date

6 April 2023

Applications are invited for a fully-funded three year PhD to commence in October 2023. 

This PhD studentship is part of an exciting partnership of research collaboration between the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science at the University of Portsmouth and the Portsmouth University Hospital Trust. The number of people living with osteoarthritis is on the rise and total joint arthroplasty is commonly performed to reduce the associated symptoms. This program of research will explore how rehabilitation following lower limb total joint arthroplasty can be improved through the use of biomechanical biofeedback. Evaluation of rehabilitation outcomes will be multidisciplinary including assessments of movement dynamics, cardiopulmonary function, physical activity levels and self-reported outcome measures. The successful candidate will work within the Clinical, Health and Rehabilitation Team based within the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science (Faculty of Science and Health) at the University of Portsmouth, and will be supervised by Dr Joseph Moore, Amy Wright and Dr Tim Exell

Candidates applying for this project may be eligible to compete for one of a small number of bursaries available. Successful applicants will receive a bursary to cover tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for three years and a stipend in line with the UKRI rate (£17,668 for 2022/23). Bursary recipients will also receive a £1,500 p.a. for project costs/consumables.


The work on this project could involve:

  • An interdisciplinary evaluation of the impact lower limb osteoarthritis and total joint replacement has on movement dynamics, physical activity levels and quality of life.
  • The development of a biomechanical biofeedback protocol aimed at improving rehabilitation practices following lower limb total joint replacement.
  • The development and implementation of a randomised feasibility study to assess the efficacy of the developed biofeedback protocol in collaboration with local clinicians.

People living with osteoarthritis (approximately 1-in-10 adults in the UK) often have lower physical activity and quality of life, and move differently compared to those without the disease. Treatment for osteoarthritis can include total joint replacement, however whilst this procedure can help alleviate symptoms, evidence suggests that it has little impact on physical activity levels. One potential mechanism for this is the continued presence of pathological joint biomechanics after surgery.

Biofeedback is the provision of information about the performance of a task, and has been found to be effective in improving rehabilitation practices. Biomechanical biofeedback has particular potential in orthopaedic rehabilitation, as it can provide complex information in an accessible format about the movement coordination of multiple joints during functional tasks. Therefore the aim of this programme of doctoral research is to develop and evaluate a biofeedback protocol to enhance rehabilitation following total joint replacement.

The successful candidate will be supported by and work within an international multidisciplinary team consisting of academics and clinicians to deliver the three phases of the project:

Phase 1: An interdisciplinary assessment of movement dynamics, physical activity levels and quality of life in people living with osteoarthritis and total joint replacement.

Phase 2: Development of an innovative biomechanical biofeedback protocol using QTM Connect for MATLAB.

Phase 3: Explore the feasibility of the developed biofeedback protocol to enhance rehabilitation following total joint replacement.

The programme of work will utilise the state of the art biomechanics (e.g. 34 camera Qualisys 3D motion capture system) and physiology (e.g. K5 wearable metabolic system; COSMED) equipment housed within the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science. The School also boasts a thriving postgraduate research community who are actively involved in the wider research environment of the school, faculty and University. 


Entry requirements

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.


This opportunity will suit a person who has a strong work ethic, is self-motivated, and has a desire to learn and develop as a researcher. Experience capturing, processing and analysing biomechanical and physiological data in human participants is an advantage. Experience with and/or a willingness to learn MATLAB (or equivalent) is essential. Due to the nature of the research, good interpersonal skills are also required. Applicants from a range of training and/or research backgrounds including sport and exercise science, physiotherapy, and rehabilitation are encouraged to apply.

How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Dr Joseph Moore ( to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.  Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.

If you want to be considered for this funded PhD opportunity you must quote project code SHES7920423 when applying.