Funding

Funded (UK students only)

Project code

SHES9210724

Department

School of Sport, Health, and Exercise Science

Start dates

October 2024

Application deadline

1 July 2024

Applications are invited for a fully-funded three-year PhD to commence in October 2024. 

The PhD will be based in the Faculty of Science and Health, in the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences, and will be supervised by Professor Joanna Wakefield-Scurr and Dr Mike Rayner. 

The successful applicant will receive a bursary to cover tuition fees for three years and a stipend in line with the UKRI rate (£19,237 for 2024/25). Bursary recipients will also receive a £1,000 p.a. for project costs/consumables.

The work on this project could involve:

 

  • Developing unique, sustainable breast health educational resources to progress knowledge and promote positive, life-long behaviour change
  • Empowering women and girls to know and love their breasts
  • Developing skills in breast health, education, content creation, marketing, business modelling

Many females experience breast-related issues that could negatively impact their health and quality of life. These include breast cancer, incorrect bra fit, and issues related to breast movement including an increased incidence of breast pain, breast sag, and embarrassment, which can be a barrier to physical activity participation. Knowledge of breasts and bras has been reported as below average for the majority of general populations, schoolgirls and sporting populations. However, breast and bra educational initiatives in these groups have shown improvements in knowledge, attitudes to breasts and engagement with positive breast habits. Unfortunately, breast and bra education is not routinely available in UK schools or other environments and therefore many females are forced to seek information independently which often lacks an evidence base. 

The Research Group in Breast Health have developed evidence-based breast and bra educational resources for schoolgirls. The group has also developed scientifically validated surveys to evaluate the outcome of breast and bra interventions. More recently, the group has developed and delivered bespoke breast and bra educational initiatives to many elite sports groups and demonstrated positive outcomes. However, these bespoke interventions are expensive and time-consuming meaning that they are not accessible for certain groups.  Therefore, there is an opportunity to develop a tiered approach to breast and bra education for target groups that is accessible, cost effective and sustainable. 

The breast and bra knowledge already exist; this project would explore the most appropriate translation of this knowledge to target groups, to deliver sustainable education programmes which could potentially be rolled out across other population groups.

 

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.

  • A passion for breast health/women’s health
  • Good presentation and communication skills
  • A background in education or content creation is desirable but not essential
  • General requirements of a PhD candidate: critical thinking, desire to learning and discover new knowledge, good at problem solving, innovative, good time management and project management skills

 

How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Professor Joanna Wakefield-Scurr (joanna.wakefield-scurr@port.ac.uk) 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 SHES9210724 when applying. Please note that email applications are not accepted.