Funded PhD Project (UK and EU students only)

Project code



School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science

Start date

February 2020

Closing date

3 January 2020

This project is currently not accepting new applicants.

View all of our current research projects.

Applications are invited for a fully-funded three year PhD to commence in February 2020.

The PhD will be based in the School of Sport, Health & Exercise Science, and will be supervised by Dr Jenny Burbage, Dr Gemma Milligan and Dr Alex Rawcliffe.

The three-year project is funded by the UK Ministry of Defence (subject to contract) and will start in February 2020. Interviews will take place in the week commencing 27th January.

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 (£15,009 for 2019/2020). Bursary recipients will also receive a £1,500 p.a. for project costs/consumables. 

The work on this project will:

  • involve data collection in the field and laboratory setting to determine the specific needs and functional requirements of breast support relative to the demands of common occupational military activities
  • inform recommendations on the type(s) of sports bras to be issued to female recruits
  • be based within the School’s world leading Research Group in Breast Health

The incidence of breast and bra issues in British Army female recruits is high. It is likely that current sports bras worn do not provide the female recruit with the necessary support needed for Basic Training and no sports bra standards specific to the demands of BT currently exist. 

This research will employ an interdisciplinary approach to undertake a needs analysis, lab simulation testing and field based user trials. 

The lab-based research work will take place in the biomechanics laboratory at the University of Portsmouth, using our electromagnetic sensors and optoelectronic camera system. The Research Group in Breast Health has a world-leading reputation for our work examining breast biomechanics and informing breast support design. 

Some data collection will take place in the field (venue subject to confirmation) and will require travel and possibly short periods spent living away from home.

Entry requirements

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.

How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Dr Jenny Burbage at to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form and select ‘Sports Science’ as the subject area. 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 SHES5220220 when applying.

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