Funded (UK/EU and international students)

Project code



School of Health and Care Professions

Start dates

October 2023

Application deadline

6 April 2023

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

The PhD will be based in the Faculty of Science and Health, and will be supervised by Dr Jenny Roddis, Dr Sandra Walker and Dr Rebecca Stores

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 for three years and a stipend in line with the UKRI rate (£17,668 for 2022/23). Bursary recipients will also receive a contribution of £1,500 per year towards consumables, conference, project or training costs. 

The work on this project could involve:

  • Developing a local patient and public involvement (PPI) group to advise on the project
  • Gaining qualitative insights into the impact of the cycling without age programme for participants and volunteers
  • Undertaking and analysing surveys with cycling without age programme participants to understand its impact on their quality of life and wellbeing

This project will explore and explain the benefits (or otherwise) of The You Trust’s Cycling without Age (CWA) programme. This programme offers older people who are isolated or lonely an opportunity to enjoy outdoor spaces in a safe way.

The Cycling without Age (CWA) programme is an international initiative developed with the intention of supporting older people to get out and about. Many of the affiliated organisations appear to focus on taking out people who live in nursing / care homes, certainly this is where the research is focused.

In contrast to these interventions, the Portsmouth CWA programme enables participants to be passengers on a cycle ride around the local area. Tribikes are piloted by volunteers, who are matched to participants according to interests. Participants experience the sights and sounds of the local area, in a safe environment. This is particularly important post-pandemic where individuals may feel unsafe going into crowded areas; the bikes are out in the open air and provide limited contact with others. Anecdotal evidence from volunteers running the programme indicates that participants feel safer on the bikes, that they are re-introduced to the outside world from which they may have been isolated for some time, and that the effects are significant and immediate in enabling individuals to get outdoors again. 

This project aims to explore and explain the effects of the CWA programme, identifying the specific elements of the programme perceived by participants and volunteers to be important, and quantifying any changes in quality of life.

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 Roddis  ( 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 SHCP7890423 when applying.