PhD in Predicting performance and mental ill health in esports players using heart rate variability

  • Chichester, West Sussex
  • 29th November 2021

Employer: University of Chichester

Contract Type: Full-time, Fixed term

Bursary: Tax-free stipend of £12,500 and a full-time home-fees waiver

Duration: April 2022 – March 2025

Reference: RQ0000001527

Full Description:

The Institute of Sport, Nursing and Allied Health (IOSNAH) is offering up to 3 full-time research bursaries (PhD studentships) across different discipline areas within Sport and Physical Activity. The bursaries offer students the opportunity to undertake a programme of doctoral research whilst also, potentially, developing their experience of learning and teaching in higher education in a supportive and supervised environment. 

The studentships carry a tax-free stipend of £12,500 and a full-time home-fees waiver. Students accepting the bursary may also undertake teaching duties up to a maximum of 6 hours per week (120 hours per annum), subject to availability. Such duties will be remunerated (currently at £27.66 per hour). The bursary is funded for 3 years, subject to satisfactory annual review. 

The preference is for students to undertake full-time research starting on the 1st April 2022. Part-time research is possible and will be considered on a case by case basis. 

The IOSNAH has a strong research environment and has achieved excellent results in the most recent Research Evaluation Framework (with 97% of our research deemed to be internationally recognised and over 50% deemed to be internationally excellent). We have over 50 full-time members of staff researching various topics within sport and physical activity (with particular research strengths and interests in Occupational Performance, Developing Sporting Performance, Health and Well-Being and Equality and Inclusion). We currently have a cohort of 24 MPhil/PhD students. 

Successful applicants will be shortlisted and advised of presentation/interview dates. 

Interview date: w/c 13th December 2021 

The video game industry has seen a dramatic acceleration in growth over the last 10 years and is expected to be worth over US$1.64 billion in 2024. The rise of professional video gaming has resulted in esports, defined as the casual or organised playing of video games in a way that provides professional or personal development to the player. Recently, high profile professional esports athletes have taken breaks from competition due to stress and mental ill health, highlighting the intense demands placed on performers. Preliminary research conducted at the University of Chichester has identified a range of stressors which can negatively impact both performance and mental health of esports athletes. However, further research is needed to better understand the stress–performance/mental health relationship in esports and to explore ways in which stress and mental health can be monitored. Heart rate variability (HRV) is acknowledged to be a marker of emotional regulation and has been linked with many phenomena relevant for psychophysiological research, including mental stress, clinical depression, sleep and resilience against mental ill health. The aim of this project is to explore potential uses of HRV to monitor stress and mental health in esports. 

For an informal discussion concerning the project please contact the project Director of Studies, Dr Phil Birch ( 

Please visit our website for further information and to apply:


BASES stands for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. BASES is the professional body for sport and exercise sciences in the UK.



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