PhD studentship: Quantifying workload in elite ballet dancers

  • St Mary's University, Twickenham
  • 31st August 2018

Employer: St Mary's University, Twickenham
Bursary: The studentship will provide full-time PhD student fees of £4,900 p.a. and a bursary of £13,000
Contract type: Full time PhD


Doctoral Studentship (with stipend) 

Faculty of Sport, Health and Applied Science and The Royal Ballet

Applications are invited for a full-time three-year PhD studentship at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London and The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, London, to begin in October 2018.

Project Details:

Over the past 5 years, The Royal Ballet Company (RBC) have invested in an interdisciplinary team of Sports Medicine practitioners housed in a healthcare suite at the Royal Opera House with the primary goal of protecting and enhancing the health and physical performance of its ~90 professional ballet dancers.

The RBC partnered with St Mary’s University, Twickenham in 2015 to further their dancer support services and implement a programme of Strength and Conditioning support. As the partnership has evolved, a need for a research programme has been identified, specifically investigating workload quantification. A unique opportunity now exists to undertake a PhD research programme with the RBC in the setting of the Royal Opera House healthcare suite.

Across elite sports, workload monitoring has become common practice in order to quantify physical load, periodise training and understand recovery requirements of athletes. Equivalent methods for quantifying workload in professional ballet have not been extensively considered. This programme of research will develop, implement and evaluate workload quantification and monitoring systems in elite ballet dancers.

The successful candidate will work under the supervision of Dr Charles Pedlar (St Mary’s University), Matt Springham (St Mary’s University), and Greg Retter (Clinical Director, The Royal Ballet Company). The successful candidate will have a postgraduate degree in sport science, strength and conditioning science, dance science or a closely related field. A demonstrable background in applied practice or research in these areas would also be favourable.

The studentship will provide full-time PhD student fees of £4,900 p.a. and a bursary of £13,000. Please note that the initial stipend will be paid upon successful registration in February 2019. For International candidates, the difference between the international fees and UK fees must be paid by the candidate (equal to £8,360).

To apply, please download and complete a PhD studentship pre-registration application form - - and send it via email together with a current CV to:

Johanna Neville +44 (0)20 8240 4388

Application deadline: August 31st 2018

Interviews will be held during September, dates to be confirmed.

Please direct all enquiries to Dr Charles Pedlar (

  • Master’s degree awarded with distinction in a related area, e.g. Sports Science, Strength and Conditioning Science, Biomechanics, Dance Science
  • Highly motivated proactive individual with an ability to work independently
  • Demonstrable applied research experience
  • Strength and Conditioning or Sports Science accreditation, e.g. UKSCA or BASES accreditation
  • Data science and/or statistical skills with the ability to handle large data sets of dense data
  • Experience of working in elite sport or similar high performance settings

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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