Studentship: Understanding mental health in elite women's cricket

  • Bangor University and across ECB sites
  • 4th February 2022

Employer: Bangor University and English and Wales Cricket Board

Location: Bangor University and across ECB sites

Contract: Full-time

Bursary: £15,609 (approx)

Full description:

Bangor University, School of Human and Behavioural Sciences (HBS), supported by the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Wales (Wales DTP), invites applications for funded PhD study. This particular studentship, known as a ‘collaborative studentship’, involves liaison with our collaborative non-academic organisations, The English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). The above collaborative studentship is now available to apply for and will commence in October 2022. 

The project will be supervised by Dr Eleri Sian Jones, Dr Ross Roberts, and Prof. Tim Woodman of the Institute of Psychology for Elite Performance (IPEP) at Bangor University and from our industry expert at the ECB, Prof. Nick Peirce and the ECB Women’s Science and Medicine Wellbeing team. Part of the College of Human Sciences, the School of Human and Behavioural Sciences (HBS), has been providing high-calibre undergraduate and postgraduate sport science degrees since 1978. Our sport science research was ranked 7th in UK according to a national assessment of research quality (REF) published in 2014 (Times Higher Education, 18 December 2014). 

The project is part of a longstanding partnership between the ECB and IPEP and will build on existing projects. Recently, the mental health of elite athletes has received considerable attention in the media and in research. Whilst this attention is much overdue, there is scant research on mental health in female athletes. Research that does exist focuses on eating disorders and does not consider a deeper understanding of female athletes’ experiences. This narrow focus is surprising given that females are known to be at a heightened risk compared to males for all types of mental illness. Furthermore, the rapid development of the professional organisation and pathways for women’s cricket, including the international squads, 8 Regional Hubs and, respective academies and the new Hundred franchises, provides a unique opportunity to establish research in the unique cohorts provided by the ECB. This has already seen the highest global attendance for a domestic women’s game. As such, there is need for dedicated research examining mental health in elite female athletes in this unique opportunity to advance understanding in this area and pave the way for effective interventions. Therefore, the aim of this project is to examine the prevalence of and mechanisms underpinning adverse mental health in elite women’s cricket and develop evidence-based interventions to support mental health in elite women’s cricket. 

Applications are invited from exceptional candidates with a first class or strong upper second class honours degree, or appropriate Master’s degree. Both the University and the ESRC Wales DTP value diversity and equality at all levels and we encourage applications from all sections of the community. We welcome applications for both full-time and part-time study and this studentship is available as either ‘1+3’ (i.e. one full time year of research training Masters followed by three years of full-time Doctoral study, or its part-time equivalent), or ‘+3’ (i.e. three years of full-time Doctoral study or its part-time equivalent), depending on the needs of the applicant. Applications welcomed by 4th February 2022 (1200 hours). 

WHAT THE STUDENTSHIP WILL COVER 

Studentship Awards commence in October 2022 and will cover your tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant (currently £15,609 p.a. for 2021/22 for full-time students, updated each year); and includes access to an additional Research Training Support Grant (RTSG), though an element of this latter fund may be ‘pooled’ and require separate applications from 2022 onwards. There are other opportunities and benefits available to studentship holders, including an overseas fieldwork allowance (if applicable), internship opportunities, overseas institutional visits and other small grants. 

ELIGIBILITY 

ESRC studentships are highly competitive, candidates should have an excellent academic background in the social sciences (e.g., sport science, psychology), holding a 1st or strong upper 2nd class degree; applications from those also holding a relevant research training Masters degree (or an equivalent background in research training) will be considered for the +3 award. Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU Students who can satisfy UK residency requirements. 

1+3 OR +3? 

This award is available on either a 1+3 or +3 basis. A 1+3 studentship provides funding for four years (or part-time equivalent), completing a research training Masters in the 1st year, followed by 3 years research funding for a PhD. A +3 studentship provides funding for the three years PhD research study only (or part-time equivalent). 

ASSESSMENT 

The closing deadline for applications is 12.00 noon on Friday 4th February 2022. Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview, which are expected to take place in late February/early March 2022. After review, a final short-list of applicants will be put forward to a Panel convened by the ESRC Wales DTP Management Group at which final decisions with regard to studentship awards will be made. In most cases, successful applicants can expect to hear by early April 2022. 

FURTHER INFORMATION 

In the first instance, you may wish to contact Dr Eleri Sian Jones with any queries or to discuss your application (eleri.s.jones@bangor.ac.uk). Please include your CV and a brief summary of your research interests. Please also specify whether you wish to apply on a +3 or 1+3 basis. For further information about the Institute for Psychology of Elite Performance Research Group, The English and Wales Cricket Board, or research training within the School, please visit the following: http://ipep.bangor.ac.uk https://www.ecb.co.uk/

APPLY NOW 

The online application form is available here: http://ipep.bangor.ac.uk Applications must include:

- Covering letter: The letter must set out your reasons and motivation for applying for this studentship, your academic interests and how these specifically relate to the description of the project and why you think you are particularly suited to this project (2 page maximum). 

- References: All applications require two academic references to be submitted in support. 

- CV: This should be no longer than 2 pages and where appropriate should contain proof of English Language Competency (7.0 ielts min.)

Vacancy website address: https://www.bangor.ac.uk/sport-health-and-exercise-sciences/study-with-us/postgraduate-funding/en

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About BASES

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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