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Funded PhD Studentship in Physical Activity for Health in Rare Genetic Diseases (Fabry disease).

The Centre for Physical Activity, Health and Disease at Brunel University London is offering a fully funded PhD studentship to investigate increasing physical activity and limiting sedentary behaviour in individuals living with Fabry disease. This rare genetic condition affects 1 in 10,000 people and common symptoms include pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, heart problems, stroke and difficulty doing exercise. This leads to multiple medical conditions, physical disabilities, mental health problems and lower quality of life. This research position will involve creating a new intervention to increase physical activity and limit sedentary behaviour to enhance their mental health and quality of life.

Based in the College of Health Medicine and Life Sciences, and co-funded by the MPS Society and the College; the studentship offers a full-time annual London rate stipend of £18602 (including London weighting) plus Home tuition fees, for a maximum of 36 months.

The start date will be 1 October 2022. 

The PhD studentship will involve measuring physical activity and sedentary behaviour in adults with Fabry disease and working with them and their families/carers to co-design a physical activity and sedentary behaviour intervention tailored to their needs. This will lead to testing the intervention to evaluate how it may affect mental health and quality of life.

The successful candidate will be supervised by an expert interdisciplinary team of researchers and clinicians who will provide full training for the research:

  • Dr Daniel Bailey (Principal Supervisor), Co-Director Centre for Physical Activity, Health and Disease, Brunel University London
  • Dr Cherry Kilbride (Second Supervisor), Reader in Physiotherapy/Rehabilitation, Brunel University London
  • Professor Derralynn Hughes (Clinical Advisor), Research Lead LSD Unit, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Professor Louise Mansfield (Research Development Advisor), Director Centre for Health and Wellbeing across the Lifecourse, Brunel University London

For informal discussions, please contact Dr Daniel Bailey (daniel.bailey@brunel.ac.uk).


Candidates should have an undergraduate degree (first or upper second class) or equivalent qualification in physiotherapy, sport and exercise sciences, biosciences or a related field. A Masters qualification in a relevant area would be desirable. Experience in quantitative and/or qualitative research in areas relating to physical activity, physiotherapy and/or clinical populations is essential. Desirable criteria include HCPC registration, REPs Level 3 or 4 and/or experience working with similar groups. Applicants who have not been awarded a degree by a University in the UK will be expected to demonstrate English language skills to IELTS 7.0 (minimum 6.5 in any section).

How to apply

If you wish to apply, please e-mail the following to chmls-pgr-officestaff@brunel.ac.uk by 17 June 2022.

  • An up-to-date CV.
  • A single-page A4 single-spaced personal statement describing why you are a suitable candidate (i.e. outlining your qualifications and skills).
  • One example of your academic writing (e.g. an essay, a section from a dissertation).
  • Names and contact details for two academic referees.
  • A copy of your highest degree certificate and transcript.
  • A copy of your English language qualification, where applicable.

Short-listed applicants will be required to attend an interview. Applicants chosen for interview will be instructed to submit a formal online application via Admissions.

For further information about how to apply, please contact the College of Health Medicine and Life Sciences Postgraduate Research Student Office on chmls-pgr-officestaff@brunel.ac.uk.

Meet the Supervisor(s)

Daniel Bailey - Dr Daniel Bailey is a Senior Lecturer in Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences in the Division of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences, Department of Life Sciences, and is Co-Director of the Centre for Physical Activity in Health and Disease. He previously established and led the Sedentary Behaviour, Health and Disease Research Group. Dr Bailey's research investigates the relationship between sedentary behaviour and chronic health conditions, with a particular focus on cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. This research includes the epidemiology of sedentary behaviour and association with chronic health risks, rigorously controlled laboratory studies examining the benefits of breaking up prolonged sitting time on markers of health, and the development and evaluation of interventions to reduce sedentary behaviour in a range of population groups at risk of adverse health such as office workers, wheelchair users, older adults and people with Type 2 diabetes. Dr Bailey has been awarded multiple research grants from funding bodies and industry partners to support his research and has published a large number of research articles in the field of sedentary behaviour, physical activity and health. He has delivered multiple conference presentations and invited talks across the UK and Europe and is a Technical Advisor for the Qatar National Physical Activity Guidelines 2nd edition, 2021. Dr Bailey Deputy Chair of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Physical Activity for Health Division, and was a member of the scientific global leadershop committee for the 8th International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) Congress. Dr Bailey has a wealth of experience teaching physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health topics at undergraduate and postgraduate level and uses innovative teaching approaches in his practice including research-informed teaching, bleneded and authentic learning, and flipped classrooms.

Cherry Kilbride - Cherry is a Reader in Physiotherapy, and pathway lead for the ACP MSc Neurorehabilitation in the Department of Health Sciences. Cherry is an active proponent of developing capacity and capability for allied health professional clinical research. Cherry is the Director of Research for Brunel Partners Academic Centre for Health Sciences (BPACHS) and the Lead Allied Health Professional for Clinical Research at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, where she previously worked as a senior manager and specialist physiotherapist in neurology. Cherry is an active researcher in the field of neurological rehabilitation, including stroke, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy.    Qualifications: PhD MSc FCSP PGCert (LTHE), FHEA

Louise Mansfield - Career History Louise Mansfield is Professor of Sport, Health and Social Sciences and Research Lead for Welfare, Health and Wellbeing in the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies.  Her research focuses on the relationship between sport, physical activity and public health and wellbeing. She is interested in partnership and community approaches in sport and physical activity and issues of health, wellbeing, inequality and diversity. She has led research projects for the Department of Health, Youth Sport Trust, sportscotland, Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, Macmillan Cancer Support, Public Health England and Sport England. She sits on the editorial boards for Leisure Studies, Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health and the International Review for the Sociology of Sport and is Managing Editor of Annals of Leisure Research. Louise is known for  is known for developing evidence to inform policy and practice.