Current PhD topics at SPARC

Current PhD topics at SPARC

This page gives an overview of the PhD projects currently underway within SPARC. Use the links below to see PhDs from our specialist research areas.

Sport Engineering Research Group

Shape analysis of the human foot using three-dimensional foot scanning: implications for the design of footwear and foot orthoses
Jamie Allan

Overuse shoulder injuries among male competitive volleyball players in Kuwait
Tasneem Alnaser

Measuring representative learning design in tennis
Emma Anderson

Cricket fast bowler development methodology at national and international level
Harvey Anderson

Improving skill acquisition with machine learning technologies
Cavan Aulton

Player location and event detection for combat sport using computer vision
Shaun Barratt

A health and wellbeing survey of the Australian parkrun population
Charlotte Benkowitz

Dynamic balance in elite level sport
Leona Brayne

The effect of hybrid turf on player movement in football
Francesca d'Andrea

Developing an improved methodology for the assessment of public order helmet efficacy
Will Dawber 

Community-based physical activity and mental health; a case study of parkrun
Allison Dunne

The effect of head impact exposure on brain health and movement
Daniel Epifano

Modelling game-style and strategy in elite tennis
Anna Fitzpatrick

Kinematics of the wrist in elite boxers
Ian Gatt 

Effect of helmet liner characteristics during impacts with compliant bodies
Daniel Haid

Nonliner measures of movement variability to inform return-to-sport in young people following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction
Adam Kennerley

The dynamic interaction between a football and surface in match play
Katie Mills 

The impact of using a spectrum of pedagogical approaches on age grade rugby: the development of grass roots rugby union through the lens of coaches, players and parents
Tim Robinson

Effect of step strategy on the clearance of the first hurdle
Lee Rowley

Use of a novel device to measure the ‘break point’ angle of the Nordic Hamstring Lower
Emma Sconce

Examining the role of donor sports for skill acquisition in team sports using an ecological dynamics framework
Ben Strafford

Assessing human morphology using statistical shape analysis
Michael Thelwell

Investigation of the biomechanical effects of football shoes on the ankle joint
Manuela Trejo Ramirez

Effect of artificial grass construction on player perceptions and biomechanics of the shoe surface interface
Thomas Wills

Physical Activity, Wellbeing and Public Health Research Group

What are the central and peripheral changes in athletes with a history of a hamstring strain injury (HSI)?
Jack Andriga-Bate

Exploring optimal strength training prescriptions for older adults
Claire Appleby

Overreaching and overtraining in resistance trained athletes
Lee Bell

Non-pharmacological interventions to treat sarcopenia in patients with chronic heart failure
Alex Bugg

Behaviour change in older adults playing walking football
Rachel Cholerton

Examining a social network-based model to evaluate soccer player and team performance
Junyuan Ding

Optimising secondary prevention and quality of life following early cardiac rehabilitation
Gabriella Frith

Effect of topical sodium bicarbonate on exercise performance and recovery in team sports
William Gurton

An exploration of professional coaches' well-being within football contexts
Andrew Higham

Critical appraisal of the exercise guidelines for people with multiple sclerosis
Liam Humphreys

Investigating the primary effects of cannabidiol in relation to sport performance and recovery
Jane Ingram

Optimising physical activity after gestational diabetes: A co-produced qualitative study
Elysa Ioannou

Investigating the relationship between movement variability and running-related injury (Joint PhD Programme with La Trobe University, Australia)

Ben Jones

Exploring non-conscious affective responses to exercise and their neural correlates in people with obesity 
Tony Ker

The feasibility of aerobic exercise training in the acute phase of stroke
Nikolaus Kudiersky

Improving the recognition and management of metabolic syndrome in primary care physiotherapy practice
Sally Mastywk

Nutritional considerations for academy football players

Georgina Milward

Whole system approaches to physical activity: exploring the extent to which ‘Move More Sheffield’ contributes to creating a healthier, happier and more connected city
Amy Murray-Evans

Efficacy of a vegan diet for weight loss
Shane Nugent

Physical activity promotion amongst primary care physicians: a theory-informed participatory approach
Jimi Osinaike 

The effects of polyphenol supplementation on recovery in professional soccer players
Lee Rickards

Nutritional considerations for climbing
Edward Smith

Impact of impairment on thermoregulation and performance of para-athletes in the heat
Joshua Surgeoner

Velocity based training
Stephen Thompson

Physiological and energetic demands of squash training and performance
Oliver Turner

Optimising exercise prescription for people living with cancer
Samantha Welfare

Biomechanical adaptations to changes in bicycle set-up in elite track cyclists
Daniel Williams

Physical activity and cardiovascular disease risk in women with polycystic ovary syndrome
Amie Woodward

Sport and Human Performance Research Group

Institutional responses to social media abuse of female athletes within professional team sports 
Amberlie Baker

Developing a non-linear pedagogical model of skill acquisition for coaching show jumpers
Marianne Davies

An ecological dynamics perspective on flow in youth football
David Farrokh

Physical education experiences and environments across key stages
Kirsty Hemingway

Enhancing multi-disciplinary performance preparation through scientist-practitioner integration
Sam Hydes

How augmented verbal instruction can be used by coaches to guide learners' search for performance solutions in football
Gérard Jones

A cross-national examination of career transition preparedness in young elite athletes
Joseph Miller

The effectiveness of motivational interviewing when used in physiotherapy with people who have musculoskeletal conditions
Madeleine Nicholson

Exploring forms of life in youth player development in a Swedish professional football academy
Mark O'Sullivan

Exploring forms of life in rugby league
Martyn Rothwell

Sports Industry Research Group

Organisational practices of player care and performance cultures within UK football academies
Abby Carrington

The social impact of sport on crime in England
Joshua Dean

Predictors of problem gambling amongst professional female athletes in the UK: football, cricket and rugby
Anca-Maria Gherghel

Valuing the social impact of youth sports in England and Australia
Rahat Haque

Evaluating and benchmarking elite athlete wellbeing programmes at the English Institute of Sport (EIS)
Michael Lodge

Physical education subject leaders: PE experts or sport development officers?
Kim Longbon

Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre

Exploring the impact of service co-location on health, social and economic outcomes
Natalie Grinvalds


A critical examination of competitive balance in elite rugby union in England
Ellie Catlin

Thermoregulation and cooling methods during simulated tennis match-play in hot environments
Matthew Debney

The use of blood flow restricted exercise to improve physical function in people with peripheral vascular disease
Thomas Parkington

Physical activity in young-onset dementia
Chloe Shaw