PhD Studentship: Effectiveness of Existing Anti-Doping Interventions in Recreational Sport and Fitness | Coventry University


  • Eligibility: UK/EU
  • Award Details: £14,057 stipend in year 1 plus 2% thereafter, UK/EU fees waiver and consumables costs of £1,500 per year for 3 years only
  • Duration: 3 years 6 months Fixed Term
  • Application deadline: February 14th 2017 (starting April 2017)
  • Informal enquiries are essential before application; contact Professor Alfonso Jimenez to discuss this opportunity.

Congratulations on taking your first steps toward a Research Degree with Coventry University. As an ambitious and innovative University, we’re investing an initial £100m into our new research strategy, ‘Excellence with Impact’. Through original approaches from world-leading experts, we’re aiming for our research to make a tangible difference to the way we live. As a research student you are an integral part of Coventry’s lively and diverse research community and contribute to our reputation for excellence. With our exceptional facilities and superb support mechanisms you are afforded every opportunity for academic success.

The Project

Coventry University and EuropeActive are seeking outstanding PhD candidates to join an EU funded project focused on collaboration with the wider physical activity sector and delivering real world impact in anti-doping in recreational sport and fitness. The student will have the opportunity to complete their studies based at EuropeActive headquarters in Brussels, whilst engaging with industry partners, EU and national policy makers, and wider academic networks.

Historically anti-doping efforts have focused on the detection and deterrence of doping in elite sport. There is, however, a growing concern that doping outside the elite sporting system is an expanding and problematic phenomenon, giving rise to the belief that the misuse of doping agents in recreational sport has become a societal problem and a public health concern. The misuse of doping substances, such as anabolic androgenic steroids can lead to physical, psychological, or social harm and impact upon both users and the wider community.

The FAIR 2 project aims at reviewing existing good practices in a coordinated manner to support and develop initiatives that are aimed at raising awareness across the EU, within the public health sector, and in the recreational sport and fitness sectors, in order to make an active contribution to the prevention of doping. As a result the project will try to achieve the following objectives:

  • Review existing doping prevention interventions, including for food and food supplements, which are aimed at sports people, and to report on potential good practices which are proven to be effective.
  • Provide evidences to support and stimulate a forum for open discussion and objective thinking about reducing the prevalence of doping for performance- and image-enhancing purposes.
  • Inform key stakeholders and policy makers on evidence-based planning and encourage them to adopt potential good practices and to use the information material/tools to raise awareness of doping issues to their users.

In its overall objective of providing a platform for exchange for debate, discussion and cooperation, the FAIR 2 project would become the only coordinated way for all interested stakeholders to come together at a European level for developing anti-doping strategies policies with effective and concrete recommendations and tools which could be applied at different levels, and by the different and relevant actors.

About the Centre/Department

The Centre furthers the understanding of fundamental biological pathways and processes; applying biological sciences to advance diagnosis and prevention of disease.

Our aim is to enhance Coventry University’s reputation for evidence-based scientific research of excellent quality, across a range of areas and discipline boundaries, to create an inter-disciplinary continuum of expertise that extends and develops our understanding across Applied Biological and Exercise Sciences.

The University has considerable strengths in high quality publications in Applied Biological and Exercise Sciences, ranging from expertise in cell biology, genomic and molecular biology, biochemistry, safety pharmacology, physiology, physical activity and exercise. We currently have particular strengths in scientific research that investigates life processes to lay the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis and prevention.

This is a jointly funded PhD project between the Centre for Applied Biological and Exercise Sciences at Coventry University & EuropeActive. This presents a great opportunity to be part of a pan-European project focused on collaboration with wider Physical Activity sector and delivering real world impact in anti-doping in recreational sport and fitness. The student will work directly at EuropeActive headquarters in Brussels throughout the project.

Successful Applicants

Successful applicants will have:

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the Project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average, or
  • A Masters Degree in a relevant subject area will be considered as an equivalent. The Masters must have been attained with overall marks at merit level (60%). In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a mark at merit level (60%).
  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a prescribed period of study
  • Language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).


  • High-calibre student, BSc/MSc 1st or 2:1 in Health Sciences, Sport and Exercise science, Human biology/physiology, or other relevant bioscience degree.
  • Highly motivated, excellent communication skills, and ability to work both independently or as part of a team.
  • A good knowledge of statistical techniques and ability to clearly present findings.

Eligibility & Application Procedure

Application Procedure:

Application information can be found in our how to apply section. Before completing the application please contact Professor Alfonso Jimenez for an initial informal discussion about the opportunity.


All UK/EU/International students are eligible to apply that meet the academic requirements, the eligibility criteria can be found on the making an application page.

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