Psychology: Fully Funded Swansea University PhD Scholarship: Stressful or Supportive? Women’s Biopsychosocial Experiences of Exercise and Fitness Tracking (RS635)

  • DeadlineDeadline: 14 June 2024
  • WalesWales


Closing date: 14 June 2024

Funding provider: Swansea University's Faculty of Medicine Health and Life Science

Subject areas: Psychology, Women’s Health, Wellness, Fitness, Communication

Project start date:

  • 1 July 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-June)


Aligned programme of study: PhD in Psychology

Mode of study: Full-time

Project description

Physical inactivity increases risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression, and costs the UK £7.4 billion annually. Women are less likely to exercise, particularly after having children and through menopause, yet exercise can help reduce menopausal symptoms and support postnatal recovery and wellbeing. We know this is affected by unique body composition and hormonal changes and social reasons (childcare, body image, financial), but less consideration is given to how exercise experiences, messaging to ‘get active’, or wearable fitness apps could increase stress for women.    

This project will explore the best way to support women to exercise, improving health and combating physical inactivity in Wales. Building on our MASI funded project exploring women’s perceptions of wearable fitness apps, and partnering with Fiercely Fit, a supportive female health and wellbeing community, we will adopt a biopsychosocial approach including taking physiological and psychological measures of stress and mood before, during and after exercise, and exploring women’s experiences of exercise and exercise messaging.  We will also examine potential moderating/mediating variables such as reproductive stage, time of day, individual/group format and type of exercise in the relationship between women’s exercise motivation, exercise engagement, mood and stress.   

The successful candidate will benefit from an interdisciplinary team of experienced experts from different sectors (personal training, computer science, public health communications). There will also be the option to develop public engagement and science communication skills.  

For more details please see here:

Entry Requirements

Candidates must hold a UK bachelor’s degree with a minimum of Upper Second Class honours or overseas bachelor’s degree deemed equivalent to UK honours (by UK ECCTIS) and achieved a grade equivalent to UK Upper Second Class honours, and a master's degree. Alternatively, applicants with a UK first class honours degree (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University) not holding a master’s degree, will be considered on an individual basis. If you are eligible to apply for the scholarship but do not hold a UK degree, you can check our comparison entry requirements (see country specific qualifications). Please note that you may need to provide evidence of your English Language proficiency. 

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to applicants eligible to pay tuition fees at the UK rate only, as defined by UKCISA regulations.  

If you have any questions regarding your academic or fee eligibility based on the above, please email with the web-link to the scholarship(s) you are interested in. 


This scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend at £18,622.

Additional research expenses will also be available.

How To Apply

To apply, please complete your application online with the following information:

  1. Course choice – please select Psychology / PhD / Full-time / 3 Year / July

    In the event you have already applied for the above programme previously, the application system may issue a warning notice and prevent application, in this event, please email where staff will be happy to assist you in submitting your application.

  2. Start year – please select 2024
  3. Funding (page 8) –
  • ‘Are you funding your studies yourself?’ – please select No
  • ‘Name of Individual or organisation providing funds for study’ – please enter ‘RS635 - Fitness Tracking'

*It is the responsibility of the applicant to list the above information accurately when applying, please note that applications received without the above information listed will not be considered for the scholarship award.

One application is required per individual Swansea University led research scholarship award; applications cannot be considered listing multiple Swansea University led research scholarship awards.

We encourage you to complete the following to support our commitment to providing an environment free of discrimination and celebrating diversity at Swansea University: 

As part of your online application, you MUST upload the following documents (please do not send these via e-mail). We strongly advise you to provide the listed supporting documents by the advertised application closing date. Please note that your application may not be considered without the documents listed:

  • CV
  • Degree certificates and transcripts (if you are currently studying for a degree, screenshots of your grades to date are sufficient)
  • A cover letter including a ‘Supplementary Personal Statement’ to explain why the position particularly matches your skills and experience and how you choose to develop the project.
  • Two references (academic or previous employer) on headed paper or using the Swansea University reference form. Please note that we are not able to accept references received citing private email accounts, e.g. Hotmail. Referees should cite their employment email address for verification of reference.
  • Evidence of meeting English Language requirement (if applicable).
  • Copy of UK resident visa (if applicable)
  • Confirmation of EDI form submission (optional) 

Informal enquiries are welcome, please contact Dr Kimberly Dienes (

*External Partner Application Data Sharing – Please note that as part of the scholarship application selection process, application data sharing may occur with external partners outside of the University, when joint/co- funding of a scholarship project is applicable.

Who is eligible to apply?

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to applicants eligible to pay tuition fees at the UK rate only, as defined by UKCISA regulations.  

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