Sports Science: Fully Funded Swansea University and Scarlets Rugby PhD Scholarship: In-Game Statistics Associated with Match Outcome in Professional Rugby Union (RS598)

  • DeadlineDeadline: 15 May 2024
  • WalesWales


Closing date: 15 May 2024

Funding provider: Swansea University and Scarlets Rugby

Subject areas: Engineering, sport science, data science, physics, mathematics

Project start date: 

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


Aligned programme of study: PhD in Sports Science

Mode of study: Full-time

Project description:

The aim of this PhD project is to investigate whether match key performance indicators (KPIs) are effective at predicting match outcome at the elite rugby union level in the URC. 

The candidate will review current key performance indicators and analyse their influence on match outcome. The candidate will build and refine machine learning techniques to find latent patterns or parameters in the data to statistically predict match outcome and league position. Initially, these models will be based on legacy data from our project partner, Scarlets Rugby. This dataset comprises individual athlete, team, strategy, and wellness information from 5 prior seasons. The models will be verified/refined on the legacy data test efficacy and then applied to the current URC season 24-25. 

The candidate will be embedded in a professional rugby environment and will be expected to adhere to strict non-interference rules. They will be responsible for collecting multi-channel data from a range of micro-technology devices that assess performance and monitor training load and ultimately will oversee data quality, provenance and curation within a standardised database. 

Available resources/facilities: A-STEM labs (biomechanics and exercise physiology)/Scarlets load monitoring and performance analysis equipment.

For more details please see here:

Entry Requirements

Candidates must hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level in a STEM discipline. 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. 

Experience in MATLAB, PYTHON and GPS Data Collection are desirable.

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 UKRI rate (currently £18,622 for 2023/24).

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 Sports Science / Ph.D. / 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 ‘RS598 - Professional Rugby Union’

*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) 

For enquiries, please contact Professor Liam Kilduff ( Dr Rowan Brown (

*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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