Improving training efficiency through exploitation of the ventilatory systems responses to torso borne load carriage in humans


Funded PhD Project (UK students only)

Project Code



School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science

Start date

June 2020

Closing date

2nd April 2020, 17:00 (GMT)

This project is now closed. The details below are for information purposes only.
View our current projects here.

The project will be based in the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science and will be supervised by Dr Mitch Lomax, Dr Gemma Milligan and Professor Mike Tipton. The three year project is funded by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), an executive agency of the UK Ministry of Defence.

Funding for this PhD project is currently subject to confirmation of contract. The successful applicant will receive a bursary to cover tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for three years, an annual stipend (£15,285 pa UKRI 2020/21 rate), and funds to cover required travel and laboratory research expenses. The PhD position is also subject to security clearance.

The work on this project will:

  • Examine pulmonary and ventilatory function in response to torso borne load carriage in military and civilian populations
  • Assess how repeated bouts of load carriage exercise impact pulmonary and ventilatory function, and military task performance
  • Evaluate the impact of respiratory muscle training and torso borne load carriage training on pulmonary and ventilatory function, and military task performance
  • Evaluate the reversibility of training on pulmonary and ventilatory function, and military task performance

Torso borne load carriage causes a restrictive ventilatory impairment and increases the ventilatory requirements of a given task. The consequences of this are varied and may include an altered breathing pattern, respiratory muscle fatigue and reduced soldier task performance.

This work will examine the pulmonary and ventilatory constraints of torso borne load carriage and its impact on soldier performance. It will also investigate the efficacy of both load carriage and respiratory muscle training in ameliorating any observed constraints, and the reversibility of training induced adaptations.

The research work will primarily take place in the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science at the University of Portsmouth. Some work and additional analyses may also take place at other academic and non-academic institutions within the UK.   

Entry requirements

You will need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. You will have to be a UK national to be eligible to apply. You will also need to apply for and receive relevant security clearance.

An interest in pulmonary physiology and experience of laboratory work with civilian or military volunteers is desirable.

How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Dr Mitch Lomax ( to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form and select ‘Sports Science’ as the subject area. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, and an up-to-date CV.  Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.

If you want to be considered for this funded PhD opportunity you must quote project code SHES5430620 when applying.

This site uses cookies. Click here to view our cookie policy message.

Accept and close