Fully Funded PhD Scholarship: Understanding Blood Glucose Management in Competitive Cycling with Type 1 Diabetes

04 Mar 2020

Project description: 

Glycaemic management around physical exercise is a challenge for people with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Yet conversely, people living with T1D having can complete prolonged endurance activities (marathon, ultramarathon, multi-day walks, Ironman, Ultraman, multi-day cycling or cross-country skiing). In such endurance activities, frequent blood glucose monitoring is essential for sustained exercise performance and reductions in dysglycemia. However, notwithstanding, infrequent blood sampling potentially occludes the true extent of exercise-induced dysglycemia, and its ramifications.

The advancement of continuous monitoring of interstitial glucose concentrations (CGM) alongside insulin analogue recording aids glucose management during prolonged endurance exercise and allows athletes to identify and rectify early aberrations in dysglycaemia.

Despite the challenges of controlling glycaemia for active people with T1DM, professional cyclists like Team Novo Nordisk demonstrate that high-end athletic performance in World class Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) cycle events is possible. This presents a novel window to observe glycemic patterns in training and race conditions that may help inform the ease (or difficulty) of attaining clinical target ranges in glucose ranges for individuals with T1DM.

In this exciting PhD scholarship opportunity, we will explore factors affecting interstitial glucose excursions in professional cyclists with type 1 diabetes and help deepen our understanding of threats to glycaemic stability during or after physical exercise. Furthermore, we will explore day/night, seasonal relationships and race/training environments. Finally, we will detail coping strategies that help reduce dysglycaemia. 


Academic requirements

Candidates should hold a minimum of an upper second class (2:1) honours degree (or its equivalent) in sports and exercise sciences, Postgraduate qualification in Sports and Exercise Physiology, Biochemistry or related subject area (Sports and Exercise Nutrition, Dietetics, Human Physiology, detailed coaching sciences).

Successful candidates are required to have:

  • A strong standard of advanced data analysis and statistical processing techniques.
  • Knowledge and experience of type 1 diabetes and blood glucose management with medicines for diabetes.
  • Ability to work in a competitive high-level sporting environment.

We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements (IELTS 6.5 overall with 5.5+ in each component) to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit – http://www.swansea.ac.uk/admissions/english-language-requirements/

Please note that international (non-EU) students are welcome to apply, but a portion of the stipend would have to be used to cover the difference between UK/EU fees and full international fees.  

Additional Funding Information

This scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £12,000 for three years.

There will be additional funds available for research expenses.

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