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Every day is a school day: learning from our postgraduate researchers

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Last week (Friday 27th January 2023) saw an excellent turn out for the postgraduate research day. The day was filled with fascinating research from our postgraduate research students (PGRs) from those at Masters level through to those in the final years of their PhD’s. The day highlighted the vast range of research carried out by PGRs in the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences here at the University of Birmingham.

Leaving the sport psychology bubble!

It was a great opportunity to get out of the sport and exercise psychology bubble as we learnt about topics including but not limited to:

· Amino acids and proteins in relation to muscle growth

· Physiotherapy programmes

· Nutritional strategies to improve how our blood vessels respond to stress

· Motor control

· Exercise and autoimmune diseases

· Using ultrasound shear wave technology to measure muscle stiffness

· Exercise for Psychosis

· Neural mechanisms underlying impulse control in Parkinson's disease

Returning to Sport and Exercise psychology-based research

We also spent some time in more familiar territory during sport and exercise psychology-based presentations that again covered a broad range of content within this area including topics like imagery. We also heard from our very own SPRINT project postgraduate researchers Georgia and Kirsty. Keep reading below to find out more about their research.

Georgia Bird (3rd year PhD student; pictured on the right) presented her research exploring risk and protective factors of athlete mental health. Did you know that mental health and mental illness are related but distinct from each other? So, you could have a mental illness but still have positive mental health, and equally you could be without a mental illness but still have poor mental health. You can learn more about some of Georgia's work through her journal article "Promoting Athlete Mental Health: The Role of Emotion Regulation".

Kirsty Brown (2nd year Masters by Research student) presented her research on athletes perspectives of help seeking for mental health. Interestingly, we learnt that our attitudes, access, and experience influence the extent to which we are likely to seek help for mental health but there’s lots more we need to learn about this in the context of sport. We look forward to seeing more on this but for now you can read more about Kirsty's work to date by accessing this pre-print of her scoping review below:

A huge thank you to the postgraduate research day organising committee, Georgia Bird, Marie Korzepa, Ally McKenzie, and Dr Ned Jenkinson for their work in organising such a great day.

If you’re interested to know more about postgraduate study in the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences you can find out more on the University website. Don’t forget, you can also subscribe to our blog to get regular updates.


Written by Dr Grace Tidmarsh, Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Teaching Fellow in Sport Psychology and Mental Health at The University of Birmingham. Grace's research involves translating sport psychology to community based contexts such as youth homelessness, with a particular interest in programme evaluation.

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