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Businesses to benefit from PhD research

01 May 2007

Businesses and charities are being given the opportunity to benefit from research conducted by PhD students at Canterbury Christ Church University.

For the first time, the University’s Department of Sport Science, Tourism and Leisure is giving organisations a chance to fund a bespoke piece of research that could significantly enhance their chances of success and development.  The funding for this kind of research is called an ‘industrial scholarship’ and the project would be carried out by a University PhD student.

The University’s Professor of Sport in Society, Mike Weed, is leading the ‘industrial scholarship’ scheme.  He said: “Industrial scholarships will enable exceptional students to pursue PhD studies in partnership with businesses, organisations and trusts in the public and private sectors.  The research would be specifically tailored to the organisation that is funding the project.  For example, a tourism organisation might want to examine the effectiveness of their marketing strategies or evaluate their ongoing and forthcoming visitor management initiatives.  A Primary Care Trust might be interested in evaluating or developing ‘exercise referral’ or physical activity development initiatives.  A health club may want to investigate the respective benefits of the various exercise machines – the possibilities are endless.  The industrial scholarships will significantly benefit the student and the industrial partner.”

A three year PhD study usually costs in the region of £45,000 but industrial partners can expect to pay £18,000, £6,000 per year for three years.  The Department of Sports Science, Tourism and Leisure will provide, in turn, all other additional funding for the student and will re-invest funding that has been awarded as a result of the Department’s success in the Government’s Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

The partner organisation and the University will mutually agree on the area of research that the PhD student should undertake.  The PhD student will then spend time with the partner organisation and regularly update them on their progress.

Businesses, organisations and charities that would like further information on industrial scholarships should contact Professor Mike Weed on 01227 782743 or email

Notes to Editor

Due to the nature of the funding that the University receives, industrial scholarships are only available to commence during 2007 and the number of industrial scholarships that can be funded is limited.

Research in Sport Science, Tourism and Leisure at Canterbury Christ Church University

Research in the Department of Sport Science, Tourism and Leisure is organised into three themes: Physiological Research, Behavioural Research and Socio-cultural Research. 

Physiological research is conducted on aspects of health-related exercise, some of which has been funded by the Department of Health and the British Heart Foundation.  With regards to research into cycling performance, the Department has strong links with British Cycling and is hosting the World Cycling Congress to coincide with the British leg of the Tour de France in July 2007.

Behavioural research comprises work on performance psychology, which links with the Department’s physiological research theme, both of which benefit from the Department’s British Association of Sport and Exercise Science (BASES) accredited laboratory facilities.  Further behavioural research is conducted on the consumption of experiences, which includes research on football spectating that has recently featured in the national media.

Socio-cultural research comprises work on the sociology of sport, which includes work on gender and the Olympics, and on the sociology of tourism policy and development, aspects of which have been funded by the cross-channel Transmanche project (including Kent County Council and Nord Pas de Calais).  Finally, socio-cultural research also incorporates work on sports tourism, parts of which have been funded by Kent Highways.


Claire Robinson, Media Relations Officer,
Canterbury Christ Church University,
01227 782391,

David Cutts, External Relations Assistant,
Canterbury Christ Church University,
01227 782826,

For media enquiries:

Claire Robinson
01227 782391