Understanding visual exploratory activity in Women's Football: Developing recommendations for practice design

  • Chichester, West Sussex
  • 29th November 2021

Employer: University of Chichester

Contract Type: Full-time, Fixed term

Bursary: Tax-free stipend of £12,500 and a full-time home-fees waiver

Duration: April 2022 – March 2025

Reference: RQ0000001529

Full Description:

The Institute of Sport, Nursing and Allied Health (IOSNAH) is offering up to 3 full-time research bursaries (PhD studentships) across different discipline areas within Sport and Physical Activity. The bursaries offer students the opportunity to undertake a programme of doctoral research whilst also, potentially, developing their experience of learning and teaching in higher education in a supportive and supervised environment. 

The studentships carry a tax-free stipend of £12,500 and a full-time home-fees waiver. Students accepting the bursary may also undertake teaching duties up to a maximum of 6 hours per week (120 hours per annum), subject to availability. Such duties will be remunerated (currently at £27.66 per hour). The bursary is funded for 3 years, subject to satisfactory annual review. 

The preference is for students to undertake full-time research starting on the 1st April 2022. Part-time research is possible and will be considered on a case by case basis. 

The IOSNAH has a strong research environment and has achieved excellent results in the most recent Research Evaluation Framework (with 97% of our research deemed to be internationally recognised and over 50% deemed to be internationally excellent). We have over 50 full-time members of staff researching various topics within sport and physical activity (with particular research strengths and interests in Occupational Performance, Developing Sporting Performance, Health and Well-Being and Equality and Inclusion). We currently have a cohort of 24 MPhil/PhD students. 

Successful applicants will be shortlisted and advised of presentation/interview dates. 

Interview date: w/c 13th December 2021 

Skilled performance in time-constrained situations can be underpinned by a performer’s ability to visually explore their environment to identify opportunities for action. Recently, studies of visual perception in football have used terms such as visual exploratory activity (VEA), or scanning, when referring to head and body movements that involve looking away from the ball to guide prospective control of future actions. The importance of effective VEA has been highlighted in various analyses of competitive football environments, with higher VEA frequency related to higher pass accuracy in professional male football players. However, there has been little research on analysing the effectiveness of practice designs to enhance frequency and quality of VEA, which is an area for future research. In line with a significant increase in participation and interest in women’s football in recent years, emerging research in professional women’s football has focused on the physical and technical demands of match performance. To inform evidence-based practice activities for women’s football, there is scope to further understand perceptual skill in performance environments. Understanding contextual factors that influence VEA in women’s football can inform representative practice activities for developing perceptual skill. Therefore, the aim of this project is to develop evidence-based recommendations for practice design to enhance VEA, with a specific focus on understanding VEA in women’s football. 

For an informal discussion concerning the project please contact the project Director of Studies, Dr Chris Pocock (c.pocock@chi.ac.uk). 

Please visit our website for further information and to apply: https://tinyurl.com/4v8vuzt3


BASES stands for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. BASES is the professional body for sport and exercise sciences in the UK.



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