Sports injury candidate Theresa Heering awarded Coventry University’s Postgraduate Researcher of the Year 2024

Shortlisted candidates for the Postgraduate of the Year Award 2024

Shortlisted candidates for the Postgraduate of the Year Award 2024


Friday 10 May 2024

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Theresa Heering, an already successful PhD student from Coventry University’s Centre for Physical Activity, Sport and Exercise Science, has won the Postgraduate Researcher (PGR) of the Year Award 2024.

Theresa was one of eight doctoral candidates selected from across the university to take part in the PGR of the Year competition, which involved delivering a 10-minute research presentation to a general audience and receiving evaluations on its impact from a panel of judges.

Theresa’s competition presentation summarised her doctoral thesis, which focuses on preventing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in children by exploring how young footballers move and how their movement patterns affect injury risk. She is enrolled in the Cotutelle PhD programme at Coventry University and Deakin University in Australia, which allows her to be jointly supervised by academics, and awarded a PhD from both institutions.

This recent win adds to her impressive academic track record, which include presentations at six national and international conferences and accolades such as the Routledge Recently Qualified Researcher Award, the ASICS Best Poster Award, and won the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition within the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University.

In addition, Theresa received the Brian Cantor Scholarship Prize in 2023 and was chosen for the 2024 Early Career Development Programme by the World Health Organization Europe and Health Enhancing Physical Activity Network Europe, emphasising her commitment to advancing global public health and physical activity initiatives.

It is a huge honour to receive this in recognition of my PhD work. A lot of work and dedication has been going into it and I would like to thank my supervisors - Professor Mike Duncan, Professor Lisa Barnett, Dr Natalie Lander and Dr Jason Tallis for their support, encouragement and care at each stage. I have submitted my thesis just recently and winning the PGR of the year 2024 is a great way to end my PhD journey.

Theresa Heering, PGR of the Year 2024

Theresa’s dedication and innovative approach to understanding and preventing ACL injuries in children has the potential to change lives. We are incredibly proud of her achievements and look forward to seeing the broader impact her research will have on young athletes and sports science.

Professor Mike Duncan, Director of Studies

The PGR of the Year competition is held annually as part of the Coventry University Research Capability and Development Conference. Organised by the university’s Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, the RCAD conference unites postgraduate researchers, as well as staff, from across the university to showcase their work, share knowledge and experiences, and celebrate their successes.

The nominees for this year’s competition included:

  • Mirabel Pelton, Centre for Intelligent Healthcare
  • Kayden J Schumacher, Global Learning: Education & Attainment
  • Louisa Petts, Centre for Dance Research
  • Ebenezer Akore Yeboah, Centre for Healthcare and Communities
  • Sheila Chebet Ronoh, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations
  • Hannah Westwood, Centre for Postdigital Cultures
  • Yasaman Namazi, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience

Find out more about PhD Studentships at Coventry University.
Find out more about Coventry-Deakin Cotutelle PhD oppotunities.