Military heat stress management: Exploring the role of inter-individual factors and previous SARS-CoV-2 infection on heat strain during military tasks

Eligibility: UK/EU/International graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Bursary, tuition fees plus generous consumables allowance

Duration: Full-Time (42 months)

Application deadline: 30 October 2020

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: January 2021

To find out more about the project, please contact Ben Lee.

Project details

In 2018 the Ministry of Defence (MoD) replaced the Annual Fitness Test (AFT) with a legally defensible physical employment standard, called ‘Role Fitness Test’ (RFT)1. The RFT consists of a series of job-specific military task simulations, each with a specific pass standard. Laboratory adaptations of the RFT may provide a novel model in which to examine thermoregulatory responses to military-specific scenarios conducted across a range of ambient weather conditions.

This PhD programme will incorporate whole-body physiological measurements and biochemical techniques in order to understand how acute (e.g. dehydration, prior viral infection, pacing) and chronic (e.g. genetics, chronic disease) factors affect thermoregulation and exertional heat illness risk during simulated military tasks, which will be performed over a range of climatic conditions. The project will also examine whether novel pharmaceutical interventions can improve heat tolerance, reduce heat illness risk, and enhance operational effectiveness.


This is a fully-funded PhD studentship, including:

  • Full tuition fees
  • Stipend/bursary
  • Additional allowances


Training and Development

The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.
All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.


  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years.
  • A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).

Additional requirements

Applicants should have a first or upper second class honours degree in a relevant area to the project. This includes human physiology, exercise physiology, human biology or sport science. Applicants with laboratory experience and excellent interpersonal skills for working with human volunteers are preferred but not essential. A Master’s degree or equivalent qualification or other evidence of research skills and experience is preferred but not essential.

How to apply

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus an up to 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project. 

To find out more about the project please contact Ben Lee.

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