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PHD studentship: Evaluating the impact and/or implementation of the Creating Active Schools programme on physical activity in primary school children

Full-time: available
Part-time: not available
Prospective PG students (inc. current UG): available
Current PG students: not available
Entry year: 2021/22
Undergraduate: not available
Postgraduate taught: not available
Postgraduate research: available
1 award available

About the award

A core aim of the Wolfson Centre for Applied Educational Research is to improve the physical and mental wellbeing for all children in schools. A central strand within this work is to enhance the physical activity levels of all children during and beyond school time. To that end, we want to work with exciting and innovative researchers who share our interests to investigate the effect and implementation of whole-school approaches to physical activity. 
the Creating Active Schools (CAS) Framework was co-developed by fifty stakeholders representing nine different stakeholder groups (Daly-Smith, 2020; paper, video). The CAS framework presents - for the first time- the many factors that need to be addressed within the school setting to create effective change for physical activity. The Capability, Opportunity and Motivation Behaviour change model (COM-B) is integrated within the Creating Active Schools framework to reflect the need to change behaviour at every level of the system (Michie et al., 2011). 
The PhD will be undertaken within Sport England funded Local Delivery Pilot (LDP) in Bradford; JU:MP ( JU:MP is a whole-systems approach to improving physical activity in children and young people aged 5 to 14. Within JU:MP, the Creating Active Schools framework is being used to lead systems change within schools. To date, thirteen schools have engaged in the CAS intervention as part of the JU:MP pathfinder phase. As the programme progresses to the accelerator phase, the project will involve over 30 further schools. The PhD will focus specifically on the impact and implementation of the CAS framework within primary schools. A control trial will be undertaken to assess programme effectiveness, this will begin in September 2021, with follow-up testing at two and three years. A process evaluation will complement the control trial to provide an understanding of how the programme works. 
The focus of the PhD is to understand the implementation and/or effectiveness of the CAS programme. While the umbrella evaluation (process evaluation and control trial) will have been designed, the student will have flexibility to utilise the data collected and/ or suggest further methods of data collection. Accelerometers will be used to assess the impact of the CAS programme on children’s physical activity levels in addition to wider measures of health and wellbeing. The process evaluation will involve a range of qualitative approaches including focus groups, questionnaires and participatory methods (e.g., ripple effect mapping).  


Eligibility criteria

Candidates should focus their application on outlining the specific approach to evaluating the implementation and/or effectiveness of the Creating Active Schools framework. If you are interested in applying, it is strongly recommended that you contact Dr Andy Daly-Smith to get further detail on the Creating Active Schools framework and the implementation approach within the JU:MP programme.  

Eligible countries

Students from all countries, who meet the criteria, are eligible.

Payment amount & frequency

This project has full funding for UK students, which will cover tuition and a stipend for living costs. Non-UK students, including those from EU countries, may be considered but would need to self-fund the difference between UK and International fees

How to apply

Applicants should apply via the following link

Application deadline: 23 April 2021


Find out more

For informal enquiries, please contact:  

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