UN student receives research bursary from the Wellcome Trust

Date 16.11.2015

​BSc Sport and Exercise Science student, Josh Dixon, has been awarded a £2,000 bursary from the Wellcome Trust which will enable him to work in a high level biomechanics research environment over the summer.

The Biomedical Vacation Scholarship will provide Josh with the opportunity to work alongside Dr Anthony Kay and his highly experienced research team at the University of Northampton for eight weeks.

The research Josh will be working on aims to determine and compare the effect of contract-relaxed stretching and modified contract-relaxed stretching on mechanical properties of the knee flexor muscle group. During the project Josh will complete a laboratory induction training programme and be introduced to the analyses and experimental procedures. He will also gain hands-on experience working with human subjects and collecting data in the laboratory.

Josh commented: “Gaining this scholarship will allow me to learn a range of biomechanical, physiological and biomedical analyses, including dynamometry, electromyography and ultrasound. I am very interested in these areas and the prospect of working with Dr Kay’s research team to develop my understanding is an exciting opportunity as the team regularly presents its work at international conferences and publishes in high-impact journals.

“I aim to continue onto postgraduate studies and then enter the physiotherapy field. Gaining this bursary is a great opportunity to gain real-world experience, enhance my CV and improve my prospects for further study and a career in applied physiotherapy and research.”

Dr Kay commented: “The biomedical scholarship is an excellent opportunity for Josh to experience a professional research environment and learn from a highly experienced research team.  Josh will also gain valuable knowledge and an understanding of several biomechanical and neurophysiological analyses vital for developing novel techniques to combat common musculoskeletal conditions.

“Crucially, as Josh will be immersed within the team and play an integral part of conducting and analysing the data from the project, he will appear as a co-author on subsequent international conference presentations and publications in high-impact international journals.  These opportunities will greatly enhance, not only his skill set and knowledge, but also his employability prospects and opportunities for further postgraduate study.”

Professor Simon Denny, Director of Enterprise Development and Social Impact at the University of Northampton, commented: “The Wellcome Trust is one of the most prestigious research funding bodies in the world. It is excellent that our students and staff are able to compete for student bursaries with the research intensive universities and come away with a prize. Josh and Anthony have done a great job.”

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health by supporting bright minds in science, the humanities and social sciences, and public engagement. The scholarships provide promising undergraduates with hands-on experience of research during the summer vacation, with the aim of encouraging them to consider a career in research.