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Brunel University London-Sport England: Collaborative PhD Studentship (Inequalities and Community Sport Engagement) / Quantitative Analyst (Sport England Insight Directorate)

A collaboration between Brunel University London and Sport England has been developed in an integrated way that will allow the successful candidate to balance the demands of both doctoral research and paid work as a Quantitative Analyst within Sport England’s Insight Directorate.

The Centre for Health and Wellbeing across the Life course at Brunel University London and the Insight Directorate at Sport England are working together to provide a unique and exciting opportunity to conduct high quality doctoral research alongside a paid, flexible, part-time Quantitative Analyst role within Sport England’s Insight Directorate.

Brunel University London - PhD studentship

The collaborative PhD studentship in inequalities and community sport engagement will involve rigorous and systematic mixed methods work on understanding the relationships between social inequalities and correlates of sport/physical activity that could underpin the effective intervention design and policy making in the community sport sector. Precise research questions and methods will be discussed, refined and agreed with the successful candidate, supervisors and Sport England. Mixed methods are likely to include both secondary data analysis using hierarchical linear modelling and mixed-effects modelling of selected survey data sets, and primary qualitative data collection using participatory strategies for understanding community sport/physical activity and social inequalities.

The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Adrienne Milner, Dr Nana Anokye and Professor Louise Mansfield. For informal discussions about this studentship, please contact Professor Louise Mansfield (louise.mansfield@brunel.ac.uk).

Based in the College of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, and funded by Brunel University London, the PhD studentship offers Home/EU tuition fees for a maximum of 36 months and a final year annual stipend of circa £17,609 (months 25-36). Preferred registration date for PhD April 2022 (will occur flexibly with placements).

Sport England – Quantitative Analyst role

Sport England are seeking a talented individual to join its Research and Analysis team for a series of paid placements between January 2022 and December 2023 to reflect Sport England and PhD requirements.

Operating at the heart of Sport England, the Research and Analysis team’s work is focused on understanding patterns and trends in engagement in sport and physical activity. The Quantitative Analyst role is an essential part of the Research and Analysis team whose work informs improved strategy, policy and investment decisions to support community sport in England.

More information about Sport England’s strategy can be found here: https://www.sportengland.org/why-were-here/uniting-the-movement

Working under the direction of the Senior Research Manager – Quantitative Research, the successful candidate will be responsible for the delivery of high-quality quantitative research, including:

  • Contributing to the accurate and timely reporting of Active Lives statistics on levels, patterns and trends in engagement in sport and physical activity.
  • Using appropriate analytical approaches and techniques, undertaking primary analysis of the Active Lives Surveys, providing further in depth looks at specific topics of interest.
  • Undertaking secondary analysis, including (but not limited to) sport and physical activity data, government population and economic statistics that addresses important strategy, policy and investment issues affecting sport and physical activity in England.
  • Supporting the Senior Research Manager (Quant) as required with Active Lives survey dataset management and maintaining technical documentation.
  • Making Sport England’s data accessible to wider stakeholders, including helping to manage specific tools and assisting with data requests.
  • Supporting team members as required to ensure the ongoing development and success of the Active Lives Surveys.

The quantitative analysist role will be completed between January 2022 and December 2023, the paid placements will involve a maximum 70 weeks full time equivalent work at a salary of £26,605 per annum pro rata.

A collaborative approach

Impacts from the work will have direct and sustainable academic, societal and policy influence reflecting the vision and mission of both Brunel University London and Sport England. The work will strengthen reciprocal relationships between research, policy and practice in the community sport and physical activity sector. 


Brunel University London – PhD:

Candidates should have:

  • An undergraduate degree (first or upper second class) with UK right to permanent residency. A Masters qualification in a relevant area would be desirable.
  • Experience in conducting quantitative behavioural or sociological research and multivariate data analysis is essential.
  • Applicants who have not been awarded a degree by a University in the UK will be expected to demonstrate English language skills to IELTS 7.0 (minimum 6.0 in any section).

Sport England – Quantitative Analyst:


  • Experience of working successfully in a research / analysis environment e.g. working within market research, academic research and/or a client research team
  • Good understanding of quantitative analysis methods (e.g. descriptive and inferential statistics)
  • The ability to analyse and interpret complex quantitative data
  • Understanding of and experience working with survey data
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including clear presentation and reporting of quantitative research data
  • Good project management skills
  • Good team working skills
  • Experience of working with statistical analysis software
  • Advanced Excel skills
  • Intermediate MS Office skills


  • Advanced SPSS skills
  • Experienced in the design and production of effective data visualisation
  • Intermediate R and / or Python skills

How to apply

If you wish to apply, please e-mail the following to chmls-pgr-office@brunel.ac.uk by midday 29 October 2021.

  • An up-to-date CV including UG and Masters final grades and any professional / work experience
  • A single-page A4 single-spaced personal statement setting out why you are a suitable candidate (i.e. outlining your qualifications and skills).
  • One example of your academic writing (e.g. an essay, a section from an undergraduate or a Masters dissertation).
  • A summary of your teaching experience or the teaching activities you feel you could support.
  • Names and contact details for two academic referees.
  • A copy of your highest degree certificate and transcript.
  • A copy of your English language qualification, where applicable.

Short-listed applicants will be required to attend an interview which will take place week commencing 8th November. Applicants chosen for interview will be instructed to submit a formal online application via Admissions. Both organisations are committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, we encourage applications from candidates from a wide range of backgrounds that are inclusive and properly reflective of UK society. Applications are particularly encouraged from disadvantaged backgrounds in the UK. Sport England has set a target to be representative of British Society by 2026.

For further information about how to apply, please contact the College of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences Postgraduate Research Student Office on chmls-pgr-office@brunel.ac.uk.

Meet the Supervisor(s) for this Studentship

Louise Mansfield - Career History - Louise Mansfield is Professor of Sport, Health and Social Sciences and Research Lead for Welfare, Health and Wellbeing in the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies.  Her research focuses on the relationship between sport, physical activity and public health and wellbeing. She is interested in partnership and community approaches in sport and physical activity and issues of health, wellbeing, inequality and diversity. She has led research projects for the Department of Health, Youth Sport Trust, sportscotland, Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, Macmillan Cancer Support, Public Health England and Sport England. She sits on the editorial boards for Leisure Studies, Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health and the International Review for the Sociology of Sport and is Managing Editor of Annals of Leisure Research. Louise is known for  is known for developing evidence to inform policy and practice.

Adrienne Milner - Dr Adrienne Milner is a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Global Public Health, Department of Health Sciences and a member of the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies. Dr Milner’s research addresses issues of health equity in terms of race and ethnicity and sex and gender in education, political, and sports contexts. Specifically, she has studied racial and sexual attitudes, policy preferences, and inequality to examine issues such as police brutality, discrimination of transgender individuals, and affirmative action. Her current work analyses racial and sexual disparities in health outcomes, health policy, and health systems and focuses on COVID-19, the Affordable Care Act, and the NHS. Dr Milner is co-author with Prof Jomills Henry Braddock II of the monograph, Sex Segregation in Sports: Why Separate Is Not Equal, which uses a socio-legal approach to compare racial and sexual policy and argue that sex segregation in sport should be eliminated. Specifically, Milner and Braddock II focus on why large-scale sex integration in sport would result in a number of social benefits, such as increased safety and access to athletic participation and decreased prevalence of violence against women, eating disorders, and use of performance-enhancing substances. She is also co-editor with Prof Braddock of the collection, Women in Sports: Breaking Barriers, Facing Obstacles. Dr Milner graduated from Emory University with a double major in Sociology and Women's Studies and went on to complete her MA and PhD in Sociology at the University of Miami. Prior to her move to Brunel, she was a Teaching Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Lecturer in Social Determinants of Health at Queen Mary University of London.

Nana Anokye - Nana is the Director of Division of Global Public Health at the Department of Health Sciences within the College of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences. Nana's work on Economics of Physical Activity has been used by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to formulate three national public health guidelines on exercise referral schemes, and brief advice for adults in primary care. He has quantified how time and money prices influence behaviour change. Having won the Walduck Prize for Research Impact, Nana’s work further secured prestigious UK Department of Health funding to conduct the first ever English general population survey on the economics of physical activity. His interests in public health are wide-ranging. How primary care can improve health outcomes; whether financial incentives improve maternal and child health; and what the link between shopping vouchers and breastfeeding may be, are some of the public health questions Nana is keen to answer. As an ardent gym goer himself, his quest for knowledge led him to investigate whether physical activity was any more independent from sedentary behaviour. Nana is Chair of ISPAH LMIC Council and a member of the Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF) College of Experts. As Institute of Leadership and Management certified coach and mentor and a former broadcast journalist, Nana is passionate about communicating research and supporting research careers through podcasts – the Research Life, which he co-founded with colleagues. Nana has a PhD in Health Economics (Brunel), an MSc in Environmental Resources Management from Brandenburg University of Technology (Germany) and, a BA in Economics and Sociology from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana).
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