Scholarship Details

Doctoral Scholarship - The Effects of Sensorimotor Skill Training on Movement Skill Development within a Primary School Setting



Regulations
Application Form
Closing date: 01/03/2017
Date extended to 1 March
Value of Award: Annual Stipend NZ $20,000. Fees are not included. See Tenure for further information.
No. of awards: One
Tenure: The scholarship is available for up to three years.
Please contact Professor John Cronin john.cronin@aut.ac.nz regarding the availability of employment that may supplement this scholarship opportunity.  

Are you a confident person who’s not afraid to take on a challenge? Do you love to enrich the lives of young people? Are you an ardent learner who’s always looking to improve? Can you play nicely with both children and adults? Whangaparaoa Primary School Board of Trustees is providing funding to the Auckland University of Technology for a doctoral research scholarship, and we’re looking for an academically strong scholar to apply.

The research project will investigate the effects of sensorimotor skill training on movement skill development, using students from Whangaparaoa School. Information gathered from this doctoral research will be used to improve sport and physical activity practice at Whangaparaoa School. It will also support the development of a comprehensive movement curriculum, including learning resources, for young people throughout New Zealand. The objectives of the research are;
 
To investigate the acute and longitudinal effects on sensorimotor skill development on fundamental movement skills in primary school aged children.
To determine and account for possible confounders, including maturation status, somatotype, habitual physical activity and motivation.
To contribute important information for the development of a movement curriculum for young New Zealanders.  

The research will be supervised by AUT Professor John Cronin john.cronin@aut.ac.nz .


Selection criteria:

  • ·        A relevant Master’s degree or BSc (Hons) (First class) in Sport’s Coaching and/or Exercise Science or in a related discipline.
  • ·        Minimum English language requirement for international applicants – IELTS scores of 6.5 overall with 7 in writing and all other bands 6.0 or higher.
  • ·        Demonstrated ability to conduct research and an understanding of how to apply the findings in practical settings.
  • ·        Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • ·        An affinity for data and analyses.

  • Applicants will also have:
  • An inquisitive and vibrant mind. 
  • A proven knack to deliver excellent coaching service. 
  • The aptitude to excite and manage children.
  • The ability to develop others.
  • The motivation to learn and constantly improve processes and tools.
  • The people skills to work with coaches, parents, and teachers.
  • The willingness to travel and to be flexible.
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General Information:

How do students apply?
Applicants must complete the AUT Research Scholarship Application Form and provide;
 ·        a covering letter that includes a personal statement  addressing point by point the eligibility criteria above and the conditions of appointment as outlined below.
·        a copy of their academic transcript if any previous study was completed at a University other than AUT
·        a brief CV containing  contact details (maximum 2 pages) 
 Reports from two academic referees are also required and must be sent directly and confidentially to the Scholarships Office. Reference statements must not be submitted by the applicant. 
 Email your application and the reference statements to: scholarships@aut.ac.nz
 
NB: Applicants are strongly advised to initiate the process of admission to the PhD programme at AUT at the same time as applying for this scholarship. Admission to the PhD programme may take some time. An international student will not be able to apply for a Visa until they have admission to the University. Applying for this scholarship and admission into the PhD programme are two separate processes.
a) Domestic applicants contact the postgraduate office of the faculty for information and advice on the application for study process. 
b) International applicants contact phdadmissions@aut.ac.nz for advice regarding the admissions process for international students.
 
START DATE:
 It is expected that the successful applicant will commence in early 2017. No funding can be released until the recipient is enrolled at AUT University. Therefore, the start date will depend on the completion of AUT University doctoral enrolment and obtaining a student visa (if required).
 
Regulations
Application Form

Decision makers
The successful applicant will be selected by a panel consisting of representatives from the School of Sports and Recreation in Consultation with   Whanaparoa Primary School.

The scholarship will not be awarded if the selection panel or the funding body is of the opinion that the applicants are not of sufficient merit and may be re-advertised.

 

How and when do students learn of the decision?
As soon as possible after the closing date.

What conditions are attached to acceptance of this award?
CONDITIONS OF APPOINTMENT
 Admission to the PhD programme at AUT.
Add value to the high performance team at SPRINZ by designing and conducting robust applied research.
Conduct the research in accordance with AUT- approved research procedures.
Provide regular presentations (oral and written) of research findings to the Whangaparaoa Primary School Board of Trustees and SPRINZ as requested.
Satisfy PhD supervisors and Whangaparaoa Primary School Board of Trustees with their work ethic and with the rate of progress in the design and conduct of research.

Additional information
APPENDIX A  -  RESEARCH PROJECT
Introduction
A robust foundation of movement skill in pre-adolescence is essential for prolonged engagement and enjoyment in sport and physical activity. Not only does it allow children to progress to and execute a range of more complex and combined movement skills – necessary for personal accomplishment and achievement at higher levels of sport - but it increases physical activity engagement, correlates highly with academic achievement, and improves physical, psychological and behavioural outcomes in later life. However, while some programmes and resources exist that emphasise fundamental movement skill development, they fail to capture efficacy in terms of skill acquisition and measures of assessment. Furthermore, little is known about the key physical competencies, such as stability, that may augment movement skill development.
 
Sensorimotor skill is critical for stability during dynamic movement. Sensory information is received from the body and external environment, it’s organised and processed in the brain, then an appropriate movement response is produced. Development of sensorimotor skill starts with postural stability, steps to dynamic balance stabilisation, and ends in dynamic stabilisation during sport-specific movement skills and activities. The purpose of this research is to provide evidence-based information regarding the effect of sensorimotor skill on movement skill development.
 
Aim
The aim of this research is to investigate the effects of sensorimotor skill training on movement skill development within a primary school setting. The effect of acute and longitudinal training on specific sensorimotor and movement skill variables will be investigated across multiple school terms and year groups / age levels. The research will be conducted with students from Whangaparaoa School, who will benefit directly from its findings. Information gathered from this doctoral research will also support the development of a comprehensive movement curriculum, including learning resources, for young people throughout New Zealand.       
Objectives
To investigate the acute and longitudinal effects on sensorimotor skill development on fundamental movement skills in primary school aged children.
To determine and account for possible confounders, including maturation status, somatotype, habitual physical activity and motivation.
To contribute important information for the development of a movement curriculum for young New Zealanders.  
Methodology
First, a literature review that critiques the research on fundamental movement skill development within a long-term context will be generated. Then, a series of cross-sectional and longitudinal investigations will determine the reliability and smallest worthwhile change across year groups in dependent variables of interest i.e., postural stability, dynamic balance and stabilisation, jumping and landing etc. The longitudinal studies will likely span a 2-year period and training effects will be compared to a traditional physical education curriculum. Co-variates such as maturation, somatotype and habitual physical activity will be used to expand interpretation of the data. In addition, measures of commitment will be collected to gain insight into the motivational climate of the training environment.

Who else has information about this award?
AUT Professor John Cronin john.cronin@aut.ac.nz .


For guidelines, application forms and more information about this award contact:

Auckland University of Technology


Phone: +64 9 921 9837

Email: scholars@aut.ac.nz

Last updated: 18-Mar-2015 3.29pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.