Matters of Intensity?: Exercise training in middle-aged women

Project code:  SCI148

Assist in the development and application of protocols for the evaluation of neuromuscular function.  Develop and apply capability with Chart software, Matlab, data handling and analysis, force plates and transducers.  Assist with recruitment and data collection from participants.  Contribute to the compilation, integration and analysis of research evidence of resistance exercise programmes and physiological adaptations in middle aged women.  The successful candidate will have a keen interest in and understanding of human anatomy and physiology and resistance exercise training practices.   Strong organizational and literacy skills, able to work independently and with others.  At Tamaki Innovation Campus, some flexibility with hours.


Muscle Biology: Exercise-sensing proteins in human skeletal muscle

Project code:  SCI149

Investigations of the abundance and location of proteins in skeletal muscle that respond or change with exercise.  The outcomes will help to explain the specificity of the adaptation of muscle to the demands of the training.  Techniques to be used include cryosectioning, isolated fiber preparations, and immunohistochemistry.  Fluorescence microscopy and image capture, processing and analyses using specialized software is also part of the project.  Applicants should have an interest in skeletal muscle and the biological basis for its adaptation with exercise training, injury or disuse. A background in biology, some chemistry/biochemistry laboratory experience and a basic understanding of cell and molecular biology are needed.  You should also value and demonstrate precision and patience.  At Tamaki Innovation Campus, some flexibility with hours. 


Research Evidence of the Physiological Demands and Consequences of Team Sport

Project code:  SCI150

Assist with the compilation, integration, analysis and interpretation of data from the research literature on sport physiology and performance.  The successful candidate will have a keen interest in and understanding of quantitative aspects of human physiology and team sport performance.  Strong organizational skills, current competency and an ability to extend capability with software for document preparation, data management, referencing, figures and illustrations. Excellent English writing and written comprehension skills and a facility with numbers are needed. Able to work independently, with focus, accuracy, and persistence.  At Tamaki Innovation Campus, some flexibility with hours.


Caffeine, Brain Heath and Performance

Project code:  SCI151

An opportunity to join ongoing research exploring effects of caffeine on human brain health & performance in The summer scholar will assist with human trials measuring neurocognitive and physiological responses to caffeinated beverages.

The student must be available for full-time work; 400 hours, a minimum of 35 hours per week. Holidays can be negotiated and the research team take a compulsory break over the Christmas and New Year period.

No previous experience with specific techniques or laboratory skills is required, but candidates must be confident, well-organised and able to work competently within a professional research environment.


Dr Nick Gant


Development of a portable measurement system based on inertial sensors for clinical assessment

Project code:  SCI152


Dr Yanxin Zhang

Video-based motion analysis technique has been used to evaluate functional motions for neurological patients. The results show that upper limb kinematic models have high repeatability, which could be used as an assessment tool for clinical populations. However, the required lab space and the high cost of the system restrict the large-scale use of the system. Recent breakthrough of sensor technology has made it possible to use low-cost, high quality, light, and small size sensors, e.g. inertia sensors, to track human motions. The aim of the project is to develop and validate a real-time portable motion analysis system for studying functional tasks. Commercially available inertial sensing units attached to human body (hand, forearm, upper arm, thorax, torso, and pelvis) will be used to obtain global orientation estimation, acceleration, angular velocity and magnetic North in real time. A kinematic model will be developed to calculate the orientation for each segment and joint angles. To evaluate the proposed model, human participants will be recruited to perform a set of functional tasks.  The movement will be simultaneously recorded by the inertial sensing units and a 3D Vicon motion capture system (as the gold standard) and the results will be compared.


Neuromodulation of propriospinal excitability

Project code:  SCI153

Aims of the Project:

To determine if the brain polarization technique known as anodal transcranial direct current stimulation applied over primary motor cortex can influence propriospinal neuron excitability, and how this differs between the arm contralateral or ipsilateral to the stimulation.


Student role/responsibilities:

Assist with participant recruitment, data collection, and analysis of healthy human neurophysiology experiments involving TMS and EMG. During data collection sessions the student will help prep the participant and run data collection software. Also assistance with pilot data collection exploring brain polarization in chronic stroke participants may be required.


Good grade in SPORTSCI 305; possible interest in further PG study.

The student must be available for full-time work; 400 hours, a minimum of 35 hours per week.


The study will be conducted in the Movement Neuroscience Lab between November 15 – Feb 28.

Ethical approval for this project has been granted UAHPEC Ref. 010457.