NATS PhD Candidate wins prestigious Cumberland Lodge Scholarship

Congratulations to Kent PhD Candidate Callum O’Malley (School of Sports and Exercise Sciences, Division of Natural Sciences) who has won the prestigious Cumberland Lodge Scholarship!

Cumberland Lodge is a charitable organisation whose mission is “to employ people, through open dialogue and debate [and] to tackle the causes and effects of social division.” Its annual PhD Scholarship Competition awards just 10 Scholarships nationally to students across any and all discipline, and assists its awardees with improving the inclusivity and dissemination of their research. We spoke to Callum about his winning of the scholarship below.

1. Tell us about your research!

Through my PhD research, I have focused on the sensation of effort during exercise. Effort has a physiological element but a psychological element, so my research has aimed to marry these two areas to generate a more comprehensive understanding of the effort phenomenon. The main purpose of this understanding is that we can use it to develop more targeted – and hopefully more effective – interventions to help people develop a better competency to cope with effort. In turn, we can begin to focus these interventions to sedentary individuals and hope to improve exercise participation in this subpopulation for wider societal benefit.

2. What does winning this scholarship meant to you?

The grant means a great deal to me. I do have aspirations of pursuing a career in academia, and grant funding is a large factor in this line of work. Having the first successful individual grant under my belt really does excite me and makes me want to push and apply for more. On top of this, I am also really excited about the work I plan to do as part of this grant. The Cumberland Lodge has a great reputation of promoting collaborations across numerous disciplines to produce meaningful research with clear societal impacts.

3. What do you hope to achieve with it?

I have several ideas as to what I will use this grant for. Importantly, the benefits of this opportunity go beyond the money as the society provides the chance to cultivate relationships with other researchers to diversify our research and broaden the scope of our work. I do hope to set up an online outreach platform that has exercise science at its core. I envisage that each session will incorporate other disciplines as it goes along. At the moment I expect this will develop in the form of a podcast, monthly seminars, or interactive workshops. However, I also want to be open others ideas so if other individuals within Kent also have similar motivations to develop outreach opportunities, I am more than happy for those individuals to contact me.