Congratulations to PHD student Callum O’Malley

Cumberland Lodge Scholarship

Congratulations to PHD student Callum O’Malley (School of Sports and Exercise Sciences, Division of Natural Sciences) for his acceptance to the Cumberland Lodge Scholarship at the Cumberland Lodge Society.

Only ten students nationwide are offered this scholarship across all disciplines. The main purpose of the scholarship is to improve the inclusivity and dissemination of research.

We spoke to Callum to find out more:

What made you apply for the scholarship?

In fact, I had come across the Cumberland Lodge and Scholarship on the Kent Scholarships page. I aim to go into post-doc work and academia post-PhD, therefore some individual grant funding to start building my research portfolio and grant record is quite a big focus and the Cumberland Lodge seemed a good start to apply and get some experience with the process. I had my eye on the scholarship a few months before it opening for applications which I used to prepare and research around the Cumberland Lodge a little more.

In addition, the scholarship is involved with Outreach work which I am already quite heavily involved with both at Kent and at my previous institution. There is the opportunity to collaborate with individuals from other areas with a shared interest in outreach. I hope to carry on my research (which is in line with our ‘Future Human’ signature theme) with some people from other areas to help diversify my work.

Could you tell me more about your research?

Generally, I research the physiology, neurobiology, and psychology of the effort phenomena. In particular, I research effort in relation to exercise contexts. By understanding effort we can then begin to understand what it is that people do to cope with it (particularly athletes – a cohort who are inherently more competent at coping with effort). This can then inform an evidence-based intervention to help more sedentary populations cope with effort.

Coping with effort and increasing exercise participation has widespread benefits. Less strain on health organisations (NHS), less impact on the climate/environment, generally improved quality of life due to higher exercise participation levels.

How will it affect your research?

In terms of research this is really useful. As mentioned, I research around effort and I am currently developing an intervention to help sedentary populations overcome the averse sensations of effort to increase exercise participation. This hopefully has further implications for quality of life, wellbeing, but also environmental benefits too.

It is these final points (applications) that are exciting with this grant as I will have the opportunity to network with a wide spread of motivated peers across different fields. I hope to be able to meet people involved within fields that can help with implementing this intervention within the public health domain.

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