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Call for expressions of interest – MSc Sports Science – option Biokinetics 2024

Posted on: November 24, 2023

The Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute (SEMLI) in collaboration with the Division of Biokinetics and Sport Science at the University of Pretoria invites expressions of interest from prospective postgraduate students to embark on a Master’s Degree within the SEMLI research focus area of Lifestyle Interventions for Chronic Disease1.

The University of Pretoria has identified sport, exercise medicine and lifestyle interventions for chronic disease as one of its main strategic niche areas for research activity. To this end SEMLI was established with the vision of being an international leader in scientific, multi-disciplinary, translational research in these areas.

Masters Research study area:

SEMLI and the Division of Biokinetics and Sports Science have strategic research themes in the areas of health and wellness. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular disease, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are the leading causes of death and morbidity globally. This Masters research will involve describing the health profiles of undergraduate students of the Faculty of Health Sciences, including their physical fitness attributes, and to determine risk factors for diseases of public health importance.

This call for Expressions of Interest is open to prospective students who:

  • are in possession of a Bachelors (Hons) degree in Biokinetics as at 31 December 2023
  • meet the following additional minimum requirements: excellent academic record [average of 60% and above], proficient in research methodology, research ethics applications, data capture, basic statistics, basic computer skills including proficiency in all Microsoft Office software, excellent oral and written English skills
  • some experience in research manuscript submission and publication writing.
  • only under exceptional circumstances will an application be accepted from an individual not residing in Gauteng. A motivation will be required on how you will then conduct your research

Proposed commencement of the Program:

  • Registration with the University of Pretoria and commencement with the research process from January 2024

Tenure: minimum 1 year, maximum 2 years

1 Lifestyle Interventions for Chronic Disease: The prevention, management and rehabilitation of patients with non-communicable diseases of lifestyle through patient-centred, comprehensive, lifestyle interventions that include promotion of physical activity and participation in recreational sport.


If successful in being selected to do this Masters degree (after being invited for an interview), the successful candidate will engage part-time or full-time in their Masters degree by publication at SEMLI / Division of Biokinetics and Sport Science at UP. This will include proposal development and ethics submission, planning and implementing data collection, data cleaning and analysis, manuscript writing and editing. Publish academic paper(s) and present at conferences (where opportunities exist). Collaborate with academic staff, sport science and clinical practitioners, students etc as necessary. And contribute to grant funding applications. The successful candidate may also have the opportunity to perform duties in the Biokinetics clinical platform of SEMLI and may be able to perform limited teaching responsibilities.

Funding and Tenure:

Funding of student fees and administration costs related to this Master’s degree are the responsibility of the successful candidate. Any further funding (towards project costs etc) would be dependent on the successful attainment of research funding grants, which can be applied for jointly by SEMLI, the Division of Biokinetics and Sport Science and the candidate, once a suitable grant has been identified and a detailed proposal of the research protocol has been finalised. SEMLI and the Division of Biokinetics and Sport Science reserves the right not to appoint.


Expressions of interest can be sent to Dr Jill Borresen at:
– Please include the following supporting documents with your mail:

  • Cover letter detailing your area(s) of expertise and how they align with the research area for this Masters, what you can bring to the research programme, and what your career aspirations are.
  • CV including qualifications, work experience, and evidence of achievements such as publications and awards.
  • Certified copies of degree certificates and academic transcriptsfor qualifications still in progress
  • Names and contact details of two professional referees.
  • Your University of Pretoria student number (if you already have one)

Please send your Expression of Interest no later than COB 5 December 2023.