Higher Degree by Research Student Spotlight: Marni Simpson

5 Aug 2020

Each month we shine the spotlight on a HDR (Higher Degree by Research) student within the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences.

This month we caught up with PhD Candidate, Marni Simpson.

What inspired you to undertake a PhD?

I was never very interested in research during my undergraduate. It wasn’t until my last year, after completing my Honours with the Brisbane Broncos, did I realise the influence research can have in elite sport. I have always wanted to be involved in elite sport and high performance, and it became clear during my undergraduate, that the pathway to working with elite athletes would be through a PhD.

What are your key research interests?

My key research interests are training and workload monitoring in sport. This includes using movement tracking devices, like inertial measurement units. I am also interested in how movement demands in sport can relate to match performance. However, I am also very passionate about providing practical implications for elite sport from my research.

What is your PhD research project about?

My research project is about quantifying workload demands in training and matches for elite netball. I have conducted my research project in partnership with the Queensland Firebirds. My research project aims at providing information on workloads for netball specific drills, position-based demands and relationships to match performance.

What do you enjoy most about being a PhD student?

Whilst it is a very challenging journey, I have really enjoyed the opportunities to share my research. Whether it was at conferences or other presentations, using my research to start conversations with other research academics was enjoyable and worthwhile.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone thinking about studying a PhD?

Take your time deciding, it’s a big decision and it 3 and half years of your life to be focused on one topic. Try to involve supervisors that you can have honest conversations with, not just about your PhD, but about your life as well.

What three words would you use to describe the life of a PhD student?

Challenging, Self-Discovery, Coffee

What do you like to do in your spare time when you are not working on your PhD?

If you haven’t figured it out by now, but I love sport. I love to play field hockey, watch NRL and head to my gym (when I can find the time). Family is also very important to me, so I spend a lot of time with them.

What are three words your fellow PhD students would use to describe you?

Loud, Passionate, Funny

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I hope to have worked overseas for a professional sporting team. Would also like to have made steps to become a High-Performance Manager for an elite sporting organisation.  Also, hope that I am still researching in sport science in some capacity.