Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

MSCA-COFUND-CLEAR-Doc - PhD Position #CD21-28 "Development of a tool for predicting the risk of shoulder injuries for wheelchair users during propulsion while moving in cities"

This job offer has expired

    Université Gustave Eiffel
    EngineeringMechanical engineering
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    21/03/2022 17:00 - Europe/Brussels
    France › Lyon
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND



Nearly 1.5 million French people (2 to 3% of the population) use a wheelchair [1] and their prevalence of pain in the upper limb, particularly the shoulder, is over 70% [2]. For manual wheelchair users, it is common to limit journeys in urban areas and/or to adapt them to avoid physically demanding situations (positive or negative slopes, inclination, vertical gap...) [3], [4]. In the context of the ""city of tomorrow"", a tool allowing to estimate the joint and muscle efforts at the shoulder level according to a known urban route, would allow both to serve as an indicator for the architects of the city of tomorrow for the construction of adapted infrastructures but also for the users of manual wheelchairs to evaluate the practicability of an urban route.


The objective of this project is to allow wheelchair users to maintain mobility, while preserving the physical integrity of their shoulders and limiting pain.

The aim is to develop an embedded tool that will allow, in real time or interactively, to determine an injury risk score for the wheelchair users. This score will integrate estimations of joint and muscular efforts obtained beforehand by laboratory measurements.


In a first phase, we will increase the size of our database on the biomechanics of wheelchair propulsion (initiated during Najoua Assila's thesis in co-tutorship with Univ Lyon 1 (LBMC UMR_T9406, Univ G Eiffel-UCBL)- University of Montreal (S2M)) by multicentric measurements (Lyon and Montreal). This database includes electromyography and kinematics of manual wheelchair users for a variety of urban tasks reproduced in the laboratory (positive or negative slopes, inclination, curb crossing,...). These measurements allow us to estimate muscle and joint forces using innovative algorithms developed at S2M [5], [6] as well as to estimate the stresses and strains of the shoulder tissues using the expertise of LBMC [7], [8]. The next step will be to define effort and injury risk scores for each of the tasks, taking into account the injury and the use. Indeed, the propulsion technique varies according to the injury and the expertise of the participant and consequently the efforts required and the stresses and strains undergone in the shoulder tissues.

APPLICATIONS:  An application based on inertial unit sensors and the GPS of the phones will allow, by artificial intelligence, to classify the type of locomotion (positive or negative slopes, inclination, curb crossing...) as well as the type of lesions and the expertise. A preliminary calibration will be necessary by means of a standardized motor skills evaluation programme [9], [10]. Outdoor measurements will be used to train neural networks to recognize the tasks. The use of GPS will allow to map urban spaces (Lyon and Montreal) and in future projects to propose routes that minimize the user's exposure and respect certain constraints related to his motor skills (e.g.: jumping over curbs, slope >10%).


[1] « [Rétrospective 2015] 2015 : les chiffres clés du handicap », Talenteo, janv. 04, 2016. https://www.talenteo.fr/chiffres-handicap-2015/ (consulté le oct. 26, 2021).

[2] E. M. Smith, E. M. Giesbrecht, W. B. Mortenson, et W. C. Miller, « Prevalence of Wheelchair and Scooter Use Among Community-Dwelling Canadians », Phys. Ther., vol. 96, no 8, p. 1135‑1142, août 2016, doi: 10.2522/ptj.20150574.

[3] H. Matthews, L. Beale, P. Picton, et D. Briggs, « Modelling Access with GIS in Urban Systems (MAGUS): capturing the experiences of wheelchair users », Area, vol. 35, no 1, p. 34‑45, 2003, doi: 10.1111/1475-4762.00108.

[4] L. Beale, K. Field, D. Briggs, P. Picton, et H. Matthews, « Mapping for Wheelchair Users: Route Navigation in Urban Spaces », Cartogr. J., vol. 43, no 1, p. 68‑81, mars 2006, doi: 10.1179/000870406X93517.

[5] F. Bailly, A. Ceglia, B. Michaud, D. M. Rouleau, et M. Begon, « Real-Time and Dynamically Consistent Estimation of Muscle Forces Using a Moving Horizon EMG-Marker Tracking Algorithm—Application to Upper Limb Biomechanics », Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol., vol. 9, p. 112, 2021, doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2021.642742.

[6] N. Assila, S. Duprey, et M. Begon, « Glenohumeral joint and muscles functions during a lifting task », J. Biomech., vol. 126, p. 110641, sept. 2021, doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2021.110641.

[7] S. Duprey, K. Bruyere, et J.-P. Verriest, « Influence of geometrical personalization on the simulation of clavicle fractures », J. Biomech., vol. 41, no 1, p. 200‑207, 2008, doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2007.06.020.

[8] S. Duprey, K. Bruyere, et J.-P. Verriest, « Clavicle Fracture Prediction: Simulation of Shoulder Lateral Impacts With Geometrically Personalized Finite Elements Models », J. Trauma Acute Care Surg., vol. 68, no 1, p. 177‑182, janv. 2010, doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e318190bf5b.

[9] R. L. Kirby et al., « Wheelchair Skills Capacity and Performance of Manual Wheelchair Users With Spinal Cord Injury », Arch. Phys. Med. Rehabil., vol. 97, no 10, p. 1761‑1769, oct. 2016, doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2016.05.015.

[10] D. H. Gagnon, A. Roy, M. C. Verrier, C. Duclos, B. C. Craven, et S. Nadeau, « Do Performance-Based Wheelchair Propulsion Tests Detect Changes Among Manual Wheelchair Users With Spinal Cord Injury During Inpatient Rehabilitation in Quebec? », Arch. Phys. Med. Rehabil., vol. 97, no 7, p. 1214‑1218, juill. 2016, doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2016.02.018."

More Information


  • High-quality doctoral training rewarded by a PhD degree, delivered by Université Gustave Eiffel.
  • Access to cutting-edge infrastructures for research & innovation.
  • Appointment for a period of 36 months based on a salary of 2 700 € (gross salary per month).
  • Job contract under the French labour legislation in force, respecting health and safety, and social security: 35 hours per week contract, 25 days of annual leave per year.
  • International mobility will be mandatory.
  • An international environment supported by the adherence to the European Charter & Code.
  • Access to dedicated CLEAR-Doc trainings with a strong interdisciplinary focus, together with a Career development Plan.

Eligibility criteria

  • ​​​​At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree. At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career (career breaks excluded) and not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. Career breaks refer to periods of time where the candidate was not active in research, regardless of his/her employment status (sick leave, maternity leave etc). Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline.
  • Applicants must be available to start the programme on schedule (around 1st October 2022).

Selection process

Additional comments

  • The First step before applying is contacting the PhD supervisor. You will not be able to apply without an acceptation letter from the PhD supervisor.
  • Please contact the PhD supervisor for any additional detail on job offer.
  • There are no restrictions concerning the age, gender or nationality of the candidates. Applicants with career breaks or variations in the chronological sequence of their career, with mobility experience or with interdisciplinary background or private sector experience are welcome to apply.
  • Support service is available during every step of the application process by email: clear-doc@univ-eiffel.fr

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

    Engineering: Master Degree or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Good


  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.

Specific Requirements

This thesis will be in cosupervision (cotutelle) with Université de Montréal (Canada).

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Université Gustave Eiffel
25, avenue François Mitterrand

EURAXESS offer ID: 717617


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