PhD Studentship in Health/Environmental Psychology 18/05/12

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Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:22 pm
Location: Cardiff

PhD Studentship in Health/Environmental Psychology 18/05/12

Post by Jiimanie » Thu May 10, 2012 8:28 am

Hello all,

Please find below details of a PhD studentship at De Montford University in Leiceseter, to research the benefits of the 'Dig For Health' community food growing project for psychological health, well-being and sustainability.

Closing date 18th May 2012, sorry for the late notice!

PhD Studentship
Dig for Health: Evaluating a community food growing and environmental project for individual and
community sustainability

Three years, tuition fee costs included


The Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD) conducts internationally recognised multidisciplinary
research focussed on the human and technological dimensions of sustainability. In the most recent
Research Assessment Exercise (RAE2008), 65% of the Institute’s research was rated ‘world leading’ or
‘internationally excellent’. This community-embedded project broadens the IESD’s research on sustainable
urban environments and the impact of the environment on human health/wellbeing. The project is a
collaborative venture with the University of Michigan’s Integrative Medicine programme (a US-based, worldleading
research university; and the Saffron Acres Project, a UK Big Lotteryfunded
community-based sustainability project. It is also part of a De Montfort University initiative to develop
research capacity into new and evolving areas of study through national and international collaboration.
Project Description: Mental wellbeing is increasingly considered fundamental to an individual’s quality of life
and to an engaged, healthy community. Yet, globally, mental disorders are increasing. While physical activity in
and of itself can, for example, relieve symptoms of depression, an expanding catalogue of research suggests
that interaction with nearby nature (e.g. urban parks, gardening) contributes to mental wellbeing. Increasingly,
there is interest in how community-based environmental projects might contribute to social/community wellbeing
as well as to sustainable behaviour. This project investigates the effects of taking part in a community-based
food growing project on positive psychological and mental states.

Dig for Health draws on theories from environmental psychology, positive psychology, a multi-dimensional
conceptual framework of health and the stress response/relaxation response model. An in-depth case study
approach using mixed-methods will be undertaken in partnership with the Saffron Acres Project to evaluate
(formative, process, and summative) the individual, community and environmental benefits gained from
community food growing. While particular emphasis will be placed on mental/psychological and social wellbeing,
individual health is placed within the context of both community and environmental sustainability. Specific
methods may include qualitative and observational for understanding the experience and contribution of food
growing/gardening to wellbeing (of particular importance for investigating the social dimension). Quantitative
methods, both self-report (e.g. changes in diet) and objective (e.g. visits to doctor) may also be useful. An
important component of the project will be identification / development of appropriate tools and the development
of innovative methodologies that are accessible for use in-the-field (e.g. smiley-face scorecards, digital

Desired Applicants: You must have a minimum of a strong first degree (First Class, Upper Second Class or
equivalent) in a people-focused discipline such as environmental psychology, human geography, community
and youth development, health or related discipline and a keen interest in the relationship between people and
the natural environment. Knowledge and/or experience of different research designs, methods and some
familiarity with both qualitative and quantitative analysis would be beneficial. You must be able to work in a selfdirected
manner and have inter-personal skills to work effectively with others.

The IESD offers a vibrant work environment and a collaborative research culture with a growing cohort of higher
degree students who engage in peer-learning as well as work alongside research staff from the social and
technical sciences. You will have your own work space, excellent facilities and funding for travel (e.g. to present
work at conferences). You will have access to a range of research training courses as well as bespoke training
necessary for the project.

The post offers coverage of all university tuition fees for full-time study starting October 2012. Citizens of the UK
and EU are eligible.

CLOSING DATE: Friday 18th May April 2012

Informal enquires may be made to: Dr Katherine Irvine (E-mail:; Tel: +44 (0)116 207 8711).
To receive an application pack, please contact the Graduate School Office via email at Completed applications should be returned together with a full CV and two
supporting references. Please quote ref: DMU Research Scholarships 2012: TECH FO2

Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:22 pm
Location: Cardiff

Re: PhD Studentship in Health/Environmental Psychology 18/05

Post by Jiimanie » Thu May 17, 2012 7:18 pm

Deadline for this post has now been extended until 15th June 2012

Website here: ... tships.htm
not yet updated with the new date yet though!

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