PhD Studentship - Parenting and child behaviour: The role of parental mindfulness

University of Sussex - School of Psychology

Parenting and child behaviour: The role of parental mindfulness
Supervisor:  Dr Bonamy Oliver (School of Psychology, University of Sussex)

‘Mindfulness’ is commonly conceptualized as intentional and non-judgmental attention to and awareness of experiences in the present moment. Increasingly, a role for dispositional mindfulness and mindful practices is recognised for well-being and mental health. Parental well-being is critically important for parent-child relationships and ultimately for children’s adjustment. Yet, parenting stress and low mood are common, such that finding inexpensive and non-intrusive ways to ameliorate them has likely long-term positive effects for parent and child. Broadly, the studentship will examine parent, child, and family characteristics important for children’s behavioural outcomes, with specific focus on parental mindfulness. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to develop his/her own ideas within the scope of the study. However, a likely component is a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of a well-established mindfulness App, including potential impacts for parent and child. The student will collect pre-, post- and short-term follow-up data from families of young children, including a combination of methodologies, providing the ‘gold-standard’ for this RCT. Students will be supervised within the context the broad community of students within Developmental and Clinical Psychology, in the School of Psychology, University of Sussex.

Applications should be made by Tuesday 10th January 2017. The award of the studentship will be based on a competitive process. If awarded, it would be a full-time studentship (funded for a duration of three years) covering tuition fee, and a maintenance allowance. The maintenance allowance is currently £14,296 per annum.

Eligibility requirements for potential candidates:

  • This award will only pay fees at the Home/EU rate ( Candidates may not be eligible for the full award if they do not meet UK residency requirements. For full details of eligibility, please check the ESRC guidelines.
  • Candidates must have, or expect to obtain, a First or a high Upper Second Class Honours undergraduate degree, or equivalent qualification, and/or a Master's degree in Psychology or a related discipline.

Guidance for applicants:

  • Application procedures can be found here.
  • Please submit an online application for the ‘PhD in Psychology’ programme, for September 2017 entry through this link.
  • State in the ‘Funding information’ section of your online application that you are applying for this studentship, giving the title of the project as above and mention the supervisor, Dr Bonamy Oliver, in the ‘Supervisor suggested by applicant’ section.
  • The proposed source of funding should be specified as 'ESRC or School of Psychology’.

Candidates should provide:

  • A research statement that briefly outlines your current state of knowledge, hypotheses that could be addressed, and an outline of potential methods. Your answer should not exceed 2 pages including references, be set at minimum 10 font type with margins a minimum of 1cm
  • A current degree transcript(s) with full details of performance on all completed courses.
  • Two academic references.
  • An up to date CV

For queries with respect to the application process please send an email for the attention of 'Postgraduate Coordinator' to:         

To discuss the details of this PhD project further, please contact Dr Bonamy Oliver:

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South East England