Public Perceptions of The Risks and Benefits of Marine Ecosystems For Human Health and Wellbeing: An Environmental Psychology Approach, Medicine – PhD (funded)

University of Exeter

The European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter Medical School (UEMS) wish to recruit a doctoral student to work on a PhD linked to the Horizons 2020 funded ‘Seas, Oceans and Public Health in Europe’ (SOPHIE) project, a European wide project designed to develop an overview of research needs in this area. As part of this project we will conduct a large public and stakeholder consultation process to better understand people’s intuitive beliefs and perceptions about the relationships between various aspects of the marine environment, and the ecosystem services it provides, and a range of risks and benefits to human health and wellbeing.

Working alongside a Research Fellow for the first 18 months, and supervised by Dr Mathew White (Environmental Psychology) and Dr Ruth Garside (Evidence Synthesis), the PhD will include involvement in three aspects: a) synthesis of current evidence on public perceptions of the marine environment with respect to human health and well-being; b) the co-creation of, and analysis of data from, a Pan-European survey (n=10,000) that explores these issues in depth; and c) the design and testing of a communication to enhance public knowledge and understanding in this area. The PhD would suit someone trained in psychology or a related discipline. The SOPHIE project involves 8 different partners across the EU, including the EU Marine Board in Belgium, so the student should be willing to include some travelling as part of their studies. 

Application deadline: 30th September 2017

Start date: 8th January 2018

Entry requirements:

Applicants should be highly motivated and have a relevant undergraduate degree (e.g. psychology) at 2:1 level or above and ideally a relevant MSc qualification. The ideal candidate would have a background in quantitative methods and related statistics and preferably an interest in both health and well-being and the marine environment. International applicants must also have IELTS [International English Language Testing System] score of 7 and above (or equivalent qualification).

Academic Supervisors:

Dr Mathew White
Dr Ruth Garside

Funding Notes:

The studentship will be fully-funded for UK/EU students, including a stipend of £14,553 per annum (based on the full-time 17/18 rate). Tuition fees will be paid at the UK/EU rate. International students who are ineligible for UK/EU fee levels are welcome to apply, but must have certified and guaranteed means to fund the additional fees required (please see our website).

How to apply:

Please apply online and upload:

  • CV
  • Letter of application
  • A brief (maximum 1,000 word) research proposal, suitable for this PhD
  • Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying)
  • If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English (see entry requirements)

General enquiries:   

Enquiries about the project or an informal discussion: Dr Mathew White.

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