PhD student position in U-CARE, Perinatal depression

Uppsala University - Department of Women's and Children's Health

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has 40,000 students, 7,000 employees and a turnover of SEK 6.5 billion.

Description: This PhD position is within the research group Clinical Psychology in Healthcare and the interdisciplinary research program U-CARE ( at the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health. The U-CARE research group consists of around 20 researchers and PhD students and is interdisciplinary at its core, specializing in the development, piloting, and evaluation of eHealth services.

Our research interests are primarily focused on i) identifying psychological predictors for somatic disease, ii) studying psychological consequences of somatic disease for both afflicted individuals and caregivers/significant others, and iii) developing and evaluating psychological interventions and instruments. Our studies are diverse in methodology, encompassing feasibility/piloting trials, randomized controlled efficacy/effectiveness trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, qualitative techniques, and observational cohort designs. As such, we apply both qualitative and quantitative methods. The research group has several international collaborations and our competence within research methodology has been acknowledged in the latest evaluation of research conducted at Uppsala University.

In addition to this PhD position being based within the U-CARE research group, the PhD student will also be supervised by academics from the Reproductive Health research group (Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University) and the Mood Disorders Centre (University of Exeter, United Kingdom).

Projects: The present PhD position focuses on perinatal mental health and the mother-infant relationship. The PhD position will comprise of a series of studies including:

  1. The adaptation of an existing internet-administered psychological intervention for perinatal depression, based on behavioural activation and developed in the UK and Japan, to: (i) include treatment components targeting mother-infant interaction, and (ii) fit the Swedish context.
  2. The conduct of a feasibility randomized controlled trial to examine clinical, procedural, and methodological uncertainties.
  3. The experimental investigation of the impact of the intervention on maternal anhedonia and the mother-infant interaction.

The PhD position will equip you with skills in a diverse range of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, specific to the development, piloting, and evaluation of complex interventions, as well as the design and conduct of experimental studies.

The PhD program spans four years of full-time work. This PhD position is fully financed by external research grants. Additional service at the Department regarding administrative and educational work may apply (max 20%) which then prolongs the duration of the PhD program with the corresponding time. Since we hold clinical research in particularly high regard, convinced of the need that clinicians should also conduct research, the PhD student salary is augmented for clinical psychologists with an additional monthly amount on top of the standard PhD student salary as dictated by local guidelines at Uppsala University.

PhD supervisors: Dr. Joanne Woodford (Clinical Psychology in Healthcare, Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University); Professor Agneta Skoog Svanberg (Reproductive Health, Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University), and Dr. Heather O’Mahen (Mood Disorders Centre, University of Exeter).

Position requirements: Information about position requirements, the PhD program, and application are available through To be employed as a PhD student, it is required that the applicant is or will be accepted to the PhD program.

Other required qualifications: The successful applicant will be educated to at least MSc level in Clinical Psychology, Health Care Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, or a related area, and able to demonstrate knowledge of psychological and behavioural change theory. Experience of working within a psychological/behavioural healthcare setting is desirable. The applicant must be both self-sufficient and a team player, possess excellent analytical skills, and be fluent in English.

Other favourable skills: Prior experience of research relevant for the position. In addition, specific methodological experience in quantitative and/or qualitative methods, and statistical programming is of value.

Application: Your application should preferably be written in English. It should contain your Curriculum Vitae, copies of degree certificates and grades, MSc thesis, eventual publications, and a personal letter. The letter should describe your previous research experience(s), the reason(s) why you want to pursue a PhD program, and what of our work that interests you in particular. Include contact information of at least two references, whom are preferred to be academic.

Uppsala University values the qualities that an even distribution of gender and diversity brings with it. Therefore, applicants of all sexes, birth countries, functionalities, and life experiences, are welcome to apply.

Selection: Selection of the most suitable individual will depend on the fulfilment of previously stated and necessary requirements, prior research experience, and personal appropriateness as mentioned above. Selection is performed by the research group leader, the PhD supervisors, and the Department Board. Interviews may be part of the selection process.

Salary and additional information: Salary according to local Guidelines at Uppsala University with an additional monthly amount for a psychology degree. 

Rules governing Ph.D. candidates are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala university's rules and guidelines

Updates on the process and your application are primarily provided by research group leader, Professor Louise von Essen ( or +46184713484) or PhD supervisor, Dr. Joanne Woodford ( or +46184716573).

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? If so, you will find a lot of information about working and living in Sweden at You are also welcome to contact International Faculty and Staff Service at e-mail:

Admittance: 2018-02-12 or according to mutual agreement. Time-limited position for four years. Information about this position is provided by either the research group leader, Professor Louise von Essen ( or +46184713484) or PhD supervisor, Dr. Joanne Woodford ( or +46184716573).

Please submit your application by 07-01-2018, UFV-PA 2017/4320.

Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services. Applications must be submitted as described in this advertisement.

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