PhD Research Studentship: Employing contemporary behaviour change theory and techniques (Behaviour Change Wheel/COM-B) to promote increased engagement with family based physical activity interventions.

University of Derby - Human Sciences Research Centre

Reference: L&NS_Psychology _PGRS_0318

About the studentship:

Applications are invited for a full-time PhD research studentship to commence the summer of 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter. The successful applicant will work within the Human Science Research Centre at the University of Derby to address contemporary behaviour change techniques to promote increased engagement with family based physical activity interventions. The project will be based in Derby, but there will be a need for travel between the University and the local area covered by the intervention. Throughout the process you will be expected to communicate the findings of your research within peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations. To coincide with your research, you will engage with opportunities to undertake professional training and where relevant teaching opportunities within the College to enable you to develop the skills needed for a successful academic career.

The PhD research studentship will be granted subject to the interview process, and following satisfactory progress, you will receive £14,553 p.a. for three years and your fees will be fully covered at a UK/EU level. If your application is successful and you are assessed as Overseas/international student for fees purposes, you will need to pay the difference between the Home/EU fees and the overseas fees.

About the research topic:

Significant resource has been provided to support individuals considered physically inactive to become more active, especially children. However, there is a paucity of work considering the family unit within physical activity and behaviour change. Acknowledged as a primary socialising agent, the family unit play considerable roles in the development of attitudes that progress from childhood to adulthood (Telama, 2009). Within areas of socio-economic deprivation, the prevalence of physical inactivity and poor health is positively correlated (Kohl et al, 2012). Family units in these deprived communities have complex issues relating to social mobility and health inequalities.

This project aims to identify key predictors of physical activity, associated positive psychophysiological outcomes and barriers and enablers of regular exercise activity participation among families. This will be achieved using contemporary theory and evidence to refine existing programmes to encourage an active family lifestyle and provide support to increase physical activity participation levels.


We are looking for a highly-motivated graduate student capable of studying at PhD level and enjoys both independent and applied collaborative research. Prospective candidates are also expected to have a good Honours degree. An interest and experience within the research topic and expertise in health psychology is essential.

How to apply:

For information about how to apply, please visit:

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Mark Faghy ( Please note that applications sent directly to these email addresses will not be accepted. If no contact has been received by the interview date the application has been unsuccessful.

Interviews: Wednesday 9th May 2018

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Midlands of England