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EPSRC PhD Studentship: Immersive Augmented Reality (AR) Experience Design to Improve Mental Health and Reduce Depression for NHS Staff and Patients

Heriot-Watt University - Social Sciences

Amount: Annual stipend for 3.5 years at UKRI stipend rates (currently £18,622; stipend rate for 2024-25 to be confirmed), plus tuition fees waived.

Level: Postgraduate research (Edinburgh campus; full-time)

Eligibility: UK students only

Entry date: 25th March 2024

The School of Social Sciences at Heriot-Watt University is offering a full-time PhD studentship funded by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to start in March 2024. The studentship includes a tuition fee waiver and an annual stipend currently set at £18,622. The duration of the studentship is 3.5 years.

The School consists of the Department of Psychology, the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies, and Edinburgh Business School. Our world-leading research in psychology is based around the Centre for Applied Behavioural Sciences. Research students have access to a range of training and other activities supported by the School, and through the University’s Research Futures Academy. We are looking to recruit a high-quality PhD candidate for the project titled “Immersive Augmented Reality (AR) experience design to improve mental health and reduce depression for NHS staff and patients.”

Summary of project

This proposed research focuses on how augmented reality (AR) as a tool could be used in the process of improving mental health among adults suffering from depression. The world has now seen an increase of depressive disorders in adults, which often lead to loss of functional capacity and ability to work. Rehabilitation programs are one of the ways to help people suffering from depression to stay active in their working life. This research sets out to examine whether a rehabilitation program utilizing AR technology could help people with depression to remain at or return to work. This proposal attempts to explore the possibility of promoting the design of more creative AR products in the crossover between design and healthcare. There may be a particular application in the healthcare workforce.

Supervisory Team

Dr. Mel McKendrick (Associate Professor in Psychology, School of Social Sciences, Edinburgh)

Dr. Theodore Lim (Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Edinburgh)

Dr. Britta Kalkreuter (Associate Professor in Design, School of Textiles and Design, Borders)

Applicants are strongly encouraged to get in touch with Dr Mel McKendrick at M.McKendrick@hw.ac.uk for an informal discussion prior to submitting their application.

Entry Criteria and Application

Applicants should have an undergraduate degree with a minimum classification of 2:1 in Psychology or a closely-related field. A Master’s degree in Design, Engineering or Computing Science is desirable. In addition, candidates for whom English is a second language should meet the University’s minimum English-language requirements. If you have not already studied a degree programme that was taught and examined in the medium of English, the minimum overall IELTS score is 6.5 with no score lower than 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. Applications for more than one project from the same candidate will be considered.

Please note that possession of the minimum qualifications does not guarantee shortlisting for interview.

Candidates should apply for a full-time Psychology PhD at the Edinburgh campus here or via the studentship page. When completing the online application form, please indicate that you are applying to the ‘SoSS EPSRC PhD scholarship’ in the field that asks how you will fund your studies. Please ensure that you include Dr McKendrick’s name in the supervisor field.

Applicants should supply:

  1. A full Curriculum Vitae.
  2. Copies of full academic transcripts from all previous academic degree courses and copies of degree certificates for degrees already awarded. If you are currently pursuing a degree course please provide all available marks to date. If your degree is from a non-UK institution, please provide evidence of the UK equivalency of your qualification.
  3. A brief covering letter outlining why you want to study for a PhD at Heriot-Watt University, and what makes you an excellent candidate.

Interviews will be conducted via video conferencing (e.g. Zoom or similar). Interview support for those with disabilities will be available where required (e.g. a BSL interpreter).

If you have any general queries about the applications process, please contact soss.pgr@hw.ac.uk

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment and welcome applications from underrepresented groups. Heriot-Watt is committed to giving access and opportunities to student carers, and received the Going Higher for Student Carers Recognition Award from Carers Trust Scotland in 2020.

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Edinburgh
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £18,622 - please see advert
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 13th February 2024
Closes: 23rd February 2024
   
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