PhD Studentship: The Impact of Nature-based Interventions on Vulnerable Adults’ Health and Social Care Service Use

University of Essex

The School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences is offering a fully-funded studentship with an annual stipend, plus Home tuition fees, for a maximum of 36 months.

The start date is January 2024

The proposed interdisciplinary PhD is jointly funded by the University of Essex and Green Light Trust (GLT), a charitable organisation supporting those who are the most marginalised and disadvantaged in society, using nature-based interventions (NBIs). The key aims of the studentship will be to:

  • Examine the short- and longer-term impact of GLT NBIs on health and wellbeing
  • Explore the underpinning mechanisms supporting changes in health and wellbeing
  • Explore the impact of GLT NBIs on health service use and the impact of these changes on the wider health and social care systems
  • Identify the social return on investment from GLT provision
  • About us

    The student will join a vibrant school with an active cohort of doctoral students and supportive team of academics, administrators, and technicians; being supervised by two experienced members of research staff from the School of Sport, Rehabilitation & Exercise Sciences; Dr Carly Wood and Dr Jo Barton. Additionally, the student will be integrated within GLT, experiencing their NBIs, being a representative of their organisation values and working directly with GLT staff, representatives from the NHS and health care service, and users of GLT services. To have an informal discussion about the studentship, please contact Jo on [email protected]



    • BSc (2:1 or above) in Sport and Exercise Science, Psychology, Data Analytics or Health related disciplines
    • Knowledge and experience in experimental research design and quantitative data analysis
    • Experience working with individuals from marginalised and vulnerable backgrounds
    • Experience working with the health system and/or using health service data


    • MSc/MRes in Sport and Exercise Science, Psychology, Data Analytics or Health related disciplines
    • Experience of qualitative research methods and analysis
    • Ability to work both independently and cooperatively as part of a team
    • High levels of resourcefulness and attention to detail
    • Experience communicating and disseminating research to academic and non-academic audiences.

    Applications MUST include the following documents to be uploaded:

    • Research proposal of no more than 600 words, outlining suggested research focus(es), approach(es) and/or studies that applicants would be interested to include within their PhD.
    • CV including research experience, skills, and publications (if any)
    • Covering letter outlining how you meet the criteria for the studentship
    • Transcripts of any undergraduate or masters’ programmes.

    View or Apply
    To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your cover/motivation letter where ( you saw this job posting.