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An examination of gender sensitive lifestyle psychiatry and guidance to support mental health services for enhanced future care

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Dr Evan Matthews , Dr Noel Richardson , Dr Rebekah Carney No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Waterford Ireland Adult Nursing Mental Health Nursing Nursing & Health Sport Performance

About the Project

Department / School: Department of Nursing and Healthcare/School of Health Sciences


Dr Evan Matthews (PI) (Waterford Institute of Technology, Department of Nursing and Healthcare)

Dr Noel Richardson (Institute of Technology Carlow)

Dr Rebekah Carney (University of Manchester/ GMMH NHS)Duration: 48 months PhD

Teaching requirement: Two hours of academic development activities per week during the academic year in line with scholarship requirements.

Closing date and time: Advertisement Period 01/03/2021- 19/03/2021

This Competition will close at 4pm Irish time on the 19th of March 2021.

Interview date: TBC

Commencement date: Approx. April 2021

Post summary

Applications are invited to undertake a full-time -time PhD by Research in the Department of Nursing and Healthcare, School of Health Sciences, on the following project: An examination of gender specific Lifestyle Psychiatry and guidance to support mental health services for enhanced future care.

‘Lifestyle psychiatry’ which includes interventions on physical activity, dietary habits, and smoking cessation have seen a rapid emergence of interventional innovation, reflecting a strengthening evidence base for their therapeutic value in mental health care settings. Such strategies are critical for populations with severe mental illnesses with respect to reducing cardio-metabolic ill-health and improving mental health outcomes across diagnostic groups. While these interventions are robustly evidenced, there remains shortcomings with respect to successful implementation in care. As a result, people with severe mental illness typically adopt deleterious lifestyle behaviours. Previous collaborative (WIT/ITC) research has demonstrated the value of gender sensitive intervention on behaviour change among the hard-to-reach groups. Notably, Irish mental health services have broadly presented as gender neutral, with a need for development with respect to gender sensitive therapeutics. This study builds on this existing platform of gender sensitive research, and research within the Department of Nursing and Healthcare (WIT) and HSE mental health services on lifestyle behaviour change and mental illness, to examine issues of gender specificity in Lifestyle Psychiatry and develop guidance to support mental health services for enhanced future care.

Person specification



• Applicants should hold or expect to attain, as a minimum, a 2.1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in a Health related discipline (e.g. Nursing, Psychology, Health promotion/public health, Exercise science, Nutrition).


• First class undergraduate degree in a Health related discipline (e.g. Nursing, Applied Health, Health promotion/public health, Psychology, Exercise science, Nutrition).

• MSc in a Health related discipline (e.g. Nursing, Psychology, Health promotion/public health, Exercise science, Nutrition).

Knowledge & Experience


• Previous research experience with understanding of research processes and methods.

• Understanding of mental health diagnoses and mental health treatment.


• Experience of working with mental health populations in a clinical context or practical experience of health related behaviour change.

• Knowledge and experience of mixed methods research.

Skills & Competencies


• Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English, please see WIT’s English Language Requirements for details.

• Excellent communication (written and verbal) and analytical skills.

• The candidate must be highly motivated and self-directed with good time and project management skills.

• Display willingness to travel for research purposes.


• Experience communicating with health professionals and/or vulnerable population groups.

• Skills to engage with multi-stakeholder groups.

• Skills or training to undertake review methods.

Further information

For any informal queries, please contact Dr Evan Matthews, at email: [Email Address Removed] or telephone: +00353 (087) 210 5828 (mobile as staff are working remotely).

For queries relating to the application and admission process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office via email [Email Address Removed] or telephone +353 (0)51 302883.


Application procedure

Download the Research Postgraduate Application Form from here:

and return completed applications to [Email Address Removed], quoting WD (SERD)_2020_53_WSCH in the email subject line. Please note that paper submissions will not be accepted

Please note that paper submissions will not be accepted.

Funding Notes

Status: Full Time
Funding information: SERD Scholarship 2020/2021
Value of the Scholarship Annually
Stipend: €16,000
Fees: €4,500
Research costs: €2,000

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