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  Developing a behavioural intervention to implement a digital decarbonisation approach and the impact on physical and mental health SSEHS/VCNP2

   School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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  Dr Nicola Paine, Dr Rebecca Higginson, Prof Lisa Jackson, Prof Ian Hodgkinson  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Climate change is a prominent, real-world, ongoing event that can cause high feelings of stress and anxiety in people. It is an ongoing challenge to try and reduce our digital carbon footprint, at both an individual and organisational level, which cumulatively has a huge impact on climate change.

Digital decarbonisation provides a real-world strategy that we can use to encourage people to reduce their use of digital technology, however there is currently no intervention that has been developed to help us successfully achieve this. This studentship will use behaviour change methods, and intervention development frameworks to investigate potential barriers and facilitators towards digital decarbonisation efforts, before building and testing a real-world intervention that can be rolled out to help individuals and organisations reduce their digital carbon footprints, and reduce the environmental impact of high technology use across different technologies (e.g., use of wearables).

This project is an exciting opportunity to also investigate the different stress-related implications of digital decarbonisation and explore the impacts on physical and mental health across a wide-range of individuals. The studentship will appeal to students with a sports and exercise science, psychology (exercise or health), public health, or technology-based background.

You will complete your inter-disciplinary research at Loughborough University, which is ranked number one in the world for sport-related subjects (QS World University Rankings). The School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences offers an exciting, interdisciplinary research environment, where research students work alongside expert staff with a diverse range of interests and experience. By studying for a PhD with us, you will be joining a thriving research community of over 300 Doctoral Researchers from across the globe. You will add to world-leading research that is helping to shape the latest advancements across the sport, exercise and health sectors.

In REF 2021, 94% of the work submitted in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences was judged to be top-rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, with 100% of research impact was rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. You will receive support from academic supervisors with research expertise from the Schools of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical, Materials Engineering (AACME), and Loughborough Business School (LBS). 

The project is part of the Digital Decarbonisation PhD cluster that brings together multidisciplinary project teams and cross cutting PhD Projects.

94% of Loughborough’s research impact is rated world-leading or internationally excellent. REF 2021


Primary supervisor: Dr Nicola Paine

Secondary supervisors: Dr Rebecca HigginsonProfessor Lisa JacksonProfessor Ian Hodgkinson

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

Essential criteria

  • Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in one of the following subject areas: Sport and Exercise Sciences, Psychology, Health Sciences, Public Health, or a similar health-related subject. 
  • Ability to work independently, as part of a wider team and with members of the public
  • Strong communication and excellent interpersonal skills
  • Enthusiasm, passion and interest in the topic area

Desirable criteria

  • A relevant Master’s degree in one of the following areas is desirable: Sport and Exercise Sciences, Exercise Psychology, Health Psychology, Health Sciences, Public Health or a similar topic area
  • Previous experience or knowledge of intervention development frameworks and/or behaviour change theory (e.g., through dissertation work, employment)
  • Previous experience of undertaking physiological assessments relating to physical or mental health (e.g., through dissertation work, employment)
  • Previous experience or demonstrable enthusiasm for helping people or organisations achieve net zero or reducing carbon emissions.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select SSEHS. Please quote the advertised reference number: SSEHS/VCNP2 in your application.

To avoid delays in processing your application, please ensure that you submit the minimum supporting documents.

As part of your supporting documents, please submit a personal statement which describes why you are passionate about this area of research, and what you think you would need to consider when developing an intervention. As part of this, you can refer to behaviour change theories or intervention development frameworks that you think would be important to consider, or any considerations regarding the populations you’d be working with.

If you wish, you may include a schematic or figure to visualise any of this.

Apply now

Psychology (31) Sport & Exercise Science (33)

Funding Notes

The studentship is for 3 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £19,237 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus university tuition fees.

Where will I study?