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Developing a school-based intervention with adolescents to promote a healthy lifestyle: a co-creation approach

Department of Public Health and Primary Care

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Assoc Prof M Verloigne , Prof G Cardon , Prof B Deforche , Dr T Altenburg No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This project (as part of work package 3 or WP3) aims to develop, implement and evaluate a school-based intervention to promote healthy behaviour in adolescents using a co-creation approach. This approach requires maximal participation of the adolescents and other stakeholders, and suggests there is shared-decision making between all co-creators. Two ESRs will closely work together to bring this project to a good end: this ESR specifically focuses on the co-creation process in which researchers, adolescents and other stakeholders (such as teachers, parents) actively collaborate on designing the intervention, whereas the other ERSR (ESR8) focuses on the implementation and evaluation of the co-created intervention. The co-creation at school will follow a co-creation protocol, including various participatory methods, to facilitate a smooth development process.

This co-creation project at school is one of the four settings in which co-creation will be conducted in real-life (others are the workplace (WP4), the health care setting (WP5) and the community (WP6)). The co-creation at school will be inspired by an evidence-based co-creation methodology for health promotion and supported by digital tools, developed as part of WP1 and WP2. This iterative process of theoretical development and testing in real-life conditions requires a strong collaboration between all ESRs within Health CASCADE.

The supervising board consists of five persons (prof. Maïté Verloigne; prof. Greet Cardon; prof. Benedicte Deforche from Ghent University; prof. Teatske Altenburg from Amsterdam UMC and a staff member from the non-academic sector) with a lot of expertise in participatory and co-creation research; developing, implementing and evaluating school-based interventions; and health promotion in general among adolescents. The two ESRs will work (and be located) at Ghent University in two departments at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences: 50% at the department of Public Health and Primary Care in the research group Health Promotion (Prof. Maïté Verloigne and prof. Benedicte Deforche) and 50% at the department of Movement and Sports Sciences in the research group Physical activity and Health. 

Funding Notes

- T Attractive salary tuned to living standards of Belgium: Gross salary of the employee of about 3.270 EUR.
- Mobility allowance of 600€ per month (potentially subject to taxes)
- Family allowance of 500€ per month (conditional; potentially subject to taxes)
- A stimulating, supportive environment that also supports your work-life balance and offers a wide range of supplementary benefits to research staff (


1. Leask CF, Sandlund M, Skelton DA, et al. Framework, principles and recommendations for utilising participatory methodologies in the co-creation and evaluation of public health interventions. Res Involv Engagem. 2019;5:2.

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