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Evaluating the effects of an adult mindfulness-based intervention on executive function and stress reactivity

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, March 12, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description


The School of Psychology at the University of Lincoln is seeking a highly motivated individual to embark PhD project evaluating the effects of an adult mindfulness intervention on executive function and stress responsivity. This forms part of a growing area of research, within the School, in the field of mental health and differential psychology research and the impact of interventions in healthy adults. This research will extend current published evidence suggesting that mindfulness interventions can have a positive impact on mental health and determine what some of the underlying mechanisms for this might be.

This is a collaborative project between The University of Lincoln and The Mindfulness Association (MA) ( and aims to evaluate the effects of the MA’s Mindfulness Based Living Course (MBLC) on processes known to be altered in mental health disorders such as executive function, heart rate variability and cortisol. The student will evaluate the MBLC in adults recruited within the Lincolnshire area and evaluate measures of stress and cognitive function using both psychological and biological laboratory-based techniques. Neuropsychological testing will be conducted using CANTAB ( or equivalent. Stress will be assessed through a range of approaches including questionnaire-based measures, physiological and biological markers and quantitative data analysis.
The School welcomes applications from candidates with a good degree in Psychology, Life Sciences and/or Neuroscience and especially from individuals who may have completed further research training or a Masters degree in a related discipline. Applicants should have, or expect to have, a First Class or 2:1 class Honours degree and an interest in the growing field of mindfulness research.This studentship comes with free attendance to the biannual Mindfulness Association conference and it is expected that the position will start at the end of September 2019.
Dr Kyla Pennington ( will be the primary supervisor with secondary supervision from Dr Sandra McCutcheon ( Deadline for the current studentship call is 12th March and the interviews are expected to take place on the 19th March 2019. Please send a covering letter outlining your interest (1 page A4) with an accompanying CV (with available course transcripts and two names of academic referee) to by close of day on 12th March 2019. Questions regarding the project can be directly emailed to the lead supervisor of the project .

Funding Notes

The fees for this PhD studentship will be paid for 3 years 5 months covering part-time UK/EU tuition fees and there will be graduate teaching assistantship (GTA) (teaching or other School related activity) linked to this studentship which will be paid directly to the students (4 hours a week during teaching weeks only).

How good is research at University of Lincoln in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 12.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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