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Fostering Healthy Working Lives for Workers and Organisations (RDF23/LHRM/NGUYEN)

   Faculty of Business and Law

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  Dr Diep Nguyen, Prof Stephen Teo  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Being healthy and happy is the life goal of individuals; however, many of us are miserable and restless in juggling work, career and family. Work can make us dissatisfied and suffer occupational stress due to high job demands, low resources, unhealthy interpersonal relationships and poor work conditions, stated by the World Health Organization. Since 2012, the United Nations has generated the well-being of individuals as one of the sustainable development goals for all organisations in the world (i.e., Strategic Goal 3). The International Labour Organization (ILO) stresses that 'prevention to promote a safe and healthy working environment, which is a fundamental principle and right at work' (ILO, 2022). Nonetheless, less than 40% of UK organisations take proactive approaches to employee well-being (CIPD, 2022). Globally, more than 60% of workers from 25 countries reported a lack of leadership support regarding their well-being (The Adecco Group, 2021). More than ever, research on healthy workplaces and the well-being of workers after the pandemic has become topical because exhausted and stressed workers are unhappy, disengaged and unproductive, thereby leading to career dissatisfaction and intention to leave (Teo et al., 2020; Nguyen et al., 2019).

Happy and satisfied workers are likely to perform work well with energetic, committed and enthusiastic attitudes and behaviours (Teo et al., 2020; Nguyen et al., 2019). In recent years, positive organisational scholars have extended research on psychological well-being to understand what makes people happy, engaged, and satisfied with their careers and life. For example, Lesener et al. (2020) showed that organisational factors such as organisational climate, job autonomy, job control, development opportunities and positive interpersonal relationships motivate employees to be more engaged and fulfilled. Effective leadership behaviours of direct supervisors also stimulate the positive psychological well-being of subordinates (Plimmers et al., 2022). Although the body of research on psychological well-being is substantial and has identified a range of antecedents and consequences, previous research has rarely looked at a theoretical framework of different factors at the sociocultural, organisational, team, and individual levels that influence the psychological well-being and career fulfilment of employees. This project will provide new insights into this stream of research by examining what and how factors across macro, meso and micro levels can foster or impede psychological well-being and career satisfaction. Accordingly, this project aims to advance the literature by:

  • Identifying the sociocultural factors and their impacts on how employees experience work and career;
  • Examining organisation-, team and work-related factors and their influences on the psychological well-being and career satisfaction of employees;
  • Exploring personality and individual characteristics affecting how employees perceive and experience work and career;  
  • Investigating the interactions between the sociocultural, organisational, team and individual factors in fostering psychological well-being and career satisfaction; and
  • Understanding the policies and practices to promote healthy working lives for workers and organisations.

This PhD project will have a mixed-methods, sequential design in three years, comprising a systematic literature review, in-depth interviews and quantitative fieldwork. Domestic or international PhD students are welcome to take this opportunity to start an academic career.

Academic Enquiries

This project is supervised by Dr Diep Nguyen. For informal queries, please contact [Email Address Removed]. For all other enquiries relating to eligibility or application process please use the email form below to contact Admissions. 

Funding Information

Home and International students (inc. EU) are welcome to apply. The studentship is available to Home and International (including EU) students and includes a full stipend at UKRI rates (for 2022/23 full-time study this is £17,668 per year) and full tuition fees. Studentships are also available for applicants who wish to study on a part-time basis over 5 years (0.6 FTE, stipend £10,600 per year and full tuition fees) in combination with work or personal responsibilities). 

Please also see further advice below of additional costs that may apply to international applicants.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
  • Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
  • Applicants cannot apply for this funding if they are already a PhD holder or if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

Please note: to be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have settled status, or
  • have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student. Applicants will need to be in the UK and fully enrolled before stipend payments can commence, and be aware of the following additional costs that may be incurred, as these are not covered by the studentship.

  • Immigration Health Surcharge https://www.gov.uk/healthcare-immigration-application
  • If you need to apply for a Student Visa to enter the UK, please refer to the information on https://www.gov.uk/student-visa. It is important that you read this information very carefully as it is your responsibility to ensure that you hold the correct funds required for your visa application otherwise your visa may be refused.
  • Check what COVID-19 tests you need to take and the quarantine rules for travel to England https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19
  • Costs associated with English Language requirements which may be required for students not having completed a first degree in English, will not be borne by the university. Please see individual adverts for further details of the English Language requirements for the university you are applying to.

How to Apply

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see


For applications to be considered for interview, please include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words and the advert reference (e.g. RDF23/…).

Deadline for applications: 27 January 2023

Start date of course: 1 October 2023 tbc


Lesener, T., Gusy, B., Jochmann, A., & Wolter, C. (2020). The drivers of work engagement: A meta-analytic review of longitudinal evidence. Work & Stress, 34(3), 259-278.
Nguyen, D. T., Teo, S. T., Grover, S. L., & Nguyen, N. P. (2019). Respect, bullying, and public sector work outcomes in Vietnam. Public Management Review, 21(6), 863-889.
Plimmer, G., Nguyen, D., Teo, S., & Tuckey, M. R. (2022). Workplace bullying as an organisational issue: Aligning climate and leadership. Work & Stress, 36(2), 202-227.
Teo, S. T., Bentley, T., & Nguyen, D. (2020). Psychosocial work environment, work engagement, and employee commitment: A moderated, mediation model. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 88, 102415.

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