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Gender Sensitized Design for Digital Health (Advert Reference: RDF20/EE/CIS/ROOKSBY)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 24, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The “Strategy on the Health and Well-being of Men” from the WHO Regional Committee for Europe states principles, goals and objectives for men’s health, including: reducing premature mortality among men; improving health and wellbeing among men; and “improving gender equality through structures and policies that advance men’s engagement in self-care, fatherhood, unpaid care, violence prevention and sexual and reproductive health”. Digital health technologies could play an important role in men’s health, and appropriate design methods are needed.

Currently, it is not clear that digital technologies are being designed to address priority issues in men’s health. It is also not clear how technologies relate to social and economic inequalities, and to where issues in men’s health intersect with other issues and challenges. A key factor in men’s health is the way in which masculinities lead men to engage in risky behaviours and avoid seeking help. It is not currently clear how technologies play into these masculinities.

In this research you will explore and innovate design and evaluation methods to inform “Digital Men’s Health”. You will build upon existing methods from User Experience Design (UX) and Human Computer Interaction (HCI) - such as participatory design, user-centred design, feminist HCI and critical design.

A broad challenge will be to investigate the need for gender sensitised approaches in digital health, but a successful application will likely also identify and address one or more specific issues in technology design and evaluation for men’s health. Applications that engage with the principle supervisor’s interests in Football Fandom and men’s health (including promoting physical activity and reducing problem gambling) are encouraged, but applications that focus on other areas of men’s health or look beyond men’s health and binary views of gender, are also welcome

The principal supervisor for this project is Dr John Rooksby. The second supervisor will be Dr Petia Sice.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:
• 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 currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

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

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF20/EE/CIS/ROOKSBY) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Friday 24 January 2020

Start Date: 1 October 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Home/EU/ Worldwide students where a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2019/20, this is £15,009 pa) and full fees.


Rooksby J, Rost M, Morrison A, Chalmers M (2014) Personal Tracking as Lived Informatics. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2014): 1163-1172

Wyke, S., Bunn, C., Andersen, E., Silva, M. N., van Nassau, F., McSkimming, P., Kolovos, S., Gill, J., Gray, C. M., Hunt, K., Anderson, A. S., Bosmans, J., Jelsma, J., Kean, S., Lemyre, N., Loudon, D. W., Macaulay, L., Maxwell, D. J., McConnachie, A., Mutrie, N., Nijhuis-van der Sanden, M., Pereira, H. V., Philpott, M., Roberts, G. C., Rooksby, J., Røynesdal, Ø. B., Sattar, N., Sørensen, M., Teixeira, P. J., Treweek, S., van Achterberg, T., van de Glind, I., van Mechelen, W., … van der Ploeg, H. P. (2019) The effect of a programme to improve men's sedentary time and physical activity: The European Fans in Training (EuroFIT) randomised controlled trial. PLoS medicine, 16(2), e1002736. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002736

Claire McCallum, John Rooksby, Cindy Gray. (2018) Evaluating the Impact of Physical Activity Apps and Wearables: Interdisciplinary Review JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 2018;6(3):e58

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