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Immersive Environments for Mental Health Intervention Design (Ref: RDFC19/DES/VINES)

  • Full or part time
    Prof J Vines
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, August 23, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This PhD will explore the role of immersive environments in the context of mental health therapy interventions. Recent work has demonstrated the potential benefits of narrative techniques for individuals with traumas that underpin many mental health problems. This PhD project expands on this by exploring how immersive environments may provide opportunities for healthcare providers to incorporate narrative techniques into therapeutic interventions. We are specifically interested in the ways immersive rooms might be utilised to support people with complex mental health problems to share narratives of their life course by moving through a physical space and interacting with rich media related to their lives. This research is timely as while immersive technologies are maturing to the point of being easily configurable in a wide range of spaces, include hospitals and care units, there is still a lack of evidence on their efficacy and integration of them into healthcare settings.
This PhD is co-funded by Immersive Interactive (http://immersive.co.uk/), and the successful applicant will work closely with the company to explore how their existing technologies may be tailored and adapted for mental health interventions. The candidate will work closely with collaborating healthcare trusts in northern England, conducting research with both patients and healthcare professionals to co-design, pilot and evaluate the intervention. It is expected the PhD will involve phases of contextual research with patients and healthcare staff, paper-based and low-fidelity prototyping, and higher-fidelity prototyping with Immersive Interactives technologies leading to a small-scale evaluation. We would expect the successful applicant to have a 2.1 or Master’s in a healthcare / design related subject area, and / or extensive professional experience of mental healthcare practice. We do not expect this PhD to involve extensive technical expertise, but a working understanding of immersive projection technologies and healthcare intervention design would be very desirable.

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.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see
https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/research/postgraduate-research-degrees/how-to-apply/

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. RDFC19/DES/VINES) will not be considered.
Deadline for applications: 23rd August 2019
Start Date: 1st October 2019
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 and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers

Funding Notes

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

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