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  Investigate the Effects of Spending Time in Natural Environments Compared with Urban Environments on Cognition, Wellbeing, and Brain Activity.


   Research

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  Dr Martin O'Neill, Dr Eamon Laird, Dr Erik Mac Giolla, Dr Anushree Dwivedi  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Postgraduate Research Programme Translational Health Research Innovation preVention & Equity (THRIVE) offers 12 PhD research scholarships to commence in 2024. Each project will include an enterprise placement of minimum 12 weeks duration.

PhD Project Title: (THRIVE 6) Investigate the effects of spending time in natural environments compared with urban environments on cognition, wellbeing, and brain activity. 

Most of us feel better after a walk in the fresh air, either by the sea or through a forest. Spending time in nature can also help to clear the head and regain focus and concentration. This project will investigate the effects of spending time in different natural environments (blue-ocean; green-countryside) compared with urban environments on cognition, wellbeing, and brain activity. Moreover, with the enterprise partner, Your Wellbeing Warrior, we will compare the effects of engaging in wellbeing activities such as yoga and mindfulness meditation while outdoors in nature compared to indoors. Psychological tests will evaluate the beneficial effects of spending time in nature on different aspects of cognition including memory, attention, learning, decision making, and problem solving, and we also plan to record brain activity to detect effects on neural information processing. 

 Project Objectives: 

1. Provide evidence-based insight to the benefits of spending time in nature compared to urban environments.

2. Determine whether there is any difference in the beneficial effects of spending time in blue (ocean) versus green (countryside) natural environments. 

3. Evaluate whether there is additional benefit to wellbeing while engaging in yoga and mindfulness meditation while outdoors in nature compared to indoors.

4. Characterise the effects of spending time in natural environments on different aspects of cognition including memory, attention, learning, decision making, and problem solving.

5. Reveal the effects of spending time in natural environments on brain activity. 

Requirements/Qualifications

A minimum of 2.1 honours degree (Level 8) in a relevant discipline.

Project Duration:

48 months (PhD)

Preferred Location:

ATU Sligo Campus

Applications:

Application Form / Terms and Conditions can be obtained on the website: https://www.atu.ie/TU-RISE

The closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm, (GMT) Monday 29th April, 2024.

Only selected applicants will be called for an online interview (shortlisting may apply).

Biological Sciences (4) Nursing & Health (27) Psychology (31) Sociology (32) Sport & Exercise Science (33)

Funding Notes

TU RISE is co-financed by the Government of Ireland and the European Union through the ERDF Southern, Eastern & Midland Regional Programme 2021- 27 and the Northern & Western Regional Programme 2021-27.
Funding for this Project includes:
• A student stipend (usually tax-exempt) valued at €22,000 per annum
• Annual waivers of postgraduate tuition fee
• Extensive research training programme
• Support for travel, consumables and dissemination expenses
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