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  Investigating the use of Health Coaching Applications and Emerging Technology to Develop Novel Strategies as Mitigation for the Growing Impact of Social Media and Online Platforms on Student Well-being.


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  Dr Michael McCann, Dr Helen McGloin, Dr Carmel Heaney, Dr Gabriela Gliga  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 2) Investigating the use of health coaching applications and emerging technology to develop novel strategies as mitigation for the growing impact of social media and online platforms on student well-being. 

This PhD study aims to investigate the increasing influence of social media platforms on student well-being while exploring the effectiveness of health coaching interventions integrated into electronic devices through emerging technology. The evolution of social media and the relentless exposure and opportunity to engage in these platforms has presented an unprecedented shift in social engagement paradigms. The study will evaluate mitigation strategies designed to promote healthier social media habits among students through the implementation of virtual health coaching intervention, offering guidance on maintaining mental health, mindfulness, and promoting positive social media usage habits. 

•       The study will employ surveys, psychological scales, and qualitative interviews to gauge baseline well-being indicators and social media usage patterns.

•       Introduce health coaching sessions integrated into the platforms, addressing stress management, digital wellbeing, and positive engagement practices.

•       Collect data at intervals to measure changes in well-being indicators and social media behaviours among the intervention and control groups.

•       Assess the impact of virtual health coaching technology on social media interaction and student wellbeing

Objectives of the research project - Expected Contributions:

1.     Insights into the impact of social media platforms on student well-being. Evaluation of the effectiveness of health coaching interventions in promoting positive social media habits and enhancing well-being.

2.     Recommendations for integrating health coaching into social media platforms to support student mental health and promote responsible social media usage.

3.     Provide actionable insights for educators, health professionals, and social media platforms to support students' mental health and promote responsible social media usage.

Integration of health coaching within emerging social media and online platforms, this study seeks to contribute to a holistic approach to student well-being, fostering healthier digital habits and promoting positive mental health practices


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

Project Duration:

48 months (PhD)

Preferred Location:

ATU Donegal Campus


Application Form / Terms and Conditions can be obtained on the website:

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).

Psychology (31) 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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