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Mental health promotion and prevention: Understanding the role of the workplace in reducing risk for depressive and anxiety disorders (SandersonKU18SF1)

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  • Full or part time
    Prof K Sanderson
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Background and Aims: Depression and anxiety in working adults are prevalent and costly. Mental health promotion and prevention in workplaces is a collective responsibility but much of the evidence base focusses on the individual and much of the evidence comes from outside the UK. There are important questions to be addressed on how to: i) prevent both new onset of depressive/anxiety disorders and recurrence; ii) understand the impact of actions that UK employers and employees are already taking to protect mental health, including both positive impacts and unintended consequences; iii) promote wider engagement of workplaces with mental health and implementation of initiatives; iv) tailor a suite of prevention strategies that targets both the individual and their work environment in different settings.

PhD objectives: These will be developed in consultation with the candidate and may include a focus on a particular industry or work setting of interest to them, and will address one or more of the evidence gaps noted above. Proposals with a focus on health care workforces including the ambulance sector and mental health services will be especially welcome. The research will be predominately quantitative but applications that also include a qualitative component will be welcome. Most questions will require a systematic review as the initial piece of work, and some of a candidate’s program may be completed through analysis of secondary data sources.
Supervision and training: The candidate will join the research group of the School of Health Sciences Chair in Applied Health Research, Professor Kristy Sanderson. The supervisory team will be multi-disciplinary. A tailored training program in research and professional skills is available.

This project is suitable for candidates with experience/interest in mental health or public health research and a degree in psychology, public health, epidemiology, nursing, allied health, or other health-related discipline.

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here:

The type of programme: PHD

Project Start Date: 2018/19

Full-time or Part-time

Entry Requirements: This project is suitable for someone with a good first degree (at least 2:1) in a related topic area, such as Psychology, public health, epidemiology, nursing, allied health, other health-related discipline

The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at


Clark L, Fida R, Skinner S, Murdoch J, Rees N, Williams J, Sanderson K (2018). The health, well-being and support interventions for UK ambulance service personnel: a systematic evidence map 1998-2018. PROSPERO 2018 CRD42018104659

Dawkins S, Martin A, Scott J, Sanderson K, Schüz B (2018). A cross-level model of team-level psychological capital (PsyCap) and individual- and team-level outcomes. Journal of Management & Organization,

Memish K, Martin A, Dawkins S, Bartlett L, Sanderson K (2017). Workplace mental health: an international review of guidelines. Preventive Medicine, 101:213-222

Cocker F, Sanderson K, LaMontagne AD (2017). Estimating the economic benefits of eliminating job strain as a risk factor for depression. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 59: 12-17

Bartlett L, Otahal P, Lovell P, Sanderson K (2016). Acceptability, feasibility and efficacy of a workplace mindfulness program for public sector employees: a pilot randomized controlled trial with informant-reports. Mindfulness, doi:10.1007/s12671-016-0643-4

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