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Optimising Mindfulness in Healthcare


About This PhD Project

Project Description

Apply to the University of Sussex for a place to study by Monday 20 January 2020.
Apply for SeNSS studentship funding by 12.00pm on Monday 2 March 2020.

This competition is open to UK and EU nationals only, subject to certain conditions (https://senss-dtp.ac.uk/apply).

There is growing evidence of the direct impact of mindfulness training and practice on staff stress management, mental health and well-being, as well as impact on workplace outcomes for healthcare staff including patient benefit. Drawing on this evidence, NHS employers are encouraged to make available mindfulness-based interventions for healthcare staff to support mental health and well-being (Mindful Nation, 2016; NHS Workforce Health and Wellbeing Framework, 2018). It is not known what the optimal training and practice model is to gain and sustain personal and professional benefits from mindfulness-based interventions for healthcare workers.

Project aims and objectives


At the Sussex Mindfulness Centre (https://www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/mindfulness), our innovative research group has explored engagement and impact of mindfulness based interventions for healthcare staff in a variety of ‘doses’ from brief self-guided workbooks and digital interventions to adapted 8-week courses supported by ongoing opportunities for group practice at drop-in sessions and all-day retreats. This project would synthesise and extend this work in developing recommendations for feasible, acceptable, and cost-effective mindfulness-based training in healthcare contexts.

The successful PhD student would gain training and supervision in research methods including systematic reviews, meta-analysis and longitudinal data collection and analysis. They will also be supported to report on the findings of this work in peer-reviewed publications and at conferences and other events for relevant stakeholders.

Training Opportunities


A comprehensive package of training will be agreed in consultation with the supervisors. Elements of training will be provided by the supervisors, University of Sussex, and by other providers.

Applicants: essential and/or desirable attributes/skills


It would be advantageous for the candidate to have experience of research activities within NHS Trust research teams, for example with recruitment and retention of participants of research in this context.

Studentship Details


This studentship may be taken as either a 1+3 year award (a one-year MSc followed by a three-year PhD), or a +3 award (a three-year PhD)

• It may be taken full-time or part-time
• The studentship award covers your university fees, and provides you with a stipend of £15,009 per year
• You will also be able to apply for small amounts of additional funding via the SeNSS Research Training Support Grant

How to apply for this studentship


In order to be considered for this SeNSS studentship, you must first apply for a place to study University of Sussex, noting that you are applying for the collaborative studentship. Please go to University of Sussex, How to apply for a PhD for information on how to make your application - https://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/phd/apply

You will then need to make a separate application to SeNSS for this collaborative studentship. Please read the SeNSS Collaborative Studentship Application Guidance Notes before completing our online application form. The Guidance Notes are available at the bottom of the following webpage: Applying for a SeNSS collaborative studentship - http://senss-dtp.ac.uk/applying-for-a-senss-collaborative-studentship/

Starting date


On or about 1 October 2020.

Enquiries email name and address


For queries relating to the Sussex application process, please email
For queries related to the project itself, please email Prof. Kate Cavanagh ()

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