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The Team GB Green2Gold project; Socially-prescribed greenspace exercise as a route to tackling health inequalities in the East Riding of Yorkshire

   Faculty of Health Sciences

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  Dr C Douglas, Dr Luke Jones Jonzon  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

About our partnership with Team GB

The University’s partnership with Team GB was announced in January 2019 and includes the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Olympic Games, and the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. The partnership is borne out of a synergy between the University’s ambitions and values, and those of Team GB, and is built on the belief that there is the extraordinary in everyone.

In a further exciting development in this unique partnership, we are delighted to announce the launch of three PhD projects which will be delivered in close collaboration with Team GB. The three studies are about sustaining the future of individuals, society as a collective, and the environment and will form our Team GB: Competitors, Community, Climate cluster.

Find out more about the other Team GB PhD opportunities.

About this project

The aim of this PhD programme is to develop a scalable model for effectively implementing socially-prescribed greenspace activity in economically-disadvantaged communities. Based in the University of Hull’s Sport, Health and Exercise Science department the successful PhD candidate will work with a wide range of partner institutions, including East Riding of Yorkshire Council Public Health and local charity leaders, as well as Team GB.

The health benefits of physical activity in greenspace (i.e. open, underdeveloped land with natural vegetation, urban parks, public open spaces, etc.) were brought to the fore during lockdown and consolidated by the Environment Secretary’s announcement of a £4M pilot project to assess the health impacts of “green prescribing”. This initiative involves a shift from GP prescriptions of established medication regimens towards “green exercise prescriptions” (e.g. outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, working on conservation projects, gardening, etc.) as a means of improving physical and mental health.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought considerable challenges for physical activity. Evidence suggests that economically disadvantaged communities are less likely to use existing greenspace areas and/or may have less access to well-maintained greenspaces. However, the East Riding of Yorkshire region is well-positioned to become the vanguard for understanding how to redress social inequalities in this respect.

Submission of thesis

Submission of your final thesis is expected within three years and three months from the start of your PhD scholarship.

If you need to move into a fourth year to complete your thesis, please note that you will not receive a tuition fee waiver or maintenance grant during this period.

Who can apply

Candidates should hold a minimum of, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in sport and exercise science, health psychology, public health or a related discipline. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience outside academia, and a keen interest in the health benefits of physical activity, would also be an advantage.

We welcome and encourage applications from retired or retiring athletes.

For more details on our entry requirements please visit the postgraduate admissions webpage.

This scholarship is available for full-time study only and not open to candidates who have already obtained a PhD. This opportunity is open to Home candidates only.

How to apply


Apply via the University of Hull website

When applying, please provide a personal statement, of no more than 800 words (Arial, minimum font 11 point, margins 2.54cm), outlining: (i) what motivates you to pursue PhD study; (ii) why you are interested in this project; (iii) how your skill set matches the requirements for your choice of project and/or any additional training you will need; and (iv) the wider significance of research in this area and potential future research directions for the project.

Closing date for applications and interviews

Applications will close at 17.00 on 31st May 2021.  Interviews will take place during week commencing 14th June 2021.

Find out more

Come and chat to us! We are hosting a live webinar on Wednesday 12th May at 6pm. You will have an opportunity to meet Team GB, hear directly from them why these projects are important and ask questions. You will also have the opportunity to meet and chat to the PhD project supervisors here at the University of Hull. Register here.

You can also email us at [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

The successful applicant will receive a fee waiver and a maintenance grant / stipend for three years, which covers the research period of the PhD. The fee waiver for 21/22 is £4500 (Home fee) and the maintenance grant is £15609. This rises each year in line with the UKRI’s recommended stipend allowance.
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