Aberdeen University Featured PhD Programmes
University College London Featured PhD Programmes
Birkbeck, University of London Featured PhD Programmes
Sheffield Hallam University Featured PhD Programmes
The University of Manchester Featured PhD Programmes

Young people bringing nature to their communities (ref: RDF20/SWECW/HENDERSON)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 24, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

In the UK, young people’s mental health is suffering due to a complex range of factors, with inequalities, poor predicted life outcomes and unfit health and social care systems being amongst the most prominent. However, young people are resisting these trends—through local, national and global action. The most high profile cases in the media are the youth movements against climate change, violence and mental health stigma.

Unsurprisingly, solutions are also complex and intersectional. Research shows that mental ill health can be prevented and reduced when people improve relationships within ourselves (i.e. intrapersonally) with other people (interpersonally) and with the world around us. Connecting with nature offers us this chance to work on all three of these levels, allow us to build resilience and to recover. However, the connections people make with nature are strongly mediated by access to nature.

The convincing level of evidence in this area has prompted policy such as The Government’s 2018 ‘A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan’, which seeks to “encourage children to be close to nature”. No doubt the upcoming UK General Election will see the further development of such initiatives. What is lacking in the evidence, however, is how to improve access where there are few if any green and blue spaces. Globally the ‘rewilding’ movement has the potential to reduce inequalities in access to nature by empowering communities to grow gardens, woodland and river and sea beds on a very localised level.

This project seeks to understand how best to practically improve access to nature equitably. It will do this by first understanding what meaning nature carries for young people, and the potential of localised rewilding projects. An interdisciplinary approach will be adopted, utilising a range of methodologies, for example participatory/action research, working with young people, community groups and statutory organisations.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:

• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF20/…) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Friday 24 January 2020
Start Date: 1 October 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Home/EU students with a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2019/20, this is £15,009 pa) and full fees.


2019 Griffiths C, Vogel C, Henderson EJ. How can we use big data in the context of obesity? A Delphi study. International Journal of Obesity as part of the ESRC Strategic Network for Obesity Paper Series.

2018 Hill S, Vale L, Hunter DJ, Henderson EJ, Oluboyede Y. Economic evaluations of alcohol prevention interventions: is the evidence sufficient? A review of methodological challenges. Health Policy.

2018 Lake A, Henderson EJ & Townsend T. Who is responsible for obesity?: Views from local government. Cities & Health.

2017 Newham J, Lingam R, McGovern R, Spencer L, Janet Shucksmith, Robalino S, Geijer-Simpson E, Andie Reynolds, Henderson EJ, Paul McArdle, Eileen Kaner. Research article: Primary and secondary preventative interventions to promote mental health and resilience in young people aged 12-19 years: a systematic review of systematic reviews.

2017 Learmonth A, Henderson EJ, Hunter DJ. Securing systems leadership by local government through health and wellbeing strategies. Journal of Public Health.

2017 Crane, D, Henderson EJ, Chadwick D. Exploring the acceptability of limited patient consent for a proposed blood-borne virus screening programme using a Delphi consensus building technique. BMJ Open 7:e015373 doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015373

2016 Hill S, Vale L, Hunter DJ, Henderson EJ, Oluboyede Y. Economic evaluation and prioritysetting in public health: protocol for a review of the methods used to evaluate interventions for the prevention and reduction of excessive alcohol consumption. PROSPERO: CRD42016039063.

2016 Newham J, Lingam R, McGovern R, Spencer L, Shucksmith J, Robalino S, Geijer-Simpson E, Andie Reynolds, Henderson EJ, McArdle P, Kaner E. Primary and secondary preventative interventions to promote mental health and resilience in young people aged 12-19 years: a systematic review of systematic reviews (protocol). PROSPERO:CRD42016033645.

2015 Henderson EJ, Ells L, Rubin GP, Hunter DJ. Systematic review of the use of data from national childhood obesity surveillance programmes in primary care: A conceptual synthesis. Obesity Reviews. DOI: 10.1111/obr.12319.

2015 Henderson EJ. Roles and responsibilities in addressing obesity in primary care: A qualitative synthesis. British Journal of General Practice 65:e240-7.

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2019
All rights reserved.