Funded PhD studentship on Digital Technologies for Adolescent Wellbeing - now closed

We have extended the deadline of our EPSRC funded PhD studentship! This is available to UK/EU applicants for up to 4 years from October 2018, and covers tuition fees at the UK/EU level as well as a stipend (£16,000 approx).


Please be aware that EPSRC funding is only available to UK/EU candidates who have (a) settled status in the UK, with no restrictions on how long they can stay and (b) been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the studentship (for education purposes is fine). See more information at the EPSRC site.

Research Project

Technology has great potential to either harm or augment mental, physical and sexual health in adolescents. Recently the focus has been on the harmful effects of widely available technology on adolescents. The aim of this PhD project is to investigate how digital technologies can be harnessed to promote resilience and wellbeing in teens/ adolescents including addressing issues of identity (self-identity, gender-identity, …), body image, and sexuality. Within this broad remit and under the supervision of Prof. Nadia Berthouze and Dr Aneesha Singh, the PhD project could explore a number of areas such as:

(i) investigating how teens are using social media, digital technologies and the internet in creative and imaginative ways to promote positive mental and sexual health and wellbeing and how this can be augmented, or

(ii) developing digital tools through co-design and participatory methods that directly address youth transitions and take account of their self-reported needs with respect to key issues around their body image, developing sexuality, and safe sex, or

(iii) designing on-body and personal tools that support adolescents and their parents or care givers to communicate effectively, or

(iv) exploring the use of multimodal feedback to provide support for mental and sexual health.

The aim will be to move away from the adult-led perspective of adolescents' and teenagers' attitudes to technology use towards what adolescents want and find useful.

Person Specification

Applicants should possess a strong bachelor's degree (1st or 2:1) or Master's degree in Human-Computer Interaction or a related discipline.
Candidates must have a clear interest in human-computer interaction and the design, implementation, and evaluation of novel technologies. Experience with physical computing toolkits (e.g., Arduino) is desirable. Ideally, candidates will have experience in qualitative methods as well as strong programming and implementation skills, but candidates with one of these skills will be considered. Candidates must have excellent written and oral communication skills.

Application Procedure

Applications should submit their applications through the online UCL Select system by 5pm Monday 30 July 2018 - applications must include:

  1. A personal statement and research proposal describing the preferred research question, a summary of some relevant literature, and an outline of the type of research to be conducted (including ideas about which methods would be appropriate).
  2. Examples of academic writing and outputs from past work (e.g. a dissertation or assignment)
  3. Academic transcripts
  4. A CV

Interviews with short-listed applicants will begin around 3rd August 2018.
Questions about the studentship can be made to Dr Aneesha Singh. Queries about the application process can be made to Louise Gaynor.