SeNSS Collaborative - Optimising mindfulness in healthcare (2020)

See below for eligibility requirements.

Type of award

Postgraduate research

PhD project

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.

At the Sussex Mindfulness Centre, 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.



Scholarships cover university tuition fees and a stipend (currently £15,009)


Applicants must hold at least a UK upper second class honours degree or equivalent. The scholarships will be awarded for a period of either three years for those with an ESRC recognised research training qualification or equivalent (+3) or four years (1+3) for those without.

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.

Scholarships include payment of UK/EU fees and in the case of UK students a maintenance grant (for information the 2019-20 rate is £15,009 per annum). EU students will normally only be eligible for a fees-only award. EU students may be eligible for the maintenance grant (at the UK rate) where they have been living in the UK for three years prior to the start of the course.

Part-time students are welcome to apply and in such cases scholarships are paid pro-rata.

This award is open to Home/EU applicants.

Number of scholarships available



20 January 2020 23:45 (GMT)

How to apply

If you wish to apply for this studentship you must first apply for a place on the Psychology PhD course at the University of Sussex. Or if applying for the 1+3 route (Masters & PhD), you should apply for the 1+3 route on our application portal chossing one of the following courses:

Once you have secured a place you will need to complete an SeNSS studentship application form.

Please note: Students wishing to complete the SeNSS application form must discuss this with the primary  supervisor, Professor Kate Cavanagh,

The deadline for applying for a place at the University of Sussex is 23.59 20 January 2020. 

The deadline for completing a SeNSS application form is 12.00 GMT on 2 March 2020



This studentship is supported by the SeNSS DPT and the Sussex Partnership NHS Trust.

Contact us


Phone: 01273 678498


20 January 2020 - deadline for applying for a PhD place at the University of Sussex

2 March 2020 - deadline for completing the SeNSS application form.

Successful applicants will be informed by the end of April.


At level(s):
PG (taught), PG (research)

Application deadline:
20 January 2020 23:45 (GMT)
the deadline has now expired


The award is available to people from these specific countries: