Psychology PhD studentship

Psychology Doctoral Research Studentship - Digital Technologies in Health and Wellbeing (2023)

This studentship covers Home or International level PhD tuition fees, a stipend (currently £17,668 pa) plus some research and training costs.

What you get

  • A stipend for 3 years (rising in line with UKRI studentship rates, currently £17,668 p.a.) to cover living costs.
  • Home fees or International fees and research/training costs are also covered for 3 years.
  • You will also be expected to take up Doctoral Tutoring during your 6 semesters (3 years) of funding. This work is paid at Grade 5.1 (currently £13.88 per hour), and covers contact time, preparation and marking. You will be expected to work approximately 165 hours per year, dependent on modules selected and availability.


Type of award

Postgraduate Research

PhD project

Dr Faith Matcham is a Health Psychologist and researcher in digital mental health. She is interested in the relationship between mental and physical health and how we can use technology to improve our measurement and management of long-term conditions and mental illness.

Digital technologies, such as wearable devices and smartphone sensors offer exciting opportunity to revolutionise how we measure and manage our health. Recent advances in sensors and remote measurement systems provide sophisticated, high-frequency and objective measurement of parameters known to be associated with health outcomes: heart rate and accelerometery sensors in wrist-worn wearable devices can give information indicative of sleep patterns and physical activity levels. Data from smartphone sensors such as Global Positioning System (GPS), Bluetooth, gyroscope, phone screen interactions, ambient noise and light levels have also been used to collect information relating to sociability, movement, speech and activity associated with low mood. Digital technologies provide the unparalleled opportunity to unobtrusively measure real-time changes in cognition, behaviour, and physiology, providing early indicators of therapeutic outcome and targets for personalised intervention.
She is involved in a variety of research activities which examine the utility of these technologies across a range of contexts and clinical populations.

She is keen to extend the knowledge in this field and welcome applications from anyone interested in developing a project with this technology at its core, whether this be via observational data collection, intervention development and delivery, or other scientific methodology.

She is available to supervise PhD projects within her areas of expertise and research interest. She is also open to supervising PhD projects which fall within the remit of her other ongoing research projects:
1. The use of Experience Sampling Methodology/ Ecological Momentary Assessment to examine daily patterns of behaviours and emotions in elderly people experiencing loneliness.
2. Digitalised interventions to improve mental health in people with long-term physical health conditions.
3. Understanding barriers and facilitators of engagement with digital technologies.

The project will be supervised by Dr Faith Matcham and at least one other supervisor from the University of Sussex.

Doctoral Tutor role

You will also be expected to take up Doctoral Tutoring during your 6 semesters (3 years) of funding. This work is paid at Grade 5.1 (currently £13.88 per hour), and covers contact time, preparation and marking. You will be expected to work approximately 165 hours per year, dependent on modules selected and availability.

Doctoral Tutors will be encouraged to study for a formal teaching accreditation (Associate of the Higher Education Academy), including enrolling on a ‘starting to teach’ module in the first term. Candidates who demonstrate interest in and suitability for the Doctoral Tutor role will be preferred. 




  • This award will pay fees at the Home or International rate (as required by the applicant's fee status). International students must move to Sussex for the duration of the PhD and will not be permitted to register as Distance Learners. The studentship does not include additional funding towards the costs of visas or travel to the UK for international students.
  • Candidates must have, or expect to obtain, a First or a high Upper Second Class Honours undergraduate degree, or equivalent qualification, and/or a  Merit (an average of 60% overall) in a Master’s degree in Psychology or other relevant discipline.
  • The University of Sussex believes that the diversity of its staff and student community is fundamental to creative thinking, pedagogic innovation, intellectual challenge, and the interdisciplinary approach to research and learning. We celebrate and promote diversity, equality and inclusion amongst our staff and students. As such, we welcome applications from all, regardless of personal characteristics or background. 

Number of scholarships available



16 January 2023 23:59

How to apply

  • In the 'Supervisor suggested by applicant' section of your application, put 'Faith Matcham'.
  • In the 'Proposed source of funding' section of your application, please put 'Psychology Doctoral Research Studentship - Matcham'. 

Candidates should provide: 

  • A research proposal that outlines your knowledge of the research area, hypotheses that could be addressed in your PhD, and an outline of potential methods. The research proposal should be approximately 1,000 to 1,500 words in length and not exceed 3 pages, including references. It should be set at a minimum of 10 font type with margins a minimum of 1cm. Applicants are encouraged to contact the supervisor for more information about the project before writing their proposal.
  • Current degree transcript(s) with full details of performance on all completed courses. 
  • Two academic references.
  • An up-to-date CV.
  • A document summarising any teaching experience you have and illustrating your suitability for a Doctoral Tutor role. 

Contact us

For queries with respect to the application process:  

To discuss the details of your research interests further, please contact Dr Faith Matcham.



Deadline: Monday 16 January 2023  (23:59 GMT)

Interviews (on Zoom): February 2023


At level(s):
PG (research)

Application deadline:
16 January 2023 23:59 (GMT)


The award is available to people from these specific countries: