New PhD opportunity: Promoting behaviour change in people who are overweight or obese

Applications are now open for the following PhD study: The implementation of a pledge scheme to promote behaviour change in people who are overweight or obese: feasibility and acceptability of implementation in primary care and community settings.

Due to commence in January or September 2015 (depending on the preference of the successful applicant), funding provides an annual tax-free stipend of £16,500, coverage of tuition fees and all research expenses. Applicants must be UK/EU nationals due to the nature of the award.

A high prevalence of obesity in the UK is linked to increased rates of stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease. While a multi-faceted approach is needed to combat this difficult societal issue, individual-level interventions are part of the solution. Evidence indicates that after pledging to behave in a certain way, people feel strong internal pressure to act consistently and carry out the pledge. Empirical research indicates that pledging can have a positive effect on behaviour, but further research is needed to understand what designs of pledge scheme are effective, particularly for health behaviours.

The successful candidate will be based in the School of Psychological Sciences at The University of Manchester, a major world-leading centre for research and education. The School is home to the internationally renowned Manchester Centre for Health Psychology, with strengths in behaviour change, quality of life, clinical communication, intervention design & evaluation, and a range of experimental and qualitative methodologies. There will also be links with the Institute of Population Health, an internationally esteemed centre for research and education in population health and health sciences. The successful candidate will receive extensive training in conducting research alongside providers of community health services.

Candidates are expected to hold a minimum upper-second (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in a relevant social science, health science or psychological science subject. A Masters qualification or relevant research experience would be a distinct advantage.

Find more information and apply. The deadline for expressions of interest is 10 November 2014.

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