Nature Connectedness and Well-being

Topic headline: Nature Connectedness and Well-being

Category: PhD research project

Institution: University of Derby

Department: Psychology

PhD supervisor: Dr Miles Richardson

Application deadline: Applications accepted all year round

Funding availability: Self-funded PhD student only

Project description

Reconnecting people with nature has been the focus of several recent high profile campaigns (e.g. RSPB Give Nature a Home TV Ads) owing to the state of nature, the links to pro-environmental behaviour and the benefits to well-being. Therefore interventions that lead to a greater connectedness to nature are valuable.

This project would be part of on-going work within the Nature Connectedness Research Group and there are a number of research possibilities. The general focus would be related to understanding the psychological benefits such as restoration and creativity and how nature-based interventions can be developed to promote them. More specifically, there is scope for further refinement of our “3 Good Things in Nature” intervention or extending the work from adults to children.

There is also the potential to design a project to incorporate the specific interests of the PhD student. A successful applicant could study at a distance or join a thriving postgraduate community at the Kedleston Road site of the University of Derby. A good (at least upper second) degree in psychology or subject related to the wider topic area will be required, together with good quantitative or qualitative research methods skills, organization and motivation.


Background research

Hartig et al. (2011). Health Benefits of Nature Experience: Psychological, Social and Cultural Processes. In Forests, Trees and Human Health. 


PhD study at the University of Derby

The University of Derby is pleased to welcome applications from self-funded or externally sponsored students for programmes of research in this or related areas, beginning from September 2012. Applications are welcome from students wishing to study full time or part time, and from students in employment who have the support of their employers.

The University of Derby provides PhD students with a range of facilities and support, including dedicated office space, PC and IT facilities, and library services, and all PhD students in Psychology are members of the Centre for Psychological Research, an active community of psychological researchers.

At the University of Derby, the Traditional Route PhD is taken by students who already have a Masters level qualification that includes research methods. Students without previous Masters level training in research methods take the New Route PhD, which includes training in research methods.

Have a look at the application process details and fee information.


Enquiry contact details

Dr Miles Richardson

T: 01332 593056