Weight loss maintenance

Topic headline: Weight loss maintenance

Category: PhD research project

Institution: University of Derby

Department: Psychology

PhD supervisor: Professor James Stubbs

Application deadline: Applications accepted all year round

Funding availability: Self-funded PhD student only

Project description

This project would be part of an ongoing programme of research on the psychological and behavioural challenges facing those trying to maintain weight loss. The project could focus on behavioral strategies and characteristics of those who successfully achieve and maintain weight loss, compared to those who relapse, by sampling data from large scale weight management interventions using online questionnaire tools/and or qualitative measures, together with electronically collated week-by week weight records. Combining these data will facilitate modelling and testing real-world behaviour, stress coping, health literacy and relapse prevention strategies. The project could focus on specific aspects of emotion regulation, motivation and behaviour change techniques in groups of differing gender, ethnicity and age. The work will help inform obesity prevention and treatment approaches.

There is the potential to design a project to incorporate the specific interests of the PhD student. A successful applicant will join a thriving postgraduate community at the Kedleston Road site of the University of Derby, and will have a good (at least upper second) degree in psychology or a closely related subject, good quantitative or qualitative research methods skills, and will be a well-organised, self-motivated researcher.

Background reading

Stubbs, R.J., & Lavin, J. (2013). The challenges of implementing behaviour changes that lead to sustained weight management. Nutrition Bulletin, 38, 5-22.

Stubbs, J., Brogelli, D., Pallister, C., Avery, A., & Lavin, J. (2012). Behavioural and motivational factors associated with weight loss and maintenance in a commercial weight management programme. Open Obesity Journal, 4, 35-43.


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

Professor James Stubbs

E: j.stubbs1@derby.ac.uk