Young people, urban green and blue space use, and barriers.


This studentship will investigate the current mental health crisis and explore how this is influencing urban green and blue spaces (UGBS) use in young people, as well as how urban green and blue spaces may help to mitigate poor mental health in this group. 

The student will look to see if UGBS influences health outcomes independent of socioeconomic status/ poverty.  The student will learn to use longitudinal data (either collected from existing surveys (e.g. Millennium Cohort Survey), or using routinely collected health and other administrative data) and causal methods (e.g. marginal structural models). They will investigate different pathways to mental health outcomes and assess how these vary with the presence/absence of green space. They may also include proximity to the coast or other ‘blue spaces’ such as the river Mersey.

This research is supported by GroundsWell consortium, which is partnered with Liverpool City Council, Mersey Care NHS, and the Integrated Care Board of Cheshire and Merseyside. GroundsWell is a UKPRP funded consortium which aims to drive community innovation and systems science to evaluate and maximise the contribution of Urban Green/Blue Space to the prevention and reduction of non-communicable diseases, including mental ill-health.

The Integrated Care Board for Cheshire and Merseyside aims to improve population health and is planning to address broader public health and social care needs of the population. Liverpool City Council public health team are focussed on improving the health and wellbeing for all our residents with a focus on preventing ill health. These organisations, and the Data Action Research Group at the University of Liverpool, aim to use routinely collected data, helping to make it available to approved researchers in a safe and secure way to develop cutting-edge research to improve knowledge, policy making and public service delivery.

This studentship will involve analysis of large scale, linked administrative data with a variety of quantitative approaches. Applicants should have a relevant Masters degree and at least a basic level of quantitative analysis skills. Additional specialist training provided.

You will be based in the Health Inequalities Policy Research (HIPR) Group, in the Department of Public Health, Policy and Systems.

To apply for the position, please email attaching a covering letter, CV and details of 2 referees.



Open to students worldwide

Funding information

Funded studentship

This is a funded PhD Studentship supported by the Groundswell Consortium. The funding covers payment of tuition fees at the standard UKRI Home rate, an annual stipend in line with UKRI rates (for 2022/23 this was £17,668 full time equivalent, TBC for 2023/24), and research support costs.

Please note, EU/ international students are welcome to apply, however, the studentship funds tuition fees at UKRI Home rate only, payment of the difference in fees will be the responsibility of the student.