Contact Details

Dr. Gavin Doherty
School of Computer Science and Statistics
Trinity College Dublin
Dublin 2.
+353 1 8963858
Gavin.Doherty @

PhD Studentship on Mobile Interventions for Mental Health

School of Computer Science and Statistics, Trinity College Dublin.

Mental and behavioural health conditions pose a major challenge to healthcare providers and society at large. It is generally accepted that mental health services are struggling to meet the needs of existing audiences as well as failing to reach large proportions of those in need. Technologies can help both to improve access to treatment, and help people to engage with treatment.

The mobile phone is also a highly available device for end users, allowing access throughout the day, and potentially providing help when they need it. While mobile phones are very useful for assessment, their real potential lies in delivering interventions when they are most needed, and most effective. This research will examine how we can intervene with the right content, encouragement, or support, in the right moment. The successful candidate will investigate the design of ecological momentary interventions (EMI) in mental and behavioural health using mobile and wearable technologies, with a focus on different strategies for user engagement, and investigate them through a series of experiments.

Supervision Team
Dr. Gavin Doherty and his team have done pioneering work in the area of technology in mental health for over 15 years, developing engaging and novel technologies that are used in the real world. This has included the development of the SilverCloud platform, which has been used to deliver human-supported mental health programmes to over 160,000 patients.

The researcher will benefit from the expertise of external supervisors Prof. Anna Cox (UCL), a leading expert in human-computer interaction and Dr. Stephen Schueller (UC Irvine), a leading expert on using Internet interventions in behavioral and mental health service delivery.

Funding Information
The position is funded by Science Foundation Ireland through the Adapt Centre ( PhD studentship funding includes PhD annual fees (up to € 5,500 per annum for four years) and student stipend (€18,500 per annum for four years). An additional budget for training & travel costs is also provided, as well as access to ADAPT infrastructure and support.

Candidates must have (or are expected to obtain by September 2018) the equivalent of a Master’s degree in one of the following fields (or related disciplines): Computer science, Interaction Design, Human-Computer Interaction, Biomedical Engineering. Applicants from relevant disciplines such as Psychology, or Health Sciences will be considered if they also have the sufficient software development skills to construct working prototypes.

Skills & Competencies
Our approach involves building innovative systems which are capable of being used in real clinical environments. The proposed research will require skills in interaction design, and mobile application prototyping and development in particular. Applicants should have a strong interest in human-computer interaction and m-Health. As the research will involve extensive work with stakeholders through the use of English, as well as the preparation of scientific publications, a high standard of both spoken and written English is required.

Further Information for Candidates
School of Computer Science and Statistics:
Principal Investigator

About Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin
Founded in 1592, Trinity offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across 24 schools and three faculties: arts, humanities, and social sciences; engineering, maths and science; and health sciences. Spread across 47 acres in Dublin’s city centre, Trinity’s 17,000-strong student body comes from all 32 counties of Ireland, and 16% of students come from outside the country. As Ireland’s leading university, the pursuit of academic excellence through research and scholarship is at the heart of the Trinity education.

The Old Library, which houses the Long Room, in Trinity is the largest research library in Ireland, with a collection of six million printed items, 500,000 maps, 80,000 electronic journals, and 350,000 electronic books. Some of the world’s most famous scholars are graduates of Trinity, including writer Jonathan Swift, dramatist Oscar Wilde, philosopher George Berkeley, and political philosopher, and political theorist Edmund Burke, as well as Nobel prize-winners such as scientist Ernest Walton and writer Samuel Beckett.

Trinity College Dublin is ranked 88th in the world in the 2017/18 QS World University Ranking across all indicators.
Computer Science at TCD is ranked in the top 100 in the World (QS 2018 Subject rankings).
Trinity is in the Top 50 most innovative universities in Europe according to Reuters.
In 2017, Trinity was ranked the top university in Europe for graduate entrepreneurship for the third year in a row, according to Pitchbook’s independent analysis.

Application Procedure
Candidates should submit a cover letter together with a full curriculum vitae including details of qualifications and evidence of standard of English, and the names and contact details of 2 referees (with email addresses) to:

Name / Title: Dr. Gavin Doherty
Email Address:
Contact Telephone Number: +353 1 896 3858 (please make an appointment to call)

Date: Applications  will be assessed until the position is filled. The first call will close on the 22nd of June 2018. Interviews will take place shortly afterwards.

Experience report on our summer school.

Last year we ran a summer school on e-Health together with KTH, supported by EIT Health, ACM SIGCHI, and the Adapt Centre. It was a great experience and we put together a short piece for ACM interactions on how it went.

Understanding Self-Report

Design is driven by our understanding of users’ experiences. This may involve users’ reports of their experiences, in the moment, after the fact, or ahead of time. Likewise many mental and behavioural health interventions rely on various forms of self report. In our new paper we look at how both design and health interventions . . . → Read More: Understanding Self-Report

EDGE Marie-Curie Postdoctoral fellowships.

A new call for EDGE Marie Skłodowska Curie postdoctoral research fellowships has opened. These are prestigious and well funded positions. Note that only applicants who have not been resident in Ireland over 12 months in the previous 3 years are eligible to apply (for specific guidance, see the application documents section of . . . → Read More: EDGE Marie-Curie Postdoctoral fellowships.

PhD Studentship in Mobile Applications to Support Emotion Regulation in Mental Health (Marie Curie ESR)

Marie Curie PhD Studentship in Mobile Applications to Support Emotion Regulation in Mental Health
We are seeking an excellent Early Stage Researcher (ESR) who must be eligible to enrol as a PhD.

Closing Date and Time:    5pm on 15/5/2017

The selected PhD student will be paid a gross annual salary of approximately €31,400 over a 3 year fixed term contract. They will also be entitled to a mobility allowance of approximately €6,500 per annum and potentially a family allowance where appropriate. The goal of the research is to investigate the role of self-reports in emotional sense making and self-regulation in mental health. This research will involve working to understand the self-management strategies and needs of people with mental health difficulties, and particularly bipolar disorder. Through the development and evaluation of innovative prototypes, it will look at the refinement and evaluation of different strategies for mobile self-reporting. Evaluations will explore the effectiveness of these strategies with respect to the different motivations for use of self-reports. It will involve work with both patients and clinical collaborators. Continue reading PhD Studentship in Mobile Applications to Support Emotion Regulation in Mental Health (Marie Curie ESR)

Paper accepted to Interacting with Computers

Congratulations again to Marguerite Barry on acceptance of our paper: M. Barry and G. Doherty, How we talk about interactivity: Modes and meanings in HCI research, Interacting with Computers (to appear), 2017. DOI 10.1093/iwc/iwx004.

International Summer School on e-Health and m-Health

Thanks to funding from ACM SIGCHI and The Adapt Centre, we are organising an International Summer School on e-Health and m-Health at Trinity College Dublin, tentatively scheduled for 26th-30th June 2017. The event will be targetted at PhD and new postdoctoral level researchers in HCI, Computer Science, Psychology and the Health Sciences who . . . → Read More: International Summer School on e-Health and m-Health

Paper accepted to CHI 2017

UPDATE: This paper has received a Best Paper award (top 1% of 2400 submissions)! We will be presenting a paper titled “m-Health for Maternal Mental Health: Everyday wisdom in Ethical Design” at CHI 2017 in Denver. The paper is the result of a collaborative project with the School of Public Health at Imperial College . . . → Read More: Paper accepted to CHI 2017

SilverCloud Health wins Eir elevation award.

Congratulations to the team at SilverCloud Health for winning the Health & Life Sciences category at the Eir Elevation awards 2016!

Keynote at 10th Irish HCI Conference

I was delighted to present a keynote at the 10th Irish HCI conference on the 14th of October at the Aula Maxima in UCC. Pictured here are with Prof. John McCarthy, head of Applied Psychology at UCC, event organisers Dr. Conor Linehan and Dr. Nadia Pantidi, keynote speaker Prof. Yvonne Rogers of UCL, . . . → Read More: Keynote at 10th Irish HCI Conference

Paper in JAMIA

We are just beginning to explore the possibilities of m-health technologies, this paper looks at the feasibility for automatic support of a particular treatment for bipolar disorder:

Abdullah, S., Matthews, M., Frank, E., Doherty, G., Gay, G. & Choudhury, T. Automatic detection of social rhythms in Bipolar Disorder. Journal of the American Medical Informatics . . . → Read More: Paper in JAMIA

Paper in New Media and Society

In a sense, interactivity is at the core of HCI, but what do people mean by it? This paper looks at use of the term within public discourse.

M. Barry & G. Doherty, What we talk about when we talk about interactivity: Empowerment in public discourse, New Media & Society, (to appear), 2016. . . . → Read More: Paper in New Media and Society