PhD Studentship on Mobile Interventions for Mental Health


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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:

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.