Thriving and belonging in the post-pandemic workforce


An opportunity to apply for a funded full-time PhD in the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, UWE Bristol.

The expected start date of this studentship is 1 January 2023.

The closing date for applications is 19 August 2022.

Ref: 2223-JAN-HAS05

Please note: out of the eight projects being advertised for the Dean’s Studentship, the faculty will fund four. The projects for funding will be selected based on the merit of applicants following the process outlined below.

There will be a two stage interview process. Supervisory teams of each project will shortlist the best candidates for an initial interview with the supervisory team. Following this first interview, two candidates will be selected; a first-choice candidate and a reserve candidate. The first-choice candidate (or the reserve, if the first-choice candidate is unavailable) will then be interviewed by a Faculty Panel (the second interview). The Faculty Panel will be chaired by Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean and will consist of senior Faculty staff. The Faculty level interview will take place on the 31 October 2022.

Unsuccessful candidates will have the opportunity for self-funded places.

Studentship details

The COVID-19 pandemic created the biggest remote working experiment in human history, highlighting the workplace’s significance in impacting population level health and wellbeing. Work is profoundly associated with psychosocial health and wellbeing; it provides income, social status, a sense of belonging. How we ‘do’ in life is intimately tied up with what we ‘do’. Young professionals are perceived as the most vulnerable to suffer from loss of wellbeing in the workplace and the move to hybrid work has potentially impacted young people who recently joined the workforce.

Young people (18-35 years old) benefit from physically ‘being in’ the workplace, and they have been hardest hit economically by the pandemic, as well as the impact of being unable to form social networks, but less is known about the broader psychosocial health and wellbeing impacts of hybrid working on younger people. As organisations implement different hybrid working ‘models’ coming out of the pandemic, it will be important to understand the long-term impacts both on the health and wellbeing of younger people, but also how working arrangements can create connectedness and belonging amongst individuals who have recently joined the workforce.

The aim of the study is to explore the psychosocial health and wellbeing impacts of emerging hybrid working models for young people in the workplace, and to consider workplace interventions that can mitigate against the most significant risks. This PhD study will form a part of an evolving research programme at UWE exploring workplace health, wellbeing and resilience, aligning with the Centre for Public Health and Wellbeing.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Stuart McClean, Associate Professor in Public Health, at


This is a Dean’s PhD studentship and is funded for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax-exempt stipend, which is currently £16,602 per annum.

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years. The studentship will also fully cover the research costs (consumables budget).


Applicants must have minimum of 2:1 in a health and/or social science related discipline, and ideally will have a Masters.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted use the reference number 2223-JAN-HAS05.

Supporting documentation: you will need to upload your degree certificates and transcripts and if required, your proof of English language proficiency as attachments to your application so please have these available when you complete the application form.

References: you will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Your referee may be asked for a reference from the time you submit your application, so please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references within 14 days of your application being submitted.

Closing Date

The closing date for applications is 19 August 2022.

Further information

Please note that the following selection process applies.

Interviews by the prospective supervisory team will take place in the week commencing 12 September 2022. If you have not heard from us by that date, we thank you for your application but on this occasion you have not been successful.

Following the initial interview, two candidates will be selected; a first-choice candidate and a reserve candidate. The first-choice candidate (or the reserve, if the first-choice candidate is unavailable) will then undertake a second interview by a senior faculty panel on the 31 October 2022. The PhD will be awarded following a successful second interview.

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