PhD in work space use, wellbeing, productivity and happiness

This funding opportunity has expired.

Key facts

Application deadline 14 February 2017
Start date April 2017, July 2017, October 2017 and January 2018
Duration 3 years
Funding body KESS
Level of study Postgraduate research
Award type PhD studentship
Number of studentships 1

The overall objective of the research is to use design management tools to help identify a clear workplace strategy, through the deployment of appropriate spaces, to reflect the wellbeing needs of individuals and ultimately the profitability and competitiveness of organisations.

The aims of the research are:

  • to explore and develop simple analytical tools to assist key stake holders transform their work spaces to maximise inclusive wellbeing, productivity and happiness
  • to understand the psychological and physical influence of office workspace in supporting effective wellbeing strategies and behaviours.

Initially, through a global literature review, the project will aim to understand current and emerging health concerns and legislation effecting both individual and organisational wellness. It will then explore the effectiveness of existing performance, health and occupancy tools on the market and compare results with known failing and successful work spaces.

The research will identify any gaps in both the measuring techniques and design guidelines to develop new tools, advice and methods to capture user friendly metrics for organisations to easily identify the effect workspace has on the occupants. The project will explore a combination of lab and field based data collection methods and identify opportunities to innovate both in the methods and in the potential workplace solutions.

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships 2 (KESS2) is a pan-Wales higher-level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the Higher Education sector in Wales. It is part-funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) West Wales and the Valleys programme, by partners from the West Wales and the Valleys areas of Wales, and by Cardiff University.


Informal enquiries may be directed to Prof Andrew Smith or Prof Wouter Poortinga.


Esther Meadows

Finance and Compliance Project Officer

Funding details

Tuition fee support Other
Fees are accounted for centrally by the University (with no charge to student/school accounts).
Maintenance stipend Stipend of at least £14,198 per year for PhD studentships (exact figures subject to confirmation of start date).
Additional funding offered circa £3K per year for consumables, training, travel and small equipment costs.

Eligibility criteria

Residency UK Research Council eligibility conditions apply
Academic criteria

Applicants should have, or expect to obtain, a minimum of an upper second-class honours degree (2:1) or equivalent in chemistry, pharmacy or a life science discipline. First-hand experience in organic synthesis, protein chemistry, mammalian cell culture or other relevant areas is highly desirable.

A self-starter with good interpersonal skills and a team player with a drive to succeed, you will be highly motivated relishing the opportunity to take a leading role in establishing this exciting research program.

Applicants must:

  • have a home or work address in the West Wales and the Valleys region at the time of their application for KESS funding and their enrolment for the course of study;
  • have a legal right to live and work in the UK for the duration of the KESS2 support, and the right to take up paid work in the WWV region on completion of the scholarship;
  • be classified as a ‘home’ or ‘EU’ student.

The Convergence area covers West Wales and the Valleys, and is made up of the following 15 local authorities:

  • Isle of Anglesey
  • Gwynedd
  • Conwy
  • Denbighshire
  • Ceredigion
  • Pembrokeshire
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Swansea
  • Neath Port Talbot
  • Bridgend
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf
  • Merthyr Tydfil
  • Caerphilly
  • Blaenau Gwent
  • Torfaen.


Esther Meadows

Finance and Compliance Project Officer

Consideration is automatic upon application for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (start dates of October 2017 or January 2018) or to the Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture (start dates of October 2017 or January 2018).

Applicants should include a brief covering letter outlining their motivation and experience for the position, as well as their curriculum vitae and the names of at least two referees.

In the funding section of your application, please select 'I will be applying for a scholarship/grant' and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from KESS. In the research proposal section, include the project description contained here.

Please note that this position is for the UK/EU students who have a home of work address in the West Wales and the Valleys Convergence area of Wales at the time of their application to Cardiff University, and at the time they enrol for studies.

We reserve the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.


Esther Meadows

Finance and Compliance Project Officer

Funding opportunity provided by:

Tuition fee discount of £3,400 for eligible Welsh and EU students starting a master’s degree in September 2018.

Eligible research programmes