Green2Gold: socially-prescribed greenspace exercise as a route to tackling health inequalities in the East Riding of Yorkshire


Funded PhD


3 years (full-time)

Application deadline:

31 May 2021

About our partnership with Team GB

The University’s partnership with Team GB was announced in January 2019 and includes the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Olympic Games, and the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. The partnership is borne out of a synergy between the University’s ambitions and values, and those of Team GB, and is built on the belief that there is the extraordinary in everyone. The partnership has gone from strength to strength, and we have recently announced double Olympic Champion, Max Whitlock, as our new ambassador as part of our two-year anniversary celebrations.

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About this project

The aim of this PhD programme is to develop a scalable model for effectively implementing socially-prescribed greenspace activity in economically-disadvantaged communities. Based in the University of Hull’s Sport, Health and Exercise Science department the successful PhD candidate will work with a wide range of partner institutions, including East Riding of Yorkshire Council Public Health and local charity leaders, as well as Team GB.

The health benefits of physical activity in greenspace (i.e. open, underdeveloped land with natural vegetation, urban parks, public open spaces, etc.) were brought to the fore during lockdown and consolidated by the Environment Secretary’s announcement of a £4M pilot project to assess the health impacts of “green prescribing”. This initiative involves a shift from GP prescriptions of established medication regimens towards “green exercise prescriptions” (e.g. outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, working on conservation projects, gardening, etc.) as a means of improving physical and mental health.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought considerable challenges for physical activity. Evidence suggests that economically disadvantaged communities are less likely to use existing greenspace areas and/or may have less access to well-maintained greenspaces. However, the East Riding of Yorkshire region is well-positioned to become the vanguard for understanding how to redress social inequalities in this respect.

Find out more at our webinar

To find out more about the Team GB PhD projects and to hear direct from Team GB and the personal supervisors you can register to attend a webinar on Wednesday 12 May at 6 pm. This is your opportunity to ask questions and also to find out more from your potential future supervisors. Register to attend here.

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The successful applicant will receive a fee waiver and a maintenance grant/stipend for three years, which covers the research period of the PhD. The fee waiver for 21/22 is £4500 (Home fee) and the maintenance grant is £15609. This rises each year in line with the UKRI’s recommended stipend allowance.

Submission of thesis

Submission of your final thesis is expected within three years and three months from the start of your PhD scholarship.

If you need to move into a fourth year to complete your thesis, please note that you will not receive a tuition fee waiver or maintenance grant during this period.

Entry requirements

Candidates should hold a minimum of, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in sport and exercise science, health psychology, public health or a related discipline. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience outside academia, and a keen interest in the health benefits of physical activity, would also be an advantage.

We welcome and encourage applications from retired or retiring athletes.

For more details on our entry requirements please visit the postgraduate admissions webpage.

This scholarship is available for full-time study only and not open to candidates who have already obtained a PhD.

International applicants

This opportunity is open to Home candidates only.

How to apply

Apply here, providing a personal statement, of no more than 800 words outlining:

  • What motivates you to pursue PhD study
  • Why you are interested in this project
  • How your skill set matches the requirements for your choice of project and/or any additional training you will need
  • The wider significance of research in this area and potential future research directions for the project.