AI and Northern Irelands School Pupils: Analysing and Modelling Health and Wellbeing

Apply and key information  

This project is funded by:

    • DfE CAST award in collaboration with Healthy Habits Technology


This PhD work is in close collaboration with Healthy Habits Technology (About us ( who are capturing and analysing data from 100,000 pupils across the UK. Healthy Habits Technology aim to understand the factors that influence the health and wellbeing of young people, such as physical activity, nutrition, sleep, stress, and social interactions.  Healthy Habits Technology also provide personalised feedback and interventions to the pupils and their schools to improve their health and wellbeing outcomes.

The PhD researcher will contribute to the design, implementation, and evaluation of the data collection and analysis methods, as well as the feedback and intervention strategies. The researcher will use advanced statistical and machine learning techniques to identify patterns, trends, and causal relationships in the data. The researcher will also explore the ethical, legal, and social implications of using large-scale data for health and wellbeing purposes.

This collaboration work will relate to the work at Ulster University in several ways as the researcher will.

1) be supervised by academic staff from the Intelligent Systems Research Centre (IRSC), who have expertise in capturing and analysing health and wellbeing data for research, education, and dissemination into the relevant governmental and educational organisations [1-3].

2) benefit from the resources and facilities of the IRSC.

3) have the opportunity to collaborate with other researchers and stakeholders from the health and wellbeing sector, both within and outside Ulster University [4-5].

Essential criteria

Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a subject relevant to the proposed area of study.

We may also consider applications from those who hold equivalent qualifications, for example, a Lower Second Class Honours Degree plus a Master’s Degree with Distinction.

In exceptional circumstances, the University may consider a portfolio of evidence from applicants who have appropriate professional experience which is equivalent to the learning outcomes of an Honours degree in lieu of academic qualifications.

  • Experience using research methods or other approaches relevant to the subject domain
  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement
  • A demonstrable interest in the research area associated with the studentship

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • First Class Honours (1st) Degree
  • Masters at 70%
  • Experience using research methods or other approaches relevant to the subject domain
  • Work experience relevant to the proposed project
  • Publications - peer-reviewed
  • Experience of presentation of research findings

Equal Opportunities

The University is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applicants from all sections of the community, particularly from those with disabilities.

Appointment will be made on merit.

Funding and eligibility

This project is funded by:

  • DfE CAST award in collaboration with Healthy Habits Technology

The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £21,000 (tbc) per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance).

This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

  • Candidates with pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, who also satisfy a three year residency requirement in the UK prior to the start of the course for which a Studentship is held MAY receive a Studentship covering fees and maintenance.
  • Republic of Ireland (ROI) nationals who satisfy three years’ residency in the UK prior to the start of the course MAY receive a Studentship covering fees and maintenance (ROI nationals don’t need to have pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme to qualify).
  • Other non-ROI EU applicants are ‘International’ are not eligible for this source of funding.
  • Applicants who already hold a doctoral degree or who have been registered on a programme of research leading to the award of a doctoral degree on a full-time basis for more than one year (or part-time equivalent) are NOT eligible to apply for an award.

Recommended reading

[1] Sendoc (

[2] eCareWell – A University of Ulster study

[3] IT4Anxiety - Managing anxiety via innovative technologies for better mental health | Interreg NWE (

[4] Robinson, T., Condell, J., Ramsey, E., Leavey, G.  (2023) Self-management of subclinical common mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders) using wearable devices.  MDPI International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2023; Special Issue "Connected Health: Status and Trends": Digital Health

[5] Vijayan, V., Connolly, J. P., Condell, J., McKelvey, N., & Gardiner, P. (2021). Review of Wearable Devices and Data Collection Considerations for Connected Health. Sensors, 21(16), 1-31. [e5589].

The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Key dates

Submission deadline
Monday 1 July 2024

Interview Date
July 2024

Preferred student start date
16 September 2024


Apply Online  

Contact supervisor

Professor Joan Condell

Other supervisors