Applications invited for fully-funded PhD Studentship

The University of Sheffield, in partnership with Alcohol Change UK, is pleased to offer this fully-funded PhD Studentship as part of the ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership.

How do heavy drinkers make enduring changes to their drinking behaviour after taking part in “Dry January”?

‘Dry January’ and other campaigns in which people attempt to abstain from alcohol for a month are increasingly popular. Temporary abstinence from alcohol combined with remote support may help heavy drinkers to reduce their alcohol consumption in the longer-term. However, we know very little about the psychological (e.g. behaviour change techniques, improved self-efficacy) and social (e.g. changes in social practices) mechanisms through which people change their drinking behaviour after a period of temporary abstinence. We also do not know if the online support that is provided during and after Dry January plays an important role.

This mixed-methods PhD project will directly address this important evidence gap. The candidate will conduct prospective observational studies that will recruit people who attempt a ‘Dry January’ or temporary abstinence at another time of year and ask them about the ways in which they attempt to change their behaviour and their social activities, the psychological changes that they experience, and their drinking behaviour several months later. They will also conduct semi-structured interviews with people who have attempted to temporarily abstain from alcohol, and ethnographic studies of postings on Dry January forums and other online forums.

The supervisors are Professors Matt Field (Psychology) and John Holmes (SCHARR). The project includes an annual internship at the London offices of Alcohol Change UK.

Applications should be sent to Matt Field at The University of Sheffield by the 13 March 2020 deadline.

Find out more and apply here