Fika PhD Studentship opportunity

Programme Description

The University invites applications for a PhD student to join our Hertfordshire Knowledge Exchange Partnership (HKEP) scheme which is 1-year industrial placement followed by a 3-year PhD studentship funded jointly by the European Regional Development Fund, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Fika Community Ltd (Containerville, Bethnal Green, London, E2 9EZ).

Start date: October 2019

Duration: 4 years

Company: FIKA

Stipend: Starts at £14,553 per annum plus approved expenses. All students will also receive a maximum contribution towards their individual tuition fees that is equivalent to the Home/EU student fee in each year of registration.

The project

Fika is a health technology business on a mission to mainstream emotional fitness. Fika recognises that people have been proactive in ‘looking after’ their physical fitness but the same attention has not been devoted to ‘emotional fitness.’ Fika is working with leading academics and UK universities to create an app to re-address this imbalance by encouraging users to regularly exercise their emotions. The Fika app is inspired by positive psychology and adopts a proactive approach to mental well-being, providing content led 5-10-minute emotional exercises that are completed individually or with others. Find out more information.

The PhD research project will explore the psychological and behavioural responses associated with the use of positive psychology interventions delivered through the Fika app.

Supervisor Information

  • Dr Fran Longstaff at, University of Hertfordshire
  • Professor Ben Fletcher, University of Hertfordshire
  • Dr Stephen Pack, University of Hertfordshire
  • Dr Zoe Yovcheva-Dimov, Fika



  • A minimum of a 2.1 in a relevant undergraduate (BSc) qualification (e.g. Psychology or public health related)
  • A minimum of a 2.1 in Psychology (BSc)
  • An interest in positive psychology
  • An interest in proactive approaches to mental wellbeing
  • Experience of using both quantitative and qualitative research methods in psychology
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Ability to travel to different locations across the country
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to communicate in different mediums (e.g. verbally, written)


  • Merit/Distinction in a Postgraduate Psychology-related discipline (MSc)
  • Interest and experience of app technology
  • Professional qualification in wellbeing (e.g. CBT, ACT etc.)
  • Experience of psychology resource development
  • Interest or experience with designing and running clinical research trials
  • Experience with positive psychology interventions


  • Attendance will be required at two sites (Fika in Bethnal Green, London and the University of Hertfordshire – main campus in Hatfield). Travel to and between sites will be at the student’s expense.
  • Interviews are expected to take place in August
  • Applicants from overseas may be interviewed via Skype.
  • Depending on the number of applicants, short-listing may take place and selected applicants may be asked to provide additional information (e.g. write a short essay or a relevant subject) or present a short presentation at a second interview. This will be advised.


Application Process

For further information and to apply for this role please email The deadline for applications is the 9th of August 2019.

Informal enquires should be addressed to Dr Fran Longstaff at Please note that applications sent directly to this address will not be accepted.

If you do not receive an invitation to interview then you have unfortunately been unsuccessful on this occasion.