Scholarship success for green prescription research

Jake Robinson

A Department of Landscape PhD student has been awarded a scholarship to investigate how so-called ‘green prescriptions’ can be used as a cost-effective way to improve patients’ mental and physical health.

Jake Robinson, who will start his PhD in September, was successful in the ESRC White Rose Social Science Scholarships competition and receives up to four years of funding.

Jake aims to understand what makes GPs prescribe ‘green prescriptions’ – where GPs recommend outdoor activities such as weekly group walks, or involvement in local conservation projects, as an alternative to medication – to their patients.

Working with the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, Jake will interview GPs and other health practitioners to understand the potential constraints and opportunities to adopting this under utilised resource. In addition to social research methods, Jake will use ‘remote sensing’ techniques, including using ‘drones’ and GIS to acquire and analyse data.

On receiving his scholarship Jake said: “I felt truly elated, and honestly, a bit surprised; I knew how competitive the scholarships were! I feel honoured to be joining a leading department with a strong vision and commitment to quality of research. To work in a diverse department that employs world-class researchers and lecturers, whose ambitions and values are like my own, is very exciting.”

“I am looking forward to joining the Department of Landscape and contributing to their socio-environmental goals, and I am thrilled to be a PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield.”

Jake joins the Department of Landscape with a background in ecology and conservation. Following degrees in Ecology and Wildlife Conversation and Biodiversity, Wildlife and Ecosystem Health, he worked as a consultant ecologist for Baker Consultants in Matlock.

Jake added: “my professional and academic interests have always centred around research and evidence-fuelled interventions, which has led to my involvement in several research projects in ecology, sustainable community development and the health sciences. The step into full-time research is the result of years of fine-tuning my passions; and an overarching theme to this is studying the natural environment and the plethora of benefits it brings to societal health and wellbeing.”

Jake will be supervised by Drs Anna Jorgensen and Ross Cameron.

Click here for details of the White Rose Doctoral Training Centre.