PRT PhD Program

Therapeutic Benefits of Nature-Based Experiences

Understanding the Therapeutic Benefits of Nature-Based Experiences

The Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation at the University of Utah is pleased to announce two PhD Assistantships to evaluate the linkages between nature-based experiences, medical research, and therapeutic benefits (Please see This Land is Your Land pdf). Data collection and programming will occur in iconic national parks and other restorative settings and will focus on armed forces personnel, veterans, and other populations. Two assistantships are available:

Coordination Assistantship

This assistantship includes contributing to overall project coordination, data collection, logistical planning, outreach, and network organization. The student will assist in coordinating an interdisciplinary team of researchers and communicating the project’s accomplishments. Proven experience organizing teams, designing marketing and social media campaigns, and communicating outcomes is preferred. The student will also generate their own novel research related to project goals. Interested applicants, please contact Dr. Kelly Bricker:
Phone: (801) 585-6503.

Park Health Resources Assistantship

This assistantship includes identifying, mapping, and evaluating nature- based facilities, environments, and resources (mainly in iconic national parks) that contribute to distinctive health outcomes. Familiarity with GIS technology, social-spatial mapping, and mixed-methods research is preferred. The student will also generate their own novel research related to project goals. Interested applicants, please contact Dr. Matt Brownlee:
Phone: (801) 585-7239.

Applicants wishing to be considered for financial support for a campus visit should submit the following materials before January 15, 2016. Visitation to campus for interested candidates will be scheduled during February.

  • A cover letter articulating interest and skills pertaining to one of the above assistantships
  • A current resume/CV
  • Names and contact information for 3 academic or professional references
  • Transcripts from the last college/university attended

Each position requires 20 hours of work a week for 9 academic months and 30 hours a week for 3 summer months. Each assistantship includes a monthly stipend, tuition/fee remission, and subsidized health insurance. Travel support to present at professional conferences is available through the Department, the Graduate School, and student associations is available. Positions are renewable for a total of up to three years, during which time continual registration as a full- time student is necessary and progress toward Ph.D. completion is expected. Applicants must be admitted and enrolled in the doctoral program in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at the University of Utah.

Utah is the west at its best! With four distinct seasons, ready access to all outdoor activities including superb skiing at eight world-famous resorts just minutes from campus. Utah is home to five national parks and countless national, regional, state, and local recreation areas. Salt Lake City, with a metropolitan population of 650,000, is the hub of the Intermountain West.

Additional questions, inquires, and applications for campus visitation support can be directed to Dr. Jim Sibthorp, Director of Graduate Studies, University of Utah, Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation:
Phone: (801) 581-5940.