PhD candidate 'Gamified modelling, monitoring, and improving the social health in our complex aging...

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 15 Oct 2019

Are you graduated as psychosocially oriented master student and looking for a challenging PhD to combine your creativity and social network research interest in solving a huge societal problem?

In that case you can become the PhD candidate in our ambitious 4 years interdisciplinary project that aims to get grip on the huge societal problem of loneliness among older persons. Your challenge is to create synergy and gain relevant knowledge from a team of creative experts in social health games, older and younger persons, and a private partner (DELA) with a social mission.

Using an interdisciplinary approach we want to get grip on this complex societal challenge by developing appealing new intergenerational digital games that promote interaction between different age-groups. We want to optimise feasibility for use, and conduct studies to test the effects of social health games on senior's loneliness and social networks. For this 4-years NWO funded project we have room for a full time PhD position, next to the PhD from complexity science that has already been selected.

Project description
Our aim is to combine the strengths of complexity science, social science, and the creative gaming industry to provide better understanding of the dynamics of social connections and exploring new options for improving connectedness in our aging society. Currently over one million Dutch seniors complain of loneliness. This negatively interacts with psychosocial and physical health, and has huge impact on our health and social care system. Using an interdisciplinary approach we want to get grip on this complex societal challenge by realizing four specific aims:

  • Design and develop appealing new intergenerational digital games that promote interaction between different age-groups, optimise feasibility and test proof of concept for measuring and improving social interaction over time.
  • Conduct a randomised trial to test the effects of social health games on senior's loneliness and social networks. We will also study social resilience and dynamics in social networks of older persons.
  • We will combine data to develop computational multiscale models to simulate the future of social connectedness with and without widespread use of the socializing games.
  • Synthesise experimental and modeling results into tools for policy makers to improve seniors' social health. Research project.

We offer an interesting individualized PhD training and project guidance through a highly qualified team collaboration of Utrecht University (Social Sciences), the University of Amsterdam (Computational Sciences) and Radboud University (Medical Sciences). The studies will take place in the abovementioned network with a creative industry partner (Games Solutions Lab), a market party (Dela), and a network of older persons (Network "100"). The PhD projects will start late 2019 or beginning of 2020. You will also exchange experiences and learn from the other awarded NWO projects in this grant .


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