Dr Mark Hoelterhoff (PhD)

Lecturer in Clinical Psychology

  • Centre for Data Culture and Society
  • Edinburgh Futures Institute
  • Curriculum Transformation Board

Contact details



School of Health in Social Science
Medical School, Doorway 6
Teviot Place

Post code


  • Please contact via email


My clinical, teaching and research focus is on positive psychology.  I have been in the field of promoting positive mental wellbeing for over 25 years. As a counselling psychologist, I’ve provided psychoeducation and positive psychotherapy to individuals, couples and families in private practise along with third-sector organisations worldwide. In addition to healthcare settings, I worked at several higher education institutions before coming to the University of Edinburgh.


PhD Psychology at University of Plymouth

MA Psychology at Alliant University

MA Counselling Psychology at Trinity International University

BA Psychology at University of Dayton

Responsibilities & affiliations

British Psychological Society Chartered Psychologist

Health and Care Professioal Council Registered Practitioner Psychologist (Counselling Psychology)

Higher Education Academy Senior Fellow

Postgraduate teaching

Learning and Resilience for Edinburgh Futures Institute

Trauma Across the Lifespan for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I am unable to accept any new PhD students due to a secondment. However, there is information/application guidance here https://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees/index.php?r=site/view&id=397 

Research summary

My research is focused on thriving in the university community.  Specifically, how can we use data-driven educational strategies to support flourishing within the university experience among young people at risk of vulnerability in a global context? I'm keen to examine these asset-based approaches in the hopes this will lead to the development of graduates that can lead from a place of wellbeing and develop creative solutions to global issues. 

  • Creating a programme of positive wellbeing for university students to be well, live well and lead well
  • Developing learning experiences to support student's application of intrapersonal assets to real-world interpersonal and societal issues
  • Embedding positive wellbeing in the curriculum to foster a thriving university community. 

Current research interests

I am the research cluster lead for Data-Driven Thriving in the University Community as part of the Centre for Data, Culture and Society. We aim to provide leadership and empower capacity for thriving in university communities by developing data-driven asset-based education strategies in a global context for societal transformation. We aim to foster interdisciplinary research collaboration and networking among academic, support and professional services to promote positive education and well-being in the university community.

Knowledge exchange

I founded THRIVE which seeks to network researchers across higher education who are exploring student, staff and university community wellbeing. This network is now open to members across the higher education and wellbeing sector. For more information please contact cdcs@ed.ac.uk 

Affiliated research centres

Past project grants

2020-2021 Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme (£14,931) – Regular Grant Award (PI)
Project Title: Personal Values in Postgraduate University Student Engagement: a Creative Participatory Action Research Project

2020 (£15,000) Cara Syria Programme Larger Grant
Project title: The effect of electricity shortage on social well-being in people living in northern Syria (Principal Investigator).

2018-2020. Erasmus+ KA2 – Strategic partnership for innovation in the adult field
Project: Support well-being among potential entrepreneurs with a migrant/refugee background to start and develop business initiatives in the Blue Growth economy on behalf of the Scottish Islands Federation (Consultant).

2019 (£80,500) College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences SFC Official Development Assistance Global Challenges Internal Fund
Project Title: Leadership in Ethics, Integrity and Research Conduct in Complex LMIC-UK partnership projects (Co-Investigator).

2019 (£50,000) College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences SFC Official Development Assistance Global Challenges Internal Fund
Project Title: Strong minds, strong lives: Building enduring partnerships through co-design of a rural mental health service and research strategy in Malawi (Co-Investigator).

2018 (£14,981) The Global Academies and Edinburgh Global Research and Partnership Fund (LMIC).
Project: Growing strong kids in Malawi: A collaborative needs analysis between a Scottish research team and MamaLita School in Namwera, Malawi (Co-Investigator).

2018 (£9123). The College of Radiographers
Project: Studying resilience among newly qualified radiographers (Co-Investigator).

2016 (£5,000) University of Cumbria Research and Development Funding
Project: Exploring the role of social capital in the Storm Desmond flood (Co-Investigator).

2012 (£1200) University of Cumbria Research and Development Funding
Project: The impact of sustainable development activities on health and well-being in a Senegalese population (Principal Investigator).

2005-2010 (£21,075) University of Plymouth PhD Scholarship funding

2006 ($25,000) Lions Club International Start Up Grant
Project: Lions Quest well-being pilot programme for Lithuanian primary school children (Co-Investigator).

View all 30 publications on Research Explorer

Invited speaker