Paul Morris (Paul Graham Morris)

Lecturer in Health Psychology


I work primarily on the NHS Education for Scotland funded Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme. In more recent years I have taken an academic lead on our joint NHS / university selection process and coordinate the first year research teaching. I supervise DClin and PhD thesis, particularly in the domains of nature connection, values, eco-anxiety and mindfulness. I'm co-convenor of our Nature Connection Research group, which includes projects relating to ecodistress / planetary health. Previous roles have included coordinating our health psychology teaching and I was Research Director for the DClinPsychol programme from 2010 until 2014, developing our DClinPsychol research training to facilitate development of transferable research skills, greater dissemination of findings from thesis projects and the establishment of programmes of research.

Outside of work I like the great outdoors, enjoying both long treks in the hills, cycling and more gentle strolls. I am involved in projects which support a more sustainable approach to the environment, which is reflected in my research interests in the wellbeing benefits of nature connection, values and eco-emotions / planetary health.

Postgraduate teaching

I coordinate teaching and supervise theses on the University / NHS Scotland clinical psychology training programme. I also supervise MSc dissertations on the Psychology of Mental Health conversion programme and supervise several PhD students.

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

General Guidance to Applicants considering a PhD with me:

Issues I recommend considering before applying for a PhD include:

1)     Whether a PhD is the right path for you – essentially considering the pros and cons of completing a PhD. It can be a difficult journey even for those who are academically capable and the career path following a PhD can be uncertain.

2)     How the PhD would be funded. I have no funding available and it is difficult to attract funding. There is some guidance on this via the University website and there are details there of some scholarships, but these are very competitive. You would need a viable plan for funding the PhD.

3)     Whether or how the research would fit with my active areas of research.

Areas of research in which I might be able to supervise a PhD project would usually primarily relate towards one or more of the following.

a)     Nature Connection / GreenSpace / BlueSpace projects – essentially relating to wellbeing benefits of engaging with nature /outdoors (walks, gardening, taking an interest in wildlife etc.)

b)          Values or Value directed living / value congruence

The above two are my priority areas, although depending on circumstances I may supervise projects in the following domains

c)     Planetary health, such as eco-anxiety and/or environmental behaviour change

d)    Mindfulness projects

e)     Unexplained health conditions - including long covid

If after considering this, you would still like to explore completing a PhD with me here, then please email me with a) a two or three page summary of what your project may involve b) details of how you would fund the PhD and c) a copy of your CV, including details of any completed degrees d) A brief summary of why you wish to do a PhD and e) if possible, transcripts which outline course grades for those degrees.

If we subsequently meet to discuss a potential PhD, a key issue that I’ll be seeking to explore is whether a PhD is the right path for you. You might have the ability and funding to do a PhD, but it still might not be the right option for you. Thus reflect on why you wish to do a PhD, what the alternatives are, what skills you would be seeking to learn and why, and what you intend to go on to do with those skills beyond the PhD.

Research summary

My main research interests include:

  • Values, Value Directed Living and their associations with Health, Wellbeing and behaviours
  • The Wellbeing benefits of Nature Connection and GreenSpaces
  • Unexplained symptoms / Functional Disorders
  • Planetary Health, such as eco-anxiety
  • Anxiety, Stress Reduction & Mindfulness

I would be interested in hearing from anyone considering a PhD project in any of these areas.

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