Following Friday's successful PGR Research Day, we are delighted to announce the Faculty PhD Prize winners: Dr Anita Lenneis (Thesis Prize), Dr Ahuti Das-Friebel (Imapct Prize). Read about their, and Julie Eyden's highly commended research. here:
Dr Anita Lenneis, Faculty PhD Thesis Prize in Psychology
Dr Ahuti Das-Friebel, Faculty PhD Thesis Impact Prize in Psychology
The members of the Departmental Judging Panel (Dr Suzanne Aussems, Professor James Tresilian, and Professor Kim Wade (Chair)) found all the candidates to be eminently qualified—each candidate had produced an impressive, high-quality, insightful thesis with important theoretical and practical applications. Moreover, the examiners’ testimonials were evidence of the importance of each candidate’s contribution to their specific field.
The Judging Panel believed that Dr Anita Lenneis' thesis entitled "Sleep Timing: Variability and Stability, Influences, and Outcomes" was a particularly suitable candidate for the Faculty PhD Thesis Prize due to its theoretical depth and breadth, and innovativeness. Anita cleverly combined a variety of methods and measures to address the serious, real-world issue of how changes in sleep timing interact with subjective well-being. Anita has published her PhD work in two papers in highly respected, international journals, and her work has already been cited by broadsheet newspapers and international media outlets. In the words of the panel, she richly deserves this award.
Anita submitted her PhD thesis on 15th January 2021 and had her viva on 9th March 2021 which she passed with no corrections. Anita's PhD research was supervised by Professor Anu Realo and Professor Sakari Lemola.
In addition to the Faculty Thesis Prize, The Judging Panel asked that the Department recognised Dr Ahuti Das-Friebel’s outstanding achievements by awarding her an impact award. Professor Derrick Watson kindly agreed to finance the additional award from the Departmental funds.
The Committee deemed Ahuti's novel research on adolescent sleep and school start times to be well-considered and impactful. There has been a long-running debate around delaying the start of school times, and, as the external examiner notes, Ahuti's work provided compelling new evidence that “this challenging logistical task may not necessarily result in increased sleep for teenagers”. Ahuti's findings also speak to the popular belief that technology causes sleep issues and many have important implications for policy makers and practitioners working in education and clinical settings across the globe.
Ahuti submitted her PhD thesis entitled "Sleep and Mental Wellbeing in Young People: The Role of Electronic Media Use and School Start Times" on 12th May 2021 and passed her viva with no corrections on 1st September 2021. Ahuti's PhD supervisors were Professor Sakari Lemola and Professor Dieter Wolke.
Last but not least, the Judging Panel also commended Dr Julie Eyden for her outstanding contribution to research on mothers with Borderline Personality Disorder. The Panel was deeply impressed by the immense scale of Julie's work and the extraordinary efforts she went to to gather data from a particularly hard-to-reach clinical population. She is a shining example of what can be achieved when researchers don’t shy away from tackling difficult but important issues in the clinical psychology domain.
Julie submitted her PhD thesis entitled “Mothers with Borderline Personality Disorder: Parenting Knowledge, Perceptions, and Emotional Availability” on 23rd September 2021 and passed her viva with minor corrections on 16th December 2021. Julie’s PhD supervisors were Dr Fiona MacCallum and Professor Dieter Wolke.