Undertaking higher degree by research (HDR) education is a complex, challenging, and difficult endeavour whereby candidates are exposed to a heightened risk of negative outcomes if unable to manage study demands. With up to 50% of candidates not completing their degree and an alleged mental health crisis in HDR education, developing methods to minimise dropout and improve candidate wellbeing is ripe for investigation. One possible solution to enhance candidate’s experiences in HDR education is to apply the recovery experiences literature to the HDR pursuit. Recovery—the process of restoring spent energy to reduce stress and strain—is not bound to any specific activities; recovery is defined as experiencing psychological detachment, relaxation, mastery, and control during one’s non-work time and activities. This project will explore antecedents and outcomes of HDR candidates’ recovery experiences, as well as barriers and facilitators to engagement in recovery. The aim is to develop and pilot an intervention to aid HDR candidate’s engagement in effective recovery from their study-related effort expenditure.
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