University students seem to face higher psychological distress compared to their non-studying counterparts. They show more mental health issues and seem to be prone to react to academic stressors due to their young age and vulnerability. But what about the other side of the coin? Positive psychology, in contrast to past research, focuses on these students who manage their studies without encountering psychological troubles. This leads us to the question: What turns the general university student into a resilient one?

This Ph.D. project will concentrate on exactly that. We will target students’ well-being with the overall aim to enhance their resilience. This has already been done before in research by focusing on personality traits and how students themselves can learn how to be more resilient. We, however, want to focus on the learning environment and how an adjustment of the very same can lead to enhanced resilience in university students.

Since this is a relatively new field, we will plan the project in line with the following research goals: 1) to gain further inside in the predictors of student resilience; 2) to investigate how these affect students’ well-being, in particular at the University of Groningen; 3) the development of an intervention targeting the learning environment and its effect on student resilience as well as well-being, in order to finally 4) evaluate this intervention in terms of potential (long-term) effectivity.