As a collaboration between the Center for Health and Happiness and the Department of Behavioural Science and Health at UCL, the course will rotate between the two institutions every year, with the inaugural year being hosted by UCL. This rotating model will allow the short course to have a more global reach and will assist in building an international community interested in and committed to building the science around linkages between mental well-being and physical health outcomes. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic and related travel restrictions, the course organizers are currently exploring options for offering the course in-person, virtually, or a combination of the two. A final decision on the course format will be made in early 2021.

Course Schedule

The course will consist of five full-days on Monday to Thursday and a half-day on Friday. There will be a mix of lectures, panel discussions, practical work, and round-table mentoring sessions. Lectures will be up to one hour-long (40 minutes lecture, 20 minute discussion). Panel sessions will also be up to one hour-long, consisting of one moderator and two to four panellists. Practical activities will consist of group work or special interest groups which meet throughout the week and then present on the last day. The organizers are also exploring the option of having a poster session for participants to present on their own research as well as optional one-on-one mentoring sessions with faculty.

If the course is held in person in July 2021, a welcome reception will be hosted by the organizers on the first day of the course (Monday) and a group dinner will be hosted later in the week (Thursday). This will provide participants with additional opportunities for networking

Each day of the course will have a different thematic focus exploring the linkages mental well-being and physical health.

Daily Breakdown

Day One (Monday):

  • Defining and measuring well-being

  • State of knowledge on linkages between mental well-being and physical health


Day Two (Tuesday):

  • Social Determinants of wellbeing (including social supports/networks of well-being, social/cultural engagement, early life experience)


Day Three (Wednesday):

  • Methodological approaches to studying well-being and physical health 


Day Four (Thursday):

  • Biological and behavioural mechanisms linking well-being and physical health 

  • Flash talks on the future of the science


Day Five (Friday):

  • Interventions that promote well-being (including clinical, social/cultural, and public policy interventions)

  • Concluding reception


This short course focuses on the relationship between positive mental well-being and physical health, drawing on a variety of empirical methods with careful consideration of measurement issues.


Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

677 Huntington Avenue

Boston, MA 02115


University College London

Gower Street

London, WC1E 6BT


© 2019 by Amber Simpson

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