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A Human-Centred Design Taxonomy for Healthcare Technologies; Developing criteria for assessment, improvement and communication

   School of Engineering

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  Dr F Nickpour, Mr Iain Hennessey  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

1.      Problem Statement

Healthcare technologies have witnessed major acceleration in interdisciplinary interest and R&D investment. Despite the growing recognition and sustained demand for design-led practices, healthcare technologies systematically struggle to adopt and adapt the human-centred principles of design within their research, development, and integration phases. This is well evidenced in usability and desirability issues with new healthcare technologies leading to exclusion, abandonment and poor health outcomes. 

Despite the numerous existing human-centred healthcare design resources, there is still not one single definition or set of constructs for human-centred design within healthcare technologies. Hence, it is of the utmost importance to:

1.      Evaluate performance of existing human-centred design resources

2.      Capture human-centred design needs and requirements within the context of healthcare technologies

3.      Develop a classification system of human-centred design principles and tools for healthcare technologies to assess, improve, monitor and communicate their performance

2.      Aim and scope

This PhD research aims to develop a first Taxonomy of Human-Centred Design for Healthcare Technologies. The taxonomy will act as:

A.     A reference point for healthcare technologists, designers and clinicians – to inform their processes and practices

B.     A classification system - to help assess, improve, monitor, and communicate the application of human-centred design within healthcare technologies

The research is led by an interdisciplinary team of Design & Clinical experts. The PhD researcher will join Dr Nickpour’s Inclusionaries Lab for Human-centred and Inclusive Design Research at the School of Engineering ( at the University of Liverpool, and will work alongside a dynamic team of design researchers.

Applicant Eligibility

Candidates will have, or be due to obtain, a Master’s Degree or equivalent from a reputable University in an appropriate field of Engineering. Exceptional candidates with a First Class Bachelor’s Degree in an appropriate field will also be considered. 

Application Process

Candidates wishing to apply should complete the University of Liverpool application form applying for a PhD in Engineering and uploading: Degree Certificates & Transcripts, an up to date CV, a covering letter/personal statement and two academic references. If a candidate wishes to apply for more than one project, should also upload a document listing the preferred projects in a ranked order. 


Candidates wishing to discuss the research project should contact the primary supervisor, those wishing to discuss the application process should discuss this with the School Postgraduate Office [[Email Address Removed]].

To apply for this opportunity, please visit:

Funding Notes

This Scholarship is for UK [home] students only and has a financial package including: annual stipend at the UKRI rate [currently £15,285 per annum], student fees and a research support grant [for conferences & travel, consumables etc] for 3.5 academic years. The funding has been available from the following endowments of the School of Engineering: Kitchner Fellowship, Munitions Fellowship, Mrs W M Horsman Endowment and Andrew Hamilton Endowment.
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