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Co-creating “Narratives of Usefulness”: advancing self-care through empathy-oriented digital device interventions with an ageing population

Edinburgh College of Art

Edinburgh United Kingdom Design Electrical Engineering Electronic Engineering Health Psychology Mechanical Engineering Other Other Other Social Geography Social Work

About the Project

The Advanced Care Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh is a new £20m interdisciplinary research collaboration aiming to transform later life with person centred integrated care

The vision of the ACRC is to play a vital role in addressing the Grand Challenge of ageing by transformational research that will support the functional ability of people in later life so they can contribute to their own welfare for longer. With fresh and diverse thinking across interdisciplinary perspectives our academy students will work to creatively embed deep understanding, data science, artificial intelligence, assistive technologies and robotics into systems of health and social care supporting the independence, dignity and quality-of-life of people living in their own homes and in supported care environments.

The ACRC Academy will equip future leaders to drive society’s response to the challenges of later life care provision; a problem which is growing in scale, complexity and urgency. Our alumni will become leaders in across a diverse range of pioneering and influential roles in the public, private and third sectors.

This interdisciplinary project aims to examine the narratives of usefulness regarding technical products and services associated with self-directed health and social care amongst ageing populations. In the initial phase, the project will analyse collections of narratives co-created through relevant interactions with an identified community audience. In a second phase, these narratives of usefulness are employed to develop an empathy framework, supporting the development of co-designed, prototypical digital devices, interfaces and/or services aimed at making useful advances in identified aspects of the digital self-care agenda. Central to the study is critical examination of existing frameworks informing inclusive design, codesign and /or human-centred design practices, through critical analysis of narratives of intergenerational experience with prototypical digital products and services, leading to facilitating decision-making practices amongst design development teams, bridging qualitative and quantitative methodologies, leading to more useful digital technologies. 

Funding Notes

PhD's are fully funded with an above industry stipend for the full 4 year period.

The call is open to candidates of any nationality but funded places for overseas nationals will be strictly limited to 3 international students who can apply for the highly competitive ACRC Global Scholarship.

Application forms are now available here:
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Find more information on how to apply on the How to Apply section of our website:
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Video PhD Introduction

ACRC Academy Video:

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