The University of Bath is inviting applications for this funded PhD opportunity based at the Milner Centre for Evolution, a unique, cross-faculty research centre bridging biology, health and education. The Centre is dedicated to a broad range of fundamental research questions relating to evolutionary biology; from in deep time to the micro-evolutionary dynamics of a disease outbreak. We have a strong focus on public engagement and outreach. We are located in a dedicated multi-million-pound building that opened on the University campus in September 2018.
Monday 2 October 2023
Intended Supervisory Team:
Lead Supervisor: Prof Edward Feil (Milner Centre for Evolution, Department of Life Sciences)
Co-Supervisors: Prof Danae Stanton Fraser (Department of Psychology)
Overview of the Research:
Research has shown that virtual reality (both interactive and 3D cinematic video) and augmented reality (AR) can provide immersive experiences that engage people with a sense of presence of “being there” in the moment which can lead to enhanced memory of materials, embodiment in the experience and behaviour change. In addition to the Milner Centre for Evolution, the University of Bath has invested in multi-million pound state-of-the art facilities for the Psychology department. The department has a dedicated building, which consists of eleven labs (including an EEG lab; a cross modal lab; a VR facility and an HCI lab: the CREATE Lab). This has given us world-leading expertise in evaluating AR and VR experiences, and working with industry partners and the public to disseminate this work broadly. We have working relationships with VR companies, BCC R&D as well as with museums and the creative industries.
This PhD will give you an opportunity to work across both the Department and the Milner Centre for Evolution to develop a toolkit to evaluate immersive experiences aimed to facilitate the understanding of evolutionary concepts. The PhD will involve developing virtual environments that provide an immersive insight into processes that, for example, speed up time to reveal evolutionary changes, or allow one to see biological structures not normally visible to the human eye, and then initially evaluate the immersive properties of these environments to aid learning. The PhD will also involve working closely with schools and museums to disseminate initial results and to develop a collaborative relationship with these partners in order to co-design future studies.
Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a First Class or good Upper Second Class Honours degree (or the equivalent) in a relevant discipline. A master’s level qualification would also be advantageous.
Non-UK applicants must meet our English language entry requirement.
Enquiries and Applications:
Candidates are encouraged to discuss the project directly with Prof Edward Feil before applying (email address: [Email Address Removed]).
Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Biology.
On the application form, quote ‘Evolution Education Trust’ in the Finance section and the supervisor’s name and project title in the ‘Your research interests’ section. If applying for more than one project, quote the projects in order of preference and upload a separate personal statement relevant to each one.
Your application must be complete when you submit it to us. Incomplete applications cannot be considered. Please ensure you have completed all fields on the application form and supplied the contact details of TWO referees willing to provide us with a reference when requested (one must be from your most recent place of study). Also, you should ensure that you have uploaded all the required documents. See our website for more information.
To be eligible for funding, you must qualify as a Home student. The eligibility criteria for Home fee status are detailed and too complex to be summarised here in full; however, as a general guide, the following applicants will normally qualify subject to meeting residency requirements: UK nationals (living in the UK or EEA/Switzerland), Irish nationals (living in the UK or EEA/Switzerland), those with Indefinite Leave to Remain and EU nationals with pre-settled or settled status in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme). This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Additional information may be found on our fee status guidance webpage, on the GOV.UK website and on the UKCISA website.
Exceptional Overseas students (e.g. with a UK Master’s Distinction or international equivalent and relevant research experience), who are interested in this project, should contact the lead supervisor in the first instance to discuss the possibility of applying for supplementary funding.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion:
We value a diverse research environment and aim to be an inclusive university, where difference is celebrated and respected. We welcome and encourage applications from diverse backgrounds and under-represented groups.
If you have circumstances that you feel we should be aware of that have affected your educational attainment, then please feel free to tell us about it in your application form. The best way to do this is a short paragraph at the end of your personal statement.