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“Gender, Biometrics, and Embodied Computing: A discursive analysis and design framework for FemTech”


   Centre for Postdigital Cultures

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  Dr Lindsay Balfour  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a (fully-funded) PhD studentship. This postgraduate opportunity is situated in the Postdigital Intimacies research theme within the Centre for Postdigital Cultures, in the Institute for Creative Cultures.

This project explores the rapidly evolving market of feminine technologies (FemTech) including ovulation and fitness trackers, reproductive technologies, contraceptive microchips, and “smart” pills. The industry, with a market share (2019) of 18.75B (USD), is predicted to be worth 60B by 2027.[1] Yet critical attention to issues of race and gender equity within data science and both Fem- and MedTech are underexplored in academic literature. This project aims to fill this gap in research while engaging industry stakeholders, and draws on theories of techno- and post-feminism, and surveillance capitalism. It will assess the extent to which biometric tracking devices marketed to women as wearable, implantable, and ingestible digital products reproduce gendered, raced, and classed discourses that regulate women’s heath, whilst simultaneously eliding inequitable relations of labour and consumption. In particular, the project traces the relationship between FemTech and the forms of knowledge and experience produced by and about women’s bodies to forward both a critique and an alternative model for feminine technologies. In doing so, the project offers wider benefits concerning the global health of women, such as those outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals regarding Women and Girls, and in particular targets focusing on sexual and reproductive health.

Training and Development

The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 

Entry criteria for applicants to PhD 

  • A bachelor’s (honours) degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum classification of 2:1 and a minimum mark of 60% in the project element (or equivalent), or an equivalent award from an overseas institution.

PLUS 

  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 3.5 years
  • An adequate proficiency in English must be demonstrated by applicants whose first language is not English. The general requirement is a minimum overall IELTS Academic score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the four sections, or the TOEFL iBT test with a minimum overall score of 95 with a minimum of 21 in each of the four sections.

 For further details please visit: https://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-opportunities/research-students/making-an-application/research-entry-criteria/

https://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-opportunities/research-students/making-an-application/

Additional items for candidate specification:

This opportunity may be relevant to both research and practice-based applicants.

Applicants with a background in critical and cultural theory, feminist theory and activism and gender studies are encouraged. We particularly welcome applications from BAME, gender diverse people, and people from all other groups of protected characteristics.

How to apply

To find out more about the project please contact [Email Address Removed]

To apply on line please visit: https://pgrplus.coventry.ac.uk/ 

The PGR+ Link for this project is https://pgrplus.coventry.ac.uk/studentships/cc-trailblazer-gender-biometrics-and-embodied-computing-a-discursive-analysis-and-design-framework-for-femtech

Details of all available research opportunities at Coventry University can be found via

https://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-opportunities/

All applications require full supporting documentation, and a covering letter – plus the following an up-to 2000-word supporting statement is required showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project. 

Eligibility

UK/International (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements

Start date: September 2022

Duration of study: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline date: 14th April 2022

Interview dates: Interview Dates will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates.

Enquiries may be addressed to: [Email Address Removed]


Funding Notes

Applications are for full single studentships, which includes tuition fees and living expenses for a doctoral candidate over 3.5 years. Stipend rates will be equivalent to those set by UKRI and will rise annually with a projected average increase of 1.25% per year. CU fees are adjusted yearly in line with the rates set by UKRI.
Additional allowances are for £1500 conference fees, including travel. Further additional support can be applied for competitively through ringfenced PGR funds within the Centre for Postdigital Cultures.
Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/International (including EU at international rates from Sept 21)

References

[1] https://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/femtech-market-to-reach-usd-60-01-billion-by-2027-cagr-of-15-6-emergen-research-899205870.html#:~:text=VANCOUVER%2C%20B.C.%2C%20Sept.,among%20the%20world's%20female%20population.
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