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HCI for Novel Haptic Displays


   Department of Computer Science

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  Prof Jason Alexander  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The University of Bath is inviting applications for the following PhD project supervised by Prof Jason Alexander in the Department of Computer Science.

We are seeking a student to start as soon as possible and before the end of August 2022 at the latest.

This is an exciting opportunity to conduct blue-skies research into the next generation of tangible, haptic display technology. You will design, prototype, and evaluate novel display surfaces with kinetic force feedback. These are interfaces that can physically push back and displace a user’s fingers to apply force and to generate shape output.

You will experiment with novel approaches that can produce this kinetic force-feedback – these might include methods, technologies, and tools from material science, robotics, or mechatronics, depending on your background. With your prototypes, you will design user interaction techniques that capitalise on this new modality and evaluate the outcomes.

You will join a team of researchers on Prof Alexander’s ERC Starting grant, FORCE-UI, a project that seeks to radically increase the expressivity of touchscreen-based interaction (see www.jasonalexander.kiwi for more information). You will publish your work at the leading venues for dissemination in Human-Computer Interaction including ACM CHI, ACM UIST, ACM ToCHI, World Haptics, and ACM SIGGRAPH.

You will be hosted in the growing Human-Computer Interaction group in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bath.

Project keywords: Human-Computer Interaction, Haptics, Displays.

Candidate Requirements:

We seek applications from enthusiastic individuals who are strongly motivated to help push the boundaries of knowledge and technology in this research area.

The successful applicant will have an excellent academic track record with a background in Human-Computer Interaction, Computer Science, Engineering, Mechatronics, Robotics, or similar area. Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a First Class or high Upper Second Class UK Honours degree (or the equivalent) in the relevant subject area. A master’s level qualification would also be advantageous.

The applicant will need to demonstrate experience, or a strong desire to develop expertise, in physical prototyping using off-the-shelf components (e.g. 3D printing, basic electronics) and have some programming skills. Experience of working closely with end-users to evaluate prototypes is also advantageous. Good written and oral communication skills are essential.

You will be working in a multi-disciplinary environment that will allow you to build the complete skillset necessary for undertaking this research.

Non-UK applicants must meet our English language entry requirement.

Enquiries and Applications:

Applicants are encouraged to contact Prof Jason Alexander ([Email Address Removed]) before applying to discuss the suitability of their experience and/or qualifications, and to obtain additional information about the position.

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Computer Science.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found on our website

Note: applications may close earlier than the advertised deadline if a suitable candidate is found and therefore early application is strongly recommended.

Fees & Finance:

The successful student will receive a stipend at the applicable Wellcome Trust rate for a period of up to 3 years (subject to satisfactory progress). Wellcome Trust stipend rates are currently as follows:

  • Year 1: £19,919
  • Year 2: £21,542
  • Year 3: £23,298

There will also be funds available to support research expenses, training and conference attendance.

Funding does not cover tuition fees which the student will be responsible for paying from his/her stipend and/or other private funds. Tuition fee rates may be subject to increase on an annual basis but the rates for the 2022/23 academic year are as follows:

  • For Home students: £4,600
  • For Overseas students: £25,400

We follow the UK government’s fee regulations and guidance from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) in determining fee status. Further information may also be found on our fee status guidance webpage.

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 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.


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