“I don’t believe in climate change”: utilising human-computer interaction for resolving conflict on climate action in households [Self-Funded Students only]

   Cardiff School of Computer Science & Informatics

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  Dr P Eslambolchilar, Dr J A Gwilliam, Prof W Poortinga  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Buildings account for about one third of greenhouse gas emissions globally: exacerbated by poor maintenance, building systems inefficiencies and other human activities. Additionally, poorly maintained buildings become increasingly vulnerable to damage caused by the increasing severity of climate change hence becoming even more inefficient in managing energy, waste and quality of overall building. Poorly maintained buildings also pose safety risks to residents (e.g. fire). Multi-occupancy and different views on climate action and environmentally friendly behaviour add further complexity on decision making about occupant comfort and activities. For example, in a household, family members may not have similar views on climate action and or family members want to make different things at home, e.g. turning down the heating, while another member wants to walk around in t-shirts and shorts. In such scenarios, what Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) can offer to keep peace at home while forcing climate action? where HCI can be deceptive in our living environment?

This project requires skills in HCI research methods, doing surveys and data analyses and designing interaction for behaviour change in shared environment.

This PhD project is supervised by staff from Schools of Computer Science, Architecture, and Psychology. To give a general idea about project milestones, we expect the PhD candidate to:

1 - Have a good understanding of literature, conducting user studies, and analysing qualitative and quantitative data.

2 - Complete the ethics application for field studies.

3 - Arrange logistics with studying members of public in their living spaces and recruitment of participants.

4 - The PhD project will develop a number of prototypes and software that can potentially help members of household to share their views on climate action freely, resolve conflicting views and actions peacefully, and make informed decision on climate action while respecting other household members’ views.

5 - Study and compare effectiveness of different prototypes, as well as how such prototypes could work in larger complex such as blocks of flats.

6 - Write, publish and present at international conferences and prestigious journals.  

Supervisory Team:

Dr Parisa Eslambolchilar (School of Computer Science and Informatics),

Dr Julie Gwilliam (Welsh School of Architecture),

Prof Wouter Poortinga (School of Psychology),

Entry Requirements

A 2:1 Honours undergraduate degree or a master's degree, in computing or a related subject.  Applicants with appropriate professional experience are also considered. Degree-level mathematics (or equivalent) is required for research in some project areas.

Applicants for whom English is not their first language must demonstrate proficiency by obtaining an IELTS score of at least 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each skills component.

How to Apply:

Please contact the supervisors of the project prior to submitting your application to discuss and develop an individual research proposal that builds on the information provided in this advert. Once you have developed the proposal with support from the supervisors, please submit your application following the instructions provided below

This project is accepting applications all year round, for self-funded candidates via https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/research/programmes/programme/computer-science-and-informatics 

In order to be considered candidates must submit the following information: 

  • Supporting statement 
  • CV 
  • In the ‘Research Proposal’ section of the application enter the name of the project you are applying to and upload your Individual research proposal, as mentioned above in BOLD
  • Qualification certificates and Transcripts
  • Proof of Funding. For example, a letter of intent from your sponsor or confirmation of self-funded status (In the funding field of your application, insert Self-Funded)
  • References x 2 
  • Proof of English language (if applicable)

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact 

Computer Science (8) Mathematics (25)

Funding Notes

This project is offered for self-funded students only, or those with their own sponsorshsip or scholarship award.

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