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Information interactions in meaning-making journeys

   Department of Computer and Information Sciences

About the Project

Meaning-making is process of psychological discovery undertaken to construct a sense of identity and purpose within our lives and is an instinctive response to feelings of uncertainty and incoherence. Lack of meaning causes psychological distress and illness; a sense of meaning improves problem-solving, emotional well-being, communication and sense of happiness.

Meaning-making is crucially dependent on our ability to find information but we may need to develop new information behaviours and new ways of interacting with information during a meaning-making journey. The objectives of this PhD project are to study making information interactions that can (a) describe the process of meaning-making in information terms, (b) uncover what kinds of information is suitable for meaning-making, and therefore influence the design of new information access systems, and (c) develop models of evaluation that can assess the value of information in supporting a meaning-making journey.

The project is very timely as many people are going through meaning-making experiences as a result of COVID: changing jobs, recovering from illness, dealing with bereavement, deciding to move to entirely new locations and ways of living their lives, and so on. This information focused approach to meaning making will help those in health services, especially those dealing with mental health, charities and libraries offer information to support meaning-making journeys.

Due to funding conditions, applicants should have a First class degree (or equivalent) or an MSc with Distinction in a relevant subject such as library and information sciences. Applicants should have good communication skills and the ability to work with members of the general public for data gathering, good presentation skills, and an interest in information studies.

Funding Notes

The studentship covers full UK PhD tuition fees and tax-free stipend of approx. £16,000 per year for the full three-year duration. International applicants must be able to pay the difference between the UK Home Fee and International Fee. The successful applicant will join the ischool at Strathclyde, working with leading scholars in information science and receive research training from our award-winning PhD development program.

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