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Interactive Innovation in the Real World: children creating and sharing knowledge

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S R Beck
    Dr J Blissett
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Human beings innovate solutions (from hammers to mobile phones) to the novel problems we encounter as our influence expands. Research on cultural innovation focusses on: 1) individuals discovering novel solutions to problems and 2) the sharing of these solutions among the group. This model is limited by viewing individuals as separate units either inventing or accepting knowledge. This PhD project explores interactions to solve novel problems between individuals in a real world environment: the Thinktank Museum. Working with Thinktank allows us to conduct pioneering research on natural interactions and for expertise on museum education to inform our research. Findings will feed back to the museum through an interactive exhibit or activity developed and evaluated collaboratively, and through public engagement events.

Funding Notes

This is a competitive studentship being advertised by the University of Birmingham ESRC Doctoral Training College.
Please check their webpage for residency and nationality requirements
The ESRC deadline is 19/2/2016 but applicants MUST have an offer of a place to study for a PhD before this, which will require an interview. Students are advised to contact Dr Sarah Beck as soon as possible, sending a CV and cover letter summarising experience and research interests. Further information on the project and the research proposal can then be provided.


Beck, S. R., Apperly, I. A., Chappell, J., Guthrie, C., and Cutting, N. (2011). Making tools isn’t child’s play. Cognition 119, 301–306.

Callanan, M. A. (2012). Conducting Cognitive Developmental Research in Museums: Theoretical Issues and Practical Considerations, Journal of Cognition and Development, 13:2, 137-151

(Contact Dr Beck if you do not have access to these journals)

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 40.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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