LITAC – Developing and Evaluating Music Therapy-Integrated Sensory Garments for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)


   Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour

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  Dr Hye-Won Lim, Dr Hyunah Cho, Dr Jaemin Lee  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Are you passionate about advancing sensory garments to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)? Apply today to embark on a PhD experience that transcends boundaries and creates a brighter, more inclusive future.

We are thrilled to present a groundbreaking PhD opportunity that could change lives and reshape the way we approach therapy for ASD. This study focuses on developing smart wearable garments to provide music therapy-based sensory and emotional support for individuals with ASD. 

Imagine garments that go beyond fashion – Our mission is to offer individuals with ASD an enhanced wearable experience through innovative technology. The smart wearable garments will incorporate cutting-edge sensors designed to facilitate music therapy-based sensory and emotional support. With a touch, a gesture, or even a heartbeat, these wearables will seamlessly integrate music therapy into daily life. Our innovative smart wearables will be developed from the most comfortable, breathable, and hypoallergenic materials, ensuring uninterrupted comfort during extended use. 

By joining our project, you will have the chance to work closely with prestigious autism health organisations, diving into real-world challenges and making a tangible difference in the lives of individuals. We will also collaborate with esteemed industrial partners to ensure the commercial viability and real-life applicability of the research. You will be at the forefront of innovation and positive change, enhancing your academic and professional journey.

We are looking for passionate and dedicated individuals with a strong passion and expertise in Design (Fashion and Textile) and Engineering to take the lead in this interdisciplinary research. As a PhD candidate, you will be at the forefront of developing garments that genuinely enhance the quality of life for those with ASD. We welcome candidates from diverse backgrounds, be it in academia, industry, or emerging fields, and strongly encourage them to apply.

You will collaborate with a dynamic team of experts: Dr Hye-Won Lim from the School of Design, specialising in fashion design innovation; Dr Jaemin Lee from the School of Mechanical Engineering, with expertise in electronic device engineering; and Dr Hyunah Cho from the School of Music, specialising in music therapy. This collaboration will allow you to harness their knowledge and expertise to shape the future of autism therapy. By becoming a part of our dynamic team, you will have the chance to interact with like-minded individuals who are passionate about making a lasting impact.

Industrial Collaborations:

The successful applicant will join the Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour (LITAC), a collaborative international research Institute that applies academic expertise, working together with external partners, both industrial from across the world, to address global challenges and sustainable development in textile and colour industries. We are focused on the development of innovative science and technology, materials, methods and processes. Technology-driven sustainable development is a major part of our work, hosted by the School of Design at the University of Leeds. 

The School of Design is a world leading research centre with a focus in creativity and developing innovative materials and manufacturing solutions with interdisciplinary researchers and industrial partners.

We have a strong industrial collaboration with UK and international based textiles and natural polymers manufacturing industries. These industrial collaborators will work closely with the PhD student.

Other Conditions:

  • Applicants must not have already been awarded or be currently studying for a doctoral degree.
  • Applicants must live within a reasonable distance of the University of Leeds whilst in receipt of this scholarship.

How to apply

Stage 1

First, apply for a research place of study, through the online application form. Please state clearly that the funding you wish to be considered for is ‘LITAC – Developing and Evaluating Music Therapy-Integrated Sensory Garments for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) with Dr Hye-Won Lim (School of Design) and Dr Jaemin Lee (School of Mechanical Engineering) as your proposed supervisors. You will be expected to meet our eligibility criteria for PhD candidates.

In order to be considered for the Studentship you must submit all the required supporting documents for your application for PhD study.

Please note that you will not need to submit a Research Proposal as part of your application for this project. In place of a Research Proposal please can you submit a statement which conveys your motivation and enthusiasm for the project as outlined in the Scholarship advert. See stage 2 below.

Once you have received your student ID number (a 9-digit number) move onto stage 2. 

Stage 2

Apply for the LITAC Developing and Evaluating Music Therapy-Integrated Sensory Garments for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) ‘’ by completing the Scholarship Application Form. You must submit your scholarship application by 17.00 p.m. on Thursday 4th January 2024.

The scholarship application includes the supporting statement referenced in Stage 1. This statement should demonstrate your suitability for your intended PhD Project and not be longer than two pages. The statement should specifically include details on your interest in the project and why you have chosen to apply for this in particular. The statement should also include how you will apply your current skills, knowledge and experience to undertake the PhD and the approach you would take to develop the project.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in Design, Mechanical Engineering or another appropriate undergraduate or Masters discipline. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for this research degree course are advised to contact Dr Hye-Won Lim prior to making an application.

Contact details

For further information related to the application process please email the Faculty PGR Admissions Team

For further information related to the project please contact Dr Hye-Won Lim

Creative Arts & Design (9) Education (11) Materials Science (24)

Funding Notes

LITAC (Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour) hosted by the School of Design, is offering a number of highly competitive PhD scholarships consisting of the award of tuition fees and an annual maintenance stipend that matches UKRI rates (18,622 GBP in 2023/24) along with a significant element of training and development expenses also incorporated within the Scholarship package. The scholarships are available to start in 1st April 2024 or 1st October 2024 at the latest. All candidates must be UK applicants and will be assessed and selection is based on academic merit.

Where will I study?

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