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  Shape-changing tangible artifacts for behaviour change [Self-Funded Students Only]

   Cardiff School of Computer Science & Informatics

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  Dr P Eslambolchilar, Dr G Theodorakopoulos, Dr Philipp Reinecke, Dr Emily Collins  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Static and dynamic data sculptures have proven to be effective in self-reflection, awareness, engagement and hedonic aspects of behaviour change in the context of physical activity with adults and youths. This project builds on the existing work in the School and the literature on youths’ awareness of physical activity and expands the work to youths’ and adults’ awareness of privacy online, gambling and climate change in households.

The methodology will be based on agile development methodology and iterative design thinking process. These will allow the project to enhance understanding of issues from stakeholders’ point of view, to identify solution(s) to address these societal challenges with stakeholders, to ideate with stakeholders, to create low- and mid- fidelity prototypes, to test with users and to repeat this process until satisfactory solution(s) are achieved. Core to the project, the PhD candidate will be to develop multi-modal solutions on ubiquitous computers (e.g. smartphones, Arduino, Pi, Teensy, TouchBoard), allowing users to identify potentially privacy-threatening scenarios, exposure to gambling Online or fake news about climate change Online. The multi-modal solution(s) as visual, audio, haptic or, smell will provide an overview of the threat severity.

An agile development methodology will be used that incorporates parallel ‘dual tracks’ to support co-design alongside development. This will be completed through via scoping multi-modal design solutions and evaluation methods “in the wild” based on which form user requirements into increasing fidelity designs; low - prototyping with Play-Doh, sketching and/or drawings; medium fidelity with wireframes and mock-ups with ubiquitous computers and to initial high-fidelity design on smartphones, desktops, tablets or ubiquitous computers, which will be revised through an iterative co-design. Finally, processes and software for data set capture and open-sourcing will be specified and engineered (complying with RCUK data policies and ethical approval). The developed approach will be evaluated with stakeholders through tailored evaluation methods. The PhD candidate will tailor ubiquitous evaluation methods to support evaluation of key aspects of usability and multi-modal enhancement. The candidate will use an appropriate mix of qualitative and quantitative methods inspired by our multidisciplinary team to triangulate findings. The conclusion of this project will be one usable and fully functional open-source software product to represent one of the issues identified above on a ubiquitous platform for either youths or adults (or both). A pilot study will be required to test and validate.

Supervisory team:

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

Dr George Theodorakopoulos (on Privacy, School of Computer Science and Informatics)

Dr Philipp Reinecke (on Privacy, School of Computer Science and Informatics)

Dr Emily Collins (on Cognitive Psychology and Privacy, School of Psychology)

Dr Julie Gwilliam (on comfort, wellbeing and health, School of Architecture)

Academic Criteria:

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 

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)

Funding Notes

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

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