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Smart ways for engaging customers in design process (RDF17/DES/QIN)

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S-F Qin
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Product design has undergone a considerable shift as it responds to increasingly sophisticated consumer demands. We are seeing a growing need to allow customers to shape products to their particular needs and a move from products manufactured for consumers to products that are made by consumers to meet their needs. This shift asks fundamental questions about the design process of products and the role of customers of these products in the overall process. Step changes are required for future design systems and processes to adopt open innovation principles and build upon the increasing shift to crowdsourcing to align design and manufacturing processes with customers and other stakeholders.

This project aims to apply human-centred design principles and emerging social computing techniques to study smart interfacing and interaction ways in customer engagement tool design. The research focus is on (but not limited to) how to improve design performance and quality by engaging customers in a computer supported collaborative working (CSCW) environment or on a crowdsourcing based new product development platform.

Eligibility and How to Apply

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required (evidence required by 1 August 2017).

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please ensure you quote the advert reference above on your application form.
Deadline for applications: 20 January 2017
Start Date: 2 October 2017

Northumbria University is an equal opportunities provider and in welcoming applications for studentships from all sectors of the community we strongly encourage applications from women and under-represented groups.

Funding Notes

This project is being considered for funding in competition with other projects, through one of two types of funding packages available:
• Fully funded studentships include a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates for 2017/18 (this is yet to be set, in 2016/17 this is £14,296 pa) and fees (Home/EU £4,350 / International £13,000 / International Lab-based £16,000), and are available to applicants worldwide.
• As Northumbria celebrates its 25th anniversary as a University and in line with our international outlook, some projects may also be offered to students from outside of the EU supported by a half-fee reduction.

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