Vacancy: Post-doctoral Researcher in Design at Northumbria University

We are seeking to recruit a Post-doctoral Researcher with a background in Interaction Design / HCI and an interest in doing some exciting research around outdoor play for children and the Internet of Things. The post is for 12 months, but can be extended to 18 months. Please do pass to any Post-docs or nearly finished PhD students who might be interested in a move to the North East of England and joining our growing group of design and HCI researchers!

Closing date is 12th February.

Full advert below.

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Post-doctoral Senior Research Assistant (Playing Out with IoT project)

Senior Research Assistant (Full time, Fixed-Term for 12 months) – Ref ADS17/11

Salary:  £27,498 – £33,420 pa
Closing date: 12th February 2018

We are seeking a Senior Research Assistant to contribute to the participatory design and research through design strands of the EPSRC funded Playing Out with IoT project. Playing Out with IoT is an exciting and innovative project that is exploring how Internet of Things (IoT) technologies can be developed and extended to enable children to create digital outside play in their own neighbourhoods. The project responds to the concern that fewer and fewer children now play outside. This reduction in unstructured outdoor active play – or ‘playing-out’ – has led to a whole range of concerns around health, wellbeing and development. The main aim of the project is to make use of IoT technologies to increase outdoor play and allow public spaces to be re-scripted by children (and parents / guardians) for their own play, both by the use of the IoT toolkits we create, and a Playing Out Engine to produce and share stories about their play. The project is a collaboration between Northumbria University (Computer Science and Design), University College London (Education), Canterbury Christ Church University (Psychology), in partnership with Playing Out CiC, BeChange, Cederwood Trust and SAM Labs.

You will take a leading role with research participants, including groups of children aged under 9, to engage in co-design activities with them. You will be specifically responsible for the running of participatory engagements that involve the creation of new ideas for IoT to support ‘playing out’, and translating insights from these engagements into innovative technologies and associated IoT toolkits that will be tested by our project partners. It is also desirable that you have a methodological interest in collaborative design techniques and approaches to engaging children in design processes, although this is not a requirement.

You will have a PhD (or one that is close to completion) in interaction design, human-computer interaction or in a related design field. It is expected you will have a track-record of publishing in leading venues in these fields. Since the research conducted across Playing out with IoT is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary, you will have demonstrable experience and interest to work in multi-disciplinary teams. Excellent communication skills, as well as familiarity with a range of desktop publishing and media creation tools, is essential. You will also have bring research experience and understanding of designing and conducting studies and evaluations of technologies ‘in the wild’. It is expected you will have prior experience of qualitative data collection and analysis, and be comfortable with working with children and young people.

It is also essential that you are willing to travel around the UK for short periods during design and evaluation phases of the project. This will involve occasional travel to and staying with project collaborators in London, Bristol and Aylesham. Occasional weekend work may also be necessary.

This post is fixed-term for 12 months in the first instance, with the option to extend this to 18 months in total.

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact John Vines at  or Abigail Durrant at