Lancaster University, Royal College of Art and Newcastle University are seeking to recruit twenty PhD students to participate in an exciting collaborative project with a range of academic and industrial partners in the creative and digital industries.

The twenty studentships are funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council via The Creative Exchange, one of four Knowledge Exchange (KE) Hubs for the Creative Economy established in January 2012 by the AHRC. Start date: October 2012.

The focus of the programme of project and practice-led work will be on developing new experiences, products, value and research with creative companies in something we are calling digital public space. The digital public space is about the ability of anyone, anywhere, anytime to access, explore and create with digital content.

This is a directed PhD around particular themes related to digital public space, including participation, experience, personalisation, connectivity, narrative and identity. The doctoral student will develop their PhD around practice and reflection on case studies of co-design experiments with companies. The three universities will each have a distinct and complementary focus: Lancaster University, designing experiences; Royal College of Art, communication innovation; and Newcastle University, digital prototyping.

Please see below for the specific application procedures.

Lancaster University


Within Lancaster University, PhD candidates will be supervised by ImaginationLancaster in the Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts, led by Professor Rachel Cooper OBE, and by academics from other faculties including the School of Computing and Communications. This combination brings together expertise in the design of digital experiences, design for digital innovation, citizen participation, user engagement and knowledge exchange. FutureEverything led by Dr Drew Hemment is a vehicle for digital art and knowledge exchange that forms a critical part of the research environment. Dr Leon Cruickshank brings expertise in research on knowledge exchange.

Newcastle University


The Digital Interaction Group at Culture Lab, Newcastle University, has an international reputation for interdisciplinary research in the design, development and real world deployment next generation digital technologies; including mobile, ubiquitous and pervasive computing systems. The group is a vibrant team of PhD students and post-doctoral researchers that includes computer scientists, engineers, psychologists, health and social scientists, and fine arts & media specialists. In CX we will be responsible for working with industrial partners and other academics to deliver high quality designs and prototypes of participatory systems and media.

Royal College of Art


The Royal College of Art has a long history of innovation in all aspects of communication design. The CX Hub will bring together the RCA’s School of Communication, led by Professor Neville Brody, which has educated many international pioneers in graphic design, film making, illustration, animation and so on, with the College’s largest design research centre, the Helen Hamlyn Centre for the Design, led by Professor Jeremy Myerson, which has special expertise in co-design, digital inclusion and citizen participation.