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Nicolai Marquardt <[log in to unmask]>
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Nicolai Marquardt <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 7 May 2015 14:06:42 +0200
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PhD Studentship:
Making the Future: putting people at the centre of the Internet of Things

Supervised by Yvonne Rogers and Nicolai Marquardt (University College 
London) and Phil Stenton (BBC)
Apply now:!/?project=123

Applications are invited for a BBC sponsored PhD studentship at the UCL 
Interaction Centre ( in the areas of human-computer 
interaction, user experience, and Internet of Things (IoT).

Learning about computation and coding has become central to the future 
of creativity in an increasingly digitally connected world. Inspired by 
the Maker movement and creative potential of maker-spaces, activities of 
making, such as digital fabrication or learning about electronics, are 
also starting to become popular in schools and U3A groups throughout the 
country. A number of electronic platforms are appearing as building 
blocks for making interactive machines, including Arduino, RaspberryPi, 
Makey Makey and LittleBits. The BBC is also committed to a programme of 
activities to Making it Digital (see 
It is in the process of developing Micro Bit - a give away platform for 
learning basic programming and electronics. At UCL, we have also 
developed our own toolkit called CodeMe (see

A goal is often not just the conveying of engineering and electronic 
principles, but also to foster creative crafting, tinkering, and 
re-appropriation of the basic building blocks to form new creations. 
With the Internet of Things - where there is huge potential for millions 
of devices to be connected via the internet, and embedded with various 
sensors that can send and pass on data to one another - the need to 
understand how to scale up and create for complexity is even more 
challenging. However, this is easier said than done. There remains a gap 
as to how we ease new learners into using electronics and making, 
without immediately moving to the stage asking them to code software or 
re-program microcontrollers and robots. What are adequate learning 
activities for uncovering the potential of electronics that are 
accessible, engaging, and understandable for wide audiences?

This joint BBC/UCL iCase PhD studentship will investigate how new 
toolkits can encourage a different way to coding and creating that can 
engage people of all ages. The student will be expected to develop and 
evaluate prototype toolkits for the Internet of Things together with 
conducting in-depth user studies of how groups use them during 
collaborative making and programming activities. For the collaborative 
research with the BBC groups, the student will also spend several months 
in the BBC research labs at the MediaCityUK in Salford/ Manchester 
( and One Euston Square in 

Funding: Full University tuition fees and an enhanced tax-free stipend 
(ca. £19,000 per year) plus research/travel budget and allowance for 
Funding Body: BBC, EPSRC and University College London.
Start Date: End of September 2015 for 3 years
Application Deadline: The review for applications begins May 15th, 2015 
(please submit your application until this date for full consideration).
Supervisors: Yvonne Rogers (UCL Interaction Centre), Nicolai Marquardt 
(UCL Interaction Centre), and Phil Stenton (BBC R&D)

Applications are invited from students with a Master’s degree or good 
first degree (First, 2:1 or equivalent) in a relevant subject. Doctoral 
scholarship funding is available for up to three years full-time study 
starting October 2015 and provide a bursary of ca. £19,000 pa in 
addition to University tuition fees. To be eligible for the full 
scholarship award, the student must have been living in the UK for the 
last 3 years (applies to both UK and EU citizens). A master's degree in 
human-computer interaction or closely related area is highly desirable. 
Candidates without a master's degree may be admitted in exceptional 
cases where suitable research experience can be demonstrated.
Candidates must have a clear interest in human-computer interaction and 
the design, implementation, and evaluation of novel technologies. 
Experience with physical computing toolkits (e.g., Arduino, Spark Core) 
is desirable. Candidates should have strong programming and 
implementation skills as well as excellent written and oral 
communication skills.

Applicants must submit an application on the UCL Prism website 
( You can use the direct link for the 
application!/?project=123 or search for 
‘Making the Future: putting people at the centre of the Internet of 
Things’ on the main Prism website.
The application must include the following: the contact details of 
applicant and names and contact details of at least two referees who can 
provide information about your suitability for the studentship; a 
two-page document containing a personal statement and research proposal 
based on the project description; a CV; and a copy of transcripts of 
your BSc, MSc, and/or most recent academic qualifications.

The review for applications begins from May 15th, 2015 (please submit 
your application until this date for full consideration).

Interviews with short-listed applicants will be on May 22nd, 2015.

If you wish to discuss the post informally or if you have any questions 
about the position, please contact Yvonne Rogers ([log in to unmask]) or 
Nicolai Marquardt ([log in to unmask]).



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