Senior Research Assistant in Design and Creative Technology

Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear (GB)
£28,553 - £34,702
Monday, 11 January 2021
End of advertisement period
Friday, 12 February 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Senior Research Assistant in Design and Creative Technology 
Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences 

The School of Design seeks to recruit a Senior Research Assistant with expertise in participatory design and creative technologies as part of the PETRAS-funded Reappearing Computer project (REAPPEAR). As the vision of a “disappearing computer” has become a reality, technologies have been designed to obscure the way they work—such as the data they collect, or the remote servers they rely on—making it hard for end users to understand and make decisions about IoTs privacy and security. REAPPPEAR will develop and demonstrate new metaphors and design patterns for physical products that cause the hidden workings of connected objects to “reappear”. Co-designing with the general public and industry (including project partners Mozilla, Simply Secure and ThingsCon), the project will offer a new shared vision for more trusted IoT.

The post holder will be responsible for: 

  • Designing and conducting initial user studies to explore understandings and anxieties around IoT devices in health, home and public space contexts.
  • Collaborating with partner organisations to understand industry perspectives.
  • Developing concepts for new metaphors and design patterns for IoT products, responding to findings from the user studies and industry.
  • Evaluating and refining concepts through co-design workshops.
  • Building demonstrator prototypes/research products capable of supporting discussion around developed concepts, including through limited public deployments and exhibitions.
  • Leading the writing of publications for leading human–computer interaction or design research conferences and journals.
  • Communicating findings to partner organisations and non-academic networks.
  • Contributing to the wider research community around the university’s CoCreate and NORTH Lab research groups.

We are seeking applicants with a background in human–computer interaction, product design, creative technology or a related field. It is expected the successful candidate will have a PhD in a relevant discipline (or one that is close to completion) and a track record of publishing in design research and/or human-computer interaction conferences. They will be capable of conducting participatory fieldwork and developing high quality design prototypes, and will ideally have experience of working with IoT and a passion for advocating for more trusted and responsible technologies. Excellent design and communication skills alongside a collaborative approach to research are essential.

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Dr Nick Taylor ( 

To apply for this vacancy please click 'Apply Now', andsubmit a covering letter, CV including research /education statements, and grants and publications list. Please highlight your highest quality research outputs (please indicate a rank from 1 to 4) up to a maximum of 4, since 2017.  In addition, candidates are asked to provide copies of the top 2 research outputs (Journal / book chapter /practice-based portfolio). Where possible candidates are asked to combine all of these documents into a single file.

If you are successful in your application for this role, you will be employed by Northumbria University Services Limited.  Further details can be found at

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Please note that if you do not have permission to work in the UK, Northumbria University may not be able to obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship for you to take up this position.

Currently, due to COVID-19, academic staff will normally be on campus for approximately two days per week when face to face teaching is scheduled, and as required to undertake research using specialist facilities. 

Please note this vacancy will close on 12/02/2021