Research Associate/Senior Research Associate in Acceptability of Smart Home Technologies

Bristol, United Kingdom
28 Jun 2018
End of advertisement period
26 Jul 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Based in the internationally recognized Bristol Interaction Group and Digital Health Engineering research team at the University of Bristol, this is an exciting opportunity to join the EPSRC SPHERE project to lead investigations into the acceptability of smart home technologies in a variety of households.

Smart-home technology has very broad applicability but there is a risk that these digital technologies will entrench health inequalities. Although some inequalities related to the availability of connectivity in the home may lessen over time, we lack knowledge of the ways in which different households may use or accept technology in domestic spaces. It is clear that a nuanced approach to understanding the “home” rather than a “house” should be taken to understand how the sensor systems will be used, adopted, and adapted in a wide variety of domestic settings. In the field of human-computer interaction, this is the difference between treating technologies as located in a physical environment, or “space”, or embedded in a complex social and cultural situation, or “place”. Sociology, anthropology, psychology, human geography, history, architecture and philosophy have all engaged with the “home” as being multidimensional, and this will inform the research on how this complex “place” is impacted by the introduction of sensor systems, and in turn how it impacts the adoption, adaptation and use of the sensor systems.

Through engaging with a variety of households in Bristol with the support of the Knowle West Media Centre, Bristol City Council and WeTheCurious, studies of current household interactions with technologies, perceptions of different households to the current SPHERE home, and deployments of SPHERE to a range of households will engage with some of the complexities of embedding sensors in a range of different homes.

You will have experience designing, running, and writing up qualitative research studies of interactive systems, and a PhD in in human-computer interaction, digital anthropology, or medical anthropology (or closely related discipline). You will have experience with working with multidisciplinary teams and good communication skills.

This post is offered on a full time, open-ended contract with funding for up to 2 years, starting 1 October 2018.

It is anticipated that interviews will take place on/around: 24th August 2018

Informal enquiries can be made to:  Aisling O’Kane by email

The University is committed to creating and sustaining a fully inclusive culture.  We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and communities.

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