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PhD Studentship. Haptic Interaction Design: Accessibility in Music-Making Tools

Birmingham City University

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Birmingham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: This funding model also includes a FT Home fees studentship (£4,500 for 2021-22) for up to 3 years, subject to you making satisfactory progression within your PhD research
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 16th August 2021
Closes: 16th September 2021
Reference: CEBE-PhD-4

Contact for Application Enquires: Dr Tychonas Michailidis

Email: tychonas.michailidis@bcu.ac.uk

Visual impairment (blind or partially sighted) affects thousands in the UK and millions worldwide. Accessibility to digital information and tools is necessary for engagement and participation within the society, for their educational aspirations and career. Whilst there is a massive effort from charities and organisations to support them, there is a lack of appropriate tools when it comes to computer-based musical creativity (e.g. composition and performance). Often users are required to adapt to commercially available software to meet their needs.

This project proposes to design a set of novel accessibility tools based on haptics to facilitate the communication between visual impaired users and creative software platforms for music creation. The project will rethink the current production tools and propose new ways for processing and experiencing information through haptics. It will challenge current human-computer-interaction paradigms and machine learning techniques with the aim to devise new ways, in which visually impaired users can process information, navigate, interact and collaborate with other blind and non-blind users during the music creation and performing processes.

This project will contribute to:

  1. Understanding interaction design approaches for HCI accessibility with haptics;
  2. Developing novel machine learning-based algorithms for real-time user interaction with the screen and audio;
  3. Enabling haptic-based accessibility for navigation, screen interaction and collaboration.

PhD Classic Doctoral Training Grant Funding Information

This 36 month (3 year) fully-funded PhD Studentship, in-line with the Research Council values, comprises a tax-free stipend of £15,609 per annum (paid monthly). The bursary is renewable annually for up to 36 months in total, subject to you making satisfactory progression within your PhD research.

This funding model also includes a FT Home fees studentship (£4,500 for 2021-22) for up to 3 years, subject to you making satisfactory progression within your PhD research.

This opportunity is open to UK, EU and International applicants. International applicants will be required to meet the difference in fee costs from their own funds.

Person specification:

  • A BSc or MSc in relevant field such as Music Technology, Computer Science, Data Analysis and Human Computer Interaction.
  • Programming skills
  • Good communication skills; especially in written English
  • Strong work ethic
  • Think creatively and independently

How to apply:

To apply, please complete the project proposal form of 1,500-2,500 words (fully referenced) explaining your ideas about the proposed topic, ensuring that you quote the project reference CDT Project 4, and then complete the online application, which can be found under the 'How to Apply' tab of the PhD course page where you will be required to upload your proposal form in place of a personal statement as a pdf document.

You will also be required to upload two references, at least one being an academic reference, and your qualification/s of entry (Bachelor/Masters certificate/s and transcript/s) and IELTS.

Deadline for Applications

Please ensure you submit your application by 23:59 on Thursday 16th September at 23:59 for a February 2022 start.

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