Research Associate in Design

Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences

We are seeking to recruit a Research Associate with expertise as a Design Researcher to work in the School of Design as part of a UKRI funded project ‘hiCraft; Crafting a Healthier Internet of Things: People, Things and our Digital Society’, which launched October 2021. The aim of this project is to explore how we can define and foster a healthier relationship between people, the internet and things using the ethos and practices of craft, informed by knowledge within the humanities, augmented with technical knowhow and leveraging citizen engagement/collaboration. The project work will be focused in Newcastle, Gateshead and wider Northumberland.

This is an exciting opportunity to work with a highly experienced team of design, craft and HCI researchers to help explore and demonstrate the way in which craft, as both an ethos and method, can provide alternative visions of a healthier relationship with the internet; focusing on the field of IoT (Internet of Things).

For this post, we are seeking an RA with expertise in cocreation, participatory practices and the ability to design.  We expect the candidate to have a PhD and an awareness of the concerns and critical debates associated with IoT technologies and the wider internet. They will have a research track record in using creative participatory methods for engaging a broad range of people and a commitment to collaborative working. They will have excellent academic writing skills and a track-record of publishing in relevant leading conferences and journals in the fields of design and/or HCI. 

The role will focus on supporting the team in leading, organising and engaging with external global  experts and local stakeholders using a variety of creative participatory methods, collecting and analysing design prototype deployment data, synthesising findings and communicating these in a broad range of academic and non-academic contexts, including industry, crafts sector and policy.

This post will overlap with an existing research associate in creative technology who is already in place and the expectation is that the successful candidate will work closely with the existing RA in delivering many of the key aspects of the project.  The start date for employment is October 2022 for 20 months, working to the end of the project.

Additional info

While design often aspires to ubiquity and standardisation, craft thrives on specificity and bespokeness, which is often rooted in localism, and embodies the values of authenticity, provenance and care. Through working at a local level, in terms of both consideration and production, we seek to bring new perspectives and methods for conceptualising and creating forms of IoT, embodying our craft ethos. As such we will be creating compelling examples of context specific, meaningful and trusted forms of IoT in order to explore and understand the ways that we can change current trajectories across the sector. In addition, we will be engaging a broad range of subject and local ‘experts’ in order to interrogate, evolve and test our new propositions.  The project has been loosely framed by the five questions posed by Mozilla’s Internet Health report ( and they are partners on this project.

This a fantastic opportunity to build your academic research profile, network with an interdisciplinary group of thinkers, actors and organisations with global standing, and undertake work that contributes to a re-imaging of our relationship with the internet through things.

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Prof Justin Marshall (

This post is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 therefore the successful candidate will be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

To apply for this vacancy please click 'Apply Now', and submit a covering letter, CV including research /education statements, and grants and publications list. Please highlight your highest quality research outputs up to a maximum of 4. 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.

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.

We welcome applications from the UK and across the world. Visit our web pages for details about the Relocation Assistance Scheme

Please note this vacancy will close on 11/06/2022

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