PhD Studentship in Computer Science: Interaction Design – Techno-Spirituality for Community Wellbeing

Newcastle University

PhD Studentship in Computer Science: Interaction Design – Techno-Spirituality for Community Wellbeing

Award Summary

100% Home fees covered and a minimum tax-free annual living allowance £18,622 (2023-24 UKRI rate)


Interested in designing interactive tools and experiences to support people’s spiritual journey? Techno-Spirituality is a growing design space in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at the intersection of spirituality and interactive technologies. Religious and/or spiritual (R/S) practices are intertwined with everyday life and intrinsically linked to people’s wellbeing. This PhD will explore how interactive technologies can support R/S practices and wider wellbeing whilst critically investigating new challenges posed by digital and data-driven tools. Your research will contribute to Design and HCI by exploring the role bodies, places and materials play in R/S practices. The candidate will establish collaborations with key stakeholders and address the unique needs, values and aspiration of R/S communities through a design-led approach.

You will demonstrate critical understandings of this design space with particular attention to ethics of care, experiential design, notions of authenticity and privacy in the design of techno-mediated spiritual experiences. Topics for exploration could include (but not limited to):

  • Spiritual informatics: how we might design sensory and tracking technologies that support spirituality as intertwined with everyday life?
  • Community-centred design: how supportive tools may be designed to address the needs of spiritual practitioners and communities?
  • Ethics of care: how spiritual practices may shape new ways of designing with care?

This PhD will be shaped by the candidate’s own interests and experience in dialogue with the supervisory team.

Number Of Awards


Start Date

September 2024

Award Duration

3.5 years

Application Closing Date

28 March 2024


School of Computing


Caroline Claisse

Eligibility Criteria

You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree in or international equivalent in a subject relevant to the proposed PhD project e.g. Design, Interaction Design, Human-Computer Interaction or Computer Science.

The applicant should be confident with Interaction Design as a discipline and willing to explore participatory process and co-creative methods. Excellent analytical skills and strong verbal and written communication skills are also essential requirements. 

Experience in physical computing and designing for tangible and embodied interaction is desirable.

The studentship covers home fees (UK and EU applicants with pre-settled/settled status and meet the residency criteria). International applicants are welcome to apply but will be required to cover the difference between Home and International fees. 

Applicants whose first language is not English require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subsection. International applicants may require an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme ) clearance certificate prior to obtaining their visa and to study on this programme.

How To Apply

Use Apply to Newcastle Portal  

Once registered select ‘Create a Postgraduate Application’.  

Use ‘Course Search’ to identify your programme of study:  

  • Search for the ‘Course Title’ using programme code: 8050F
  • Research Area: Computing Science
  • Select PhD Computer Science as programme of study 

 You will then need to provide the following information in the ‘Further Questions’ section:  

  • ‘Two-page Personal Statement’ including motivations, interests and a brief research proposal;
  • ‘Design Portfolio’(PDF) with examples of your work (10 pages maximum).
  • ‘CV’(PDF)
  • Studentship code COMP2153 in the ‘Studentship/Partnership Reference’ field  

Contact Details

Caroline Claisse

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