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Post-doctoral Researcher, CX Digital Tools

The Royal College of Art, the world’s number one institution for art and design, provides students with unrivalled opportunities to deliver art and design projects that transform the world.

About Consumer Experience Digital Tools for Dematerialisation for the Circular Economy

The MSRC in partnership with UCL, has won a 2.5-year EPSRC Digital Economy, Sustainable Digital Society award to drive its mission of sustainability in textiles, for which this role is required. The project ‘Consumer Experience (CX) Digital Tools for Dematerialisation for the Circular Economy’ aim is to help achieve ‘zero avoidable waste’ in the UK apparel-textiles sector by innovating a suite of technologies in order to design CX Digital Tools that empower consumers to extend product life. One of the core principles of the CE is to keep products in use for as long as possible, and one of the main ways to do this is to support people to value their clothing and the materials they are made from.

We are seeking to recruit a highly energetic and enthusiastic researcher, who works in an interdisciplinary way or is passionate about doing so. The Postdoctoral Researcher will bring knowledge and expertise in human centred design, design research methods, human sensory perception, and physical computing. Knowledge of fashion and textiles is desirable. The focus of the work will be on the development of low-cost sensing and perceptual technologies, created through sustainable research processes, and to be used by consumers to understand materials degradation, to make decisions of material reparation and to express their perceptions around aged, repaired, updated/upgraded products.

The Postdoctoral Researcher will develop and conduct workshops and feasibility studies, work with the hacker groups in defining challenges and prototyping tools and support the development of evaluation methods and conducting evaluation studies. They will work closely with the RCA team, partners in UCL and other stakeholders in the project (consumer public, charity shops, repair initiatives, clothes swapping initiatives, apparel brands, retailers, and digital-electronics hacker communities).

The ideal candidate will have at least one of the following:

- PhD in a relevant field (design research, HCI, human-centred design, citizen science, human sensory perception)
- or equivalent level of experience in a different sector
- or a master’s degree and significant experience in research projects

In addition, candidates must have:

- Experience of working in research and research projects, either academic or commercial/industrial.
- Evidence of producing at least two outputs in peer reviewed academic journals.
- Evidenced experience of contributing to and reporting on projects.
- Demonstrable understanding of good practice in research conduct (including in research ethics, research integrity and handling research data).
- Demonstrable ability to be a collaborative member of a broader team, working constructively with senior staff and supporting the work of less experienced staff or students involved in projects.
- Evidenced flexibility and confidence to tackle a wide range of tasks, with an open, pro-active, creative, and problem-solving approach.
- Evidenced excellent writing, communication, and presentation skills, able to adopt an appropriate style for a range of specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Interviews and assessments are scheduled for week commencing 15th November 2021.

The Royal College of Art is an equal opportunities employer. The College particularly welcomes applications from all sections of the community and would particularly encourage members of minority groups to apply.

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