PhD Vacancy: The design and evaluation of immersive experiences with and for the creative industries

CAMERA PhD Vacancy: The design and evaluation of immersive experiences with and for the creative industries

University of Bath    Department of Psychology

Closing Date: Sunday, June 09, 2024

Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The University of Bath is inviting applications for this PhD position due to commence in September 2024 under the supervision of Prof Danae Stanton Fraser in the area of Audience Experience across the Universities of Bath and Bristol. There will be opportunities during the PhD for secondment to our project partners.

Supervisors: Prof Danaë Stanton Fraser, University of Bath, Prof Iain Gilchrist, University of Bristol


This is an exciting opportunity to join a large collaborative team developing and evaluating the latest advances in digital production for the creative industries.

MyWorld is a five-year programme funded by the UKRI Strength in Places fund. The £46m programme brings together 30 partners from Bristol and Bath’s creative technologies sector and world-leading academic institutions, to create a unique cross-sector consortium. MyWorld is forging dynamic collaborations to progress technological innovation, deliver creative excellence, establish and operate state of the art facilities, offer skills training and drive inward investment. 

Within MyWorld our team are focused on measuring and evaluating audience experiences. We are using a range of methods to measure these effects on audience: interviews, surveys, physiological monitoring and measuring behaviour. The team are mapping out pre-existing methods, evaluating and validating them, and then adding new cutting-edge methods to this battery. We are working over a range of experiences (TV, VR, AR, Live Theatre, etc.) and with differing types of content (drama, documentary, news). The aim is to have real impact in providing the creative industries with an easy to access toolkit to support audience understanding. The team are based across Bath and Bristol Universities and work directly with the creative sector in the region.

The Project

Being a member of an audience, either alone or in a group, can result in a wide range of changes in psychological state. The experience can also have longer term impact, including changing our attitudes, behaviour, and priorities. There are a wide range of experiences that can lead to these changes and the next 5 years will see the development of new types of experiences and the use of new technology to deliver those experiences.  

Your PhD will give you an opportunity to work in this research area with flexibility to work with us to develop a project that contributes to our broad research aims to develop a toolkit to evaluate immersive experiences.

The MyWorld community will allow you to develop your ideas in a real-world context and evaluate their usefulness to the creative industries. Example current projects include: A scoping review of methods in the creative industries; A large scale “in the wild” data collection around heart rate and synchrony with the old Vic Theatre and an exploration of episodic memory in film and virtual reality.

We are very happy to shape the PhD topic to suit your particular interests and we are particularly keen to hear from candidates with an interest in virtual reality. Projects might include: the development of a questionnaire to measure immersion; new methods for examining immersion using physiological measures; embodiment, attention or immersion in VR.

The Context

Your primary base, and PhD registration, will be in Bath however all studentships will have the opportunity to draw on the facilities and expertise across the two Universities.

Over the last few years the University of Bath has made substantial investments to infrastructure including multi-million pound state-of-the art facilities for the Psychology department. The department has a dedicated building, which consists of eleven labs (including an EEG lab; a cross modal lab; a VR facility and an HCI lab: the CREATE Lab where the PhD will be based). There will also be dedicated technical support for the MyWorld programme of work.

The Bristol Vision Institute is home to vision scientists based in psychological science, engineering, biology, the arts and the medical school. There are a wide range of facilities to support this activity including eye tracking, motion capture, EEG and physiological monitoring. 2023 will see the completion of a new purpose build facility to support MyWorld which will include a state-of-the-art research cinema and VR facility.

The Person

We are seeking someone with an interest in the use of behavioural science to study complex real-world situations. You will have an undergraduate or master’s degree in a relevant discipline such as Psychology, Cognitive Science, Human Computer Interaction or Computer Science. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this work, applicants with a different scientific background but a strong interest in this field will also be considered.

 Non-UK applicants must meet our English language entry requirement.

Enquiries and Applications

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be directed to Prof Danaë Stanton Fraser, [email protected] or Professor Iain Gilchrist, [email protected]

Formal applications should be submitted via the online application form for a PhD in Psychology prior to the application deadline.

Information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found on our website.


Interviews are likely to be held in the week end of June or the start of July.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

We value a diverse research environment and aim to be an inclusive university, where difference is celebrated and respected. We welcome and encourage applications from under-represented groups.

If you have circumstances that you feel we should be aware of that have affected your educational attainment, then please feel free to tell us about it in your application form. The best way to do this is a short paragraph at the end of your personal statement.

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