Job Opportunity for PhD Student

HEFCE Project

Developing Design Consultants of The Future; Embedding Virtual & Augmented Reality in Learning & Teaching

Would you like to work as a ‘Research Assistant’?

Job Opportunity for PhD Student

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning would like to employ a PhD student to work with to work with Dr. Bobby Nisha, Samuel Dent (Strategy, Projects and Governance) and Bryony Olney in undertaking a small project embedding augmented reality in learning and teaching. The objective for the project is to introduce the use of fully immersive virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology at various stages of delivery of urban design teaching to increase students understanding and appreciation of such key factors as space and volume, and how students can harness the benefits of the technology to engage in different ways with stakeholders.

The job will run from 30th June 2017 – 20th Dec 2017 will pay £13.71 per hour for what is expected to be at least 100 hours. The work will be spread out evenly so not to negatively impact on studies, although in line with the project plan there may be some fixed deadlines for evaluation the successful candidate will be asked to meet – These will be discussed with you following appointment.

The job:

The project will employ a PhD researcher to assist in organising a series of focus groups, interviews and data capture activities from student groups that will aim to understand the impact of VR and AR learning activities/assessments on PG students. The tasks will include supporting ethical approval, advertising and recruiting student participants, conducting focus groups, and some coding and analysis of data under the supervision of Dr. Bobby Nisha and Samuel Dent.

Typical responsibilities include the following:

  • Recruit student participants
  • Research and collect data through various methods such as Focus groups, structured interviews, or other project specific methodology like cognitive mapping.
  • Maintain accurate records of focus groups, interviews, safeguarding the confidentiality of subjects, as necessary
  • Request or acquire equipment or supplies necessary for conducting the focus groups/interviews
  • Summarize interviews
  • Coding data in line with established research framework.
  • Interpret, synthesizes and analyses data. (With assistance)
  • Manage and respond to project related email
  • Attend project meetings
  • Schedule, organize and report on status of research activities.



Subject knowledge and oral/written communication skills to discuss and document research progress. Ability to work independently, accurately and to problem solves technical and methodological issues that arise during the course of the research. Ability to apply sound research techniques, methodology and logical critical analysis when transcribing and coding data. Strong organization and interpersonal skills.

Dr. Bobby Nisha and Samuel Dent will manage the project tasks and provide necessary guidance to the student. Help in understanding the project’s aims and objectives will be provided, as will advice and guidance on how to undertake the key tasks of the role. The research assistant will be expected to work using their own initiative, but regular meetings with the project team will be arranged to set tasks and priorities, review progress and offer support. Experience in social research methods is essential, and a background in education studies, or sociology is desirable.


Subject to experience and skills, the student researcher will be paid a standard hourly rate under the University’s Casual Worker arrangements (see The rate would be consistent with roles where the worker applies ‘a detailed understanding of an area of work & its principles supported by relevant experience / qualifications’ (currently £13.71/hr).  The student researcher must be eligible to work under the Casual Worker arrangements.

As this is a paid position candidates must demonstrate eligibility to work in the UK, and that this post is suitable within any visa conditions, in line with University HR procedures.


Application Process

You can apply for this job by sending an email to Dr. Bobby Nisha and Samuel dent that includes a CV and a 500 word personal statement. Your personal statement should explain why you’re interested in applying for this job and what skills and experience makes you a suitable candidate.   The deadline for applications is Monday 26th June at 5pm

The interviews will take place on the 29rd of June.

All questions or queries relating to the job and the application process can be directed to Dr. Bobby Nisha and Samuel Dent.








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