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Research Fellow - InBodied Interaction: Towards Health Resilient Interactive Technologies to #makeNormalBetter for All at Scale

Agents, Interactions & Complexity

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £30,942 to £32,817 Pro rata per annum
Full Time - Fixed Term for 1 year
Closing Date:  Sunday 23 February 2020
Interview Date:   Wednesday 11 March 2020
Reference:  1233520FP

Project Overview: http://wellthlab.soton.ac.uk/HRIT

PROJECT FOCUS: #MakeNormalBetter!!
 How can interactive technology, from individual to infrastructure, help people FEEL better? That is, support people gaining the knowledge skills and practice to FEEL better, anytime, anywhere.

Perspective: This project is the un-tracker of health tech. We are focused on tools that are used the least amount of time possible. We are looking to understand the minimal data dose to support building the self-knowledge needed to become the Bear Grylls of one’s own health. 

Imagine technology that helps people build knowledge skills and practices about how much movement of what kind they need in a given scenario to feel great; how to balance this effort with current workplace stresses and achieving quality recovery/sleep; where they also have skills to engage well with others and are regularly learn new things. What interactive technology innovations will support that quality of life, from individual interaction to infrastructure?

Project Strands and Applicant Skills
 Our goal in this project is to develop in bodied interaction – that is, to design tools aligned with how the body performs optimally to support scalable wellbeing. The project has three strands:

  1. Strand 1: Develop Passive interaction tools to support optimal human performance leveraging environmental factors of light, air, microbiome. EG: using light for circadian alignment for cognitive performance without sleep disruption.

Strand 1 studies will likely include AR/VR technologies and formal lab-based studies – possibly leveraging eeg/hrv and related physiological monitoring, as well as field work to assess interaction effects on performance of intervention. Applicants need basic CS/HCI skills and a passion to learn new techniques like EEG monitoring, cognitive executive functioning assessments

  1. Strand 2: Build Individual Health Exploration Tools to help people explore and test for themselves knowledge skills and practices that will enable them to THRIVE in health-challenging contexts.
    Strand 2 will involve field studies, interviews, surveys etc. to roll into app/web service development / deployment. AI/ML knowledge along with data integration will likely be helpful. For example, if a tool needs to explore data to find opportunities/times for skills practice, and interact with a person around this scheduling, and then help support the person explore the practice, data processing/decision support seems a Good Thing. The more skills you have, the more options for the tools we’ll develop.  
  2. Strand 3: Explore build and test tools to support Groups Creating and Owning Their Own Health Cultures.
    Strand 3 will likely bring together Strand 1 and Strand 2, for example to innovate some intriguing tangibles into the mix. The strand will literally explore: what’s in the box – what are a set of tools with instructions like IKEA flat packs on how to explore, test and build a health culture in a group -say a work group? How within this group exploration create the data/evidence an organisation may need to make decisions to support these new practices? 

Methodology: co-design with our stakeholders towards human-centered, innovative technology/service/infrastructure development, from software to hardware (life beyond apps alone). In-the-field studies. 

Stakeholders – The project has a broad array of groups participating in the strands. RFs will also be ensuring that in each strand we have Open to the Public, citizen-as-scientist versions of tools running to enable as much engagement and feedback as possible.

APPLICANTS need both great computer science/HCI skills, but also commitment, passion, creativity, patience, to create and evaluate methods and tools for interactive tech to help real people thrive.

RELATED KNOWLEDGE – This project is situated in HEALTH – inbodied interaction is about aligning how we as humans work with how the technology works. If this knowledge is not there already, prospective RFs will need to be interested in developing working knowledge of inbodied sciences (as per https://wellthlab.soton.ac.uk/in5-2019). 

PRACTICE – Given the subject matter focus, it would not be surprising for applicants to have their own physical practices and interests in health and wellbeing: they think about how they move, eat, engage with others, learn new things, sleep. They may even have or have had coaching in these areas or taken courses in sports science, for example. 

Project Mission: OVERALL GOALS/DELIVERABLES of the Project:

  • To engage real people, across demographics, in co-design of inbodied interactive tech that will empower individuals and groups to feel better; that will help real people explore the knowledge, skills and practice to know how to feel better, across contexts, any time; anywhere. 
  • To have generated the insights from our studies and deployments to inform policy, to support infrastructure to support and sustain health and wellbeing for all. 
  • To create tools that make building personal and social health resilience normal, scalable, useful, usable, better. 

Project webpagehttps://wellthlab.soton.ac.uk/HRIT - questions? hrit-rf@nopain2.org

We have two posts so we can load balance skills. The combination to deliver the above includes Computer Science/Electronics skills for software/hardware development, as well as experience in designing studies, engaging with real people, and embracing measures like statistics. Such combinations usually mean a PhD in Computer Science within Human Computer Interaction.

Applications will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

You should submit your completed online application form online at www.jobs.soton.ac.uk. The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Daniel Ward (Recruitment team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 7749 Please quote vacancy reference number 1233520FP on all correspondence. 


The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

Further details:

We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Please note that applications from agencies will not be accepted unless indicated in the job advert.


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