This opportunity is now closed.

Funded PhD Opportunity

Communicating the built environment: testing assumptions of how experts and non-experts process development visualisations in consultation processes

Subject: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning


Summary

This PhD explores technical processes of consultation in urban regeneration in the context of increasingly complex art work – including virtual reality simulation – and data visualisation.  Indeed, big data has a key role in the planning and delivery of resilient cities that are smart and inclusive. Reflecting societal changes in the use of social media, location information and scenario testing, built environment decision makers are deploying innovative methods to engage with stakeholders.  These include methods previously the preserve of mega development schemes or which technologically were simply not possible. Examples here include interactive 3D models; GIS-based map viewers; online consultations based on identifying user preferences; and dynamic video representations of proposed development schemes.

As the power of computing / information technologies grows exponentially, so too does the pace of creating and marketing new products, both in terms of hardware (tablet PCs; smart phones) and software (various apps).  This raises a variety of issues including data accessibility and privacy. However, there is a more fundamental question: are the assumptions around the human process and consumption of built environment visualisations correct? In other words, is there is a mismatch between how design ideas are developed and communicated by experts – architects, urban planners, surveyors, engineers – and how non-experts receive and understand these ideas? Innovative technologies have recently emerged in discipline areas outside of urban planning that are capable of quantifying the extent to which these new methods assist in stakeholder understanding and engagement of development proposals.

The Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment (BSABE) has recently invested in this technology. It is anticipated the doctoral research linked to this project will make extensive use of these facilities.  Empirical research data will also be collected through a variety of supporting means, such as interviews with stakeholders and practitioners.


Essential criteria

  • To hold, or expect to achieve by 15 August, an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC) in a related or cognate field.
  • Clearly defined research proposal detailing background, research questions, aims and methodology

Funding

    The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

    Vice Chancellors Research Studentship (VCRS)

    Full award (full-time PhD fees + DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £15,000 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Bursary (VCRB)

    Part award (full-time PhD fees + 50% DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £7,500 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fees Bursary (VCRFB)

    Fees only award (PhD fees + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Department for the Economy (DFE)

    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £ 15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to: www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/postgraduate-research/fees-and-funding/financing-your-studies


Other information


The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Key dates

Submission deadline
Friday 7 February 2020

Interview Date
Week beginning 9th March 2020


Applying

Apply Online  


Campus

Jordanstown campus

Jordanstown campus
The largest of Ulster's campuses


Contact supervisor

Dr Neale Blair


Other supervisors

Related Funded Opportunities

Architecture, Built Environment and Planning

Subject: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning

 View details