Call for PhD project proposals:
Sound Interactions in the Metaverse Mini Centre for Doctoral Training

4 funded PhDs studentships available

Note that these studentships cover home fees and stipend (international fee waivers may be available but this is not guaranteed)

Sound Interactions in the Metaverse Mini Centre for Doctoral Training

The rapid speed of metaverse development presents major challenges for academia, industry and other stakeholders. This mini CDT seeks to address these challenges through a cohort of students working on interdisciplinary projects related to sound in the metaverse, to fill the necessary pipeline of skills and expertise that is currently lacking in both academia and industry.

Centred around the development of immersive and interactive technologies, this CDT will exploit York’s network of audio and related expertise around the metaverse, and build a wider network of collaborative interdisciplinary working across the University in this area. Projects will encompass a breadth of topics including but not limited to audio engineering, communications, computer science, gaming, music, arts, education, psychology, linguistics and health sciences. Core to all these topics are issues around the exploitation and ethical implications of metaverse technologies.

We welcome projects that address different levels of audio research driven by multidisciplinary challenges identified through external partners: from foundational Technical Development, including core technologies, frameworks, and workflows; through Content Creation and Evaluation, driven by new technologies and application areas; and Testing and Perception, with metaverse technologies currently developing faster than robust paradigms to effectively understand our interactions with them. 

Project requirements

To ensure equity across the cohort the hosting department (where the primary supervisor is based) must be prepared to support SIM students by providing a University and a research allowance of £4500 for the duration of their 3.5 year course to cover conference travel and registration costs and other consumables as required.

All SIM CDT students will have hot desks in the AudioLab in Genesis 6 so not desk space is required within the departments.

Project proposals must:

  • be supported by two academic supervisors based at the University of York
  • Be interdisciplinary 
  • Be aligned with the theme of sound associated with metaverse technologies 
  • Be supported by a relevant external partner

The partner contributions may include support through additional supervision, use of  facilities, hosting the student within the lifetime of the project. (note that these studentships are for 3.5 years of funding, no additional time is included for industry placements). In-kind support should be specified.

The training programme already has significant industry support, with partners including EA Games, Sony Interactive, BBC and many others. 

Preference will be given to projects that (through co-supervision across departments):

  • Support ECRs, 
  • Support under-represented groups in the relevant field, 
  • Are cross department / faculty 
  • Directly address issues of ethics, equality, diversity and inclusion.

How to Apply

Applications should be submitted via the GoogleForm by 9am November 13th.

The following information will be requested:

  • Project Title
  • Supervisor details
    • 1st and 2nd supervisor name and Department
    • Supervisor Expertise (1000 characters)
    • Why are they suitable to supervise the project?
  • Short project summary (max 1250 characters)
  • Project description  (max 5000 characters)
    • Please provide a description of the project  that is accessible for readership outside your own particular discipline. Include: What is the project about? Why is the project important and original? What are the key research questions to be addressed? Outline of research likely to be undertaken – the data to be collected and studied; the type of approach or analysis to be used etc. How is the project interdisciplinary?Where is the scope for the student to shape the project?
  • Fit to Sound Interactions in the Metaverse theme (2500 characters)
  • External Partner
    • Name and contact of supervisor
    • Nature / activities of the organisation (1500 characters)
    • Project Partner Role in the Project (Max 2500 characters)
      • the relevance of the project to the partner’s priorities and stakeholder needs.
      • how the partner will be involved in the project
      • the opportunity the relationship affords the student and the partner
  • Partner contributions
    • Please provide details of the contribution of the partner to the project (including a value for in-kind and / or cash support)
  • Project Partner Role in the Project (Max 2500 characters)
    • the relevance of the project to the partner’s priorities and stakeholder needs.
    • how the partner will be involved in the project
    • the opportunity the relationship affords the student and the partner
  • Departmental Support
    • Please confirm that the hosting Department/School has agreed to support a SIM student, providing a laptop and a research allowance of £4500 over the lifetime of the project. (It is the first supervisor’s responsibility to confirm this with the relevant person in their department)

Assessment Criteria

All proposals will be scored independently by the panel to guide discussion. All proposals will be discussed on their merit based on the criteria below (each with a score out of 5 where 1 = unfundable and 5 = outstanding). Where projects score equally, distribution of funding will be prioritized to balance projects across faculties and the objectives of the CDT.

  • Academic quality of the proposal
    • Reasonable and addressable research questions
    • A Feasible project plan with scope for the student to shape it to be their own.
      • The research directly addresses Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (not scored but will be prioritized where two projects are scored equally)
  • Alignment of topic to the SIM CDT 
    • Is the case justified that the research fits within the Sound Interactions in the Metaverse remit? (
  • Interdisciplinary approach
    • Evidence of interdisciplinary perspectives, skills and approaches   
  • Suitability of the supervisors to supervise the project
    • Do the supervisors have the relevant background to supervise the project?
    • Do the supervisors have contrasting but complementary skills to adequately support the student in the interdisciplinary research?
    • (Support of Early Career Researchers will be prioritized)
  • Integration of external partner into research plan
    • Is the project driven by stakeholder needs (as confirmed / identified by partner)?
    • Does the project support the partner’s priorities?
    • Does the project plan integrate mutually beneficial partner contributions?