Fully-Funded PhD Studentships in Sound Interactions in the Metaverse (SIM)

PLEASE NOTE: The SIM CDT PhD Studentships below have now been allocated. Please check back in the future and follow our social media accounts for further opportunities.

Join a dynamic team of researchers exploring audio for extended reality technologies and the exciting impact it can have on our world.  Three PhD studentships, starting September 2023, based at the University of York covering home fees and a stipend for 3.5 years

SIM is an exciting opportunity to study in a collegiate research environment with world-leading academics, companies and third sector organisations conducting challenge-led research around sound related metaverse technologies. We are looking for a diverse group of motivated candidates interested in building cross-disciplinary skills and expertise linking levels of research across technical development and testing, content design, user experience, and evaluation of broader impact on society. 

The metaverse has been heralded as the third wave of media convergence, and where the real and virtual, physical and digital meet. Now a household term, it encompasses all aspects of extended reality (XR) and supporting technologies (e.g. 5G, AI and Machine Learning). Alongside entertainment, the metaverse is set to significantly impact global industries including healthcare, education and telecommunications. 

Centred around the development of immersive and interactive technologies, this PhD training programme exploits York’s network of audio and related expertise around the metaverse, and collaborative interdisciplinary working. It encompasses a breadth of topics rooted in audio engineering, communications, computer science, gaming, music, arts, education, psychology, linguistics and health sciences.

Through this interdisciplinary programme we will train the next generation of researchers and industry professionals able to make a difference in the metaverse space. The cohort training programme will be designed to up-skill individuals with necessary expertise to conduct cutting edge interdisciplinary research that combines methodologies and approaches from multiple fields including, but not limited to, audio engineering, programming for XRtechnologies, perceptual testing, empirical paradigms for audio research, qualitative and quantitative data analysis etc…

The training programme has significant industry support, with partners including Sonical, Sony Interactive, BBC and many others. Each PhD project is supported by two academic supervisors based at the University of York and an industry partner who will provide support through additional supervision and facilities, with the possibilities of hosted internships within the lifetime of the project.

Why apply to SIM?

The University of York is committed to conducting research that positively impacts people’s lives, and providing equality of opportunity. York is currently holder of the Athena Swan Bronze Award for gender equality in higher education.

The SIM cohort of five PhD students in 2023, growing to eleven in 2024, will receive training in research methods, recording techniques for XR, immersive audio systems, AI and responsible innovation and co-design. You will also develop a personal training plan with your supervisors and industry partner accessing existing taught modules across the University. There will be opportunities to work directly with industry and third sector organisations through placements, research exchanges and knowledge exchange events. 

Click on the PhD’s below to find out more information about the projects and how to apply:

PhD 1: Treating Auditory Hypersensitivity in Autistic Children using Virtual Ambisonics

PhD 2: Effect of Contextual Sound Perception on Metaverse User Experience

PhD 3:  Real-time Hybrid Acoustic Simulation for Metaverse experiences

Who should apply?

Candidates must have (or expect to obtain) a minimum of a UK upper second-class honours degree (2.1) or equivalent and a strong interest and experience in sound and audio technology. Their formal training and qualifications may be in disciplines not directly associated with audio engineering or metaverse technologies. 

We especially welcome applications from candidates belonging to groups that are currently under-represented in metaverse-related industries; these include (but are not limited to: women, individuals from under-represented ethnicities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people from low-income backgrounds, and people with physical disabilities.

How to apply

When applying please select ‘CDT in Sound Interactions in the Metaverse’ as your source of funding. You do not need to provide a research proposal, just enter the name of the project you are applying for. 

You can contact us at pet-sim@york.ac.uk

We expect strong competition and encourage those interested to submit applications as early as possible. The deadline for applications is 12:00 noon (GMT) on Monday 20th March 2023.