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Design Research Intern: Speculative Design at the Human Centered Computing Group

Posted: 13th June 2018

Oxford researchers from the Human Centered Computing group are hiring research interns this summer to assist with core research at the Department of Computer Science.

The role of a design researcher is a challenging and exciting opportunity to be a part of starting a new research project at the HCC group, envisioning the potential of voice assistants---such as Amazon Echo/GoogleHome devices---to deliver new models of parenting interventions for families. You will help us investigate how the shared, situated, and always-on nature of these devices could be co-opted to facilitate parenting / couple interventions that are acceptable and useful for those living with them. Our prevention science partner is Committee for Children, a US-based non-profit developers of a social-emotional learning program used in more than 30% of US schools. 

Practically, you will be expected to drive an initial exploration in this space, including the ideation, development and testing of a range of speculative scenarios or design fiction prototypes; under the mentorship of Max van Kleek (Oxford) and Petr Slovak (UCL). 

We are looking for highly capable and motivated students with relevant experience, ideally current MSc or PhD candidates reading Interaction Design, Human-Computer Interaction, or related disciplines, with previous experience in carrying out speculative design or design fiction studies. Advanced BSc students can be also considered, assuming a strong existing portfolio of related work. 

The post is expected to be full-time, and take place between early July and early September 2018, ​£520 - £650 per week​, depending on experience. The length of the internship could be 6-12 weeks. Additional allowance might be available for applicants not currently based in Oxford to compensate for short term relocation expenses. You will be ideally based in the Department of Computer Science, Wolfson Building, Parks Road. Oxford. OX1 3QD. 

Applications should be submitted to both and, including a 2-page resume, a short description of background and interests, and a link to portfolio of existing projects (if appropriate). 

We will start shortlisting the applicants from 5pm on Friday 22 June.

Selection criteria


        -  Experience with planning, developing, and conducting speculative design
or design fiction studies

        -  Keen interest in Human-Computer Interaction

        -  Ability to work both independently, and together as part of a team

        -  Strong interpersonal communication and time management skills

        -  Enthusiasm and interest in learning new skills, and conducting research


        -  Experience with designing with and for families with young children

        -  Understanding of mental health promotion interventions space, or a minor in psychology.

        -  Proficiency in interviewing and co-design workshop methods and associated analytic techniques (e.g., thematic analysis)

        -  Experience designing user experiences (UX), and building user interfaces (UI)