Research Assistant/Associate in Interaction Design / Human-Computer Interaction

Requisition ID:  27338

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  28 Jun 2024



Research Assistant:£31,396 to £32,982 per annum

Research Associate: £33,966 to £42,978 per annum


Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.


Closing Date: 31 July 2024



We are seeking to recruit an excellent Researcher Assistant/Associate with a background in Interaction Design and/or Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) or related fields (e.g. Computer-Supported-Cooperative Work, Participatory Design, Digital Social Innovation, Transition Design). You will have strong interaction design skills and knowledge of designing digitally supported participatory processes and collaborative interactive civic engagements, alongside practical experience of co-designing with diverse stakeholder communities.  


You will be based in Open Lab, in the School of Computing at Newcastle University, working on the UKRI EPSRC funded project Hydrogen Integration for Accelerated Energy Transition (HI-ACT) Hub.


HI-ACT is an exciting cross-disciplinary consortium, led by University of Birmingham, exploring pathways to net-zero, including scrutiny of hydrogen integration for the energy transition, and mapping the complex relationships, interdependences, risks, expectations and needs of energy citizens and stakeholders. 


You will have knowledge and/or a strong interest in Transition Design and designing for ‘just transitions’. You will be passionate about conducting research that advances the role of design and digital technologies in enabling inclusive democratic practices and collective explorations of pathways towards more sustainable, just and equitable net-zero futures. 


You will be immersed in the cross-disciplinary environment of Open Lab - a world leading HCI research group. You will work closely with other researchers, academics, and partners, to conduct collaborative research to design, deliver and evaluate novel interaction designs for place-based participatory engagements with energy futures in a digital and data-driven age. You will also conduct collaborative research to design, test and evaluate novel digital tools to support planning to net-zero.


You will work closely with the projects’ external non-academic partners, who will provide real-world contexts and settings for the research. You will be supported throughout by the HI-ACT project’s academic team, who will provide ongoing mentoring and guidance to deliver research with external partners. 


It is expected that this position will spend all their time working on the UKRI EPSRC funded project HI-ACT, including contributing to wider engagements and dissemination activities.


You will have a unique role as a researcher leading, and supporting research in interaction design that creatively uses a range of resources, including data, to support place-based critical engagements with energy futures. You will also conduct research exploring the design of responsible human-data interactions to support planning to net-zero. You will support the development of research activities with collaborations across the UKRI EPSRC funded projects and their networks, highlighting positive computing and sustainable patterns of engagement. You will benefit from being based within the multi-award-winning Urban Sciences Building on the Newcastle Helix site, a ‘living laboratory’ and an exemplar of sustainable urban development in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne.


This position is expected to start around mid-October on a full time, fixed term basis for 20 months post start date (with possibility of this being extended). 


For all informal enquiries about this position, please contact Dr Clara Crivellaro


For more information about Newcastle Universities HI-ACT, please click here


For more information about the School of Computing and our research, please click here


Key Accountabilities
•    Work with UKRI EPSRC funded HI-ACT team ( Dr Clara Crivellaro and other academics) at Open Lab in the School of Computing, on user research, interaction design, implementation and evaluation of digitally supported participatory processes to enable place-based engagements with energy futures to develop pathways for just transitions and collaborative digital tools to support planning to net-zero
•    Design and facilitate stakeholders’ and community engagement activities throughout all stages of projects – to understand problem spaces, define requirements for design, and iteratively evaluate design solutions
•    Explore and use novel participatory futuring methods, design methods in relevant application areas to develop requirements for design
•    Lead and contribute to co-design activities, novel interaction design, digital prototype development, deployment and evaluations in relevant application areas
•    Lead and contribute to the data collection, as well as to the qualitative and quantitative analysis of user studies with research collaborators throughout all stages of projects
•    Support the development and implementation of research proposals with a focus on building a self-directed research agenda
•    Play a leading role in the dissemination of research results, including academic publications, white papers, reports and public outreach communication activities
•    Contribute to the organisation and delivery of research and public engagement events run by UKRI EPSRC HI-ACT (, the School of Computing Science (

The Person
Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

•    Demonstrable knowledge and skills of Interaction Design, Human-Centred Design, Participatory Design and/or co-design of interactive technologies
•    Knowledge of Transition Design or designing for just transitions
•    Knowledge of Participatory Futures methods and/or Digital Democratic Innovations
•    Demonstrable hands-on experience in designing and evaluating interactive digital technologies for civic engagements and/or designing and developing Human-Data Interaction systems
•    Demonstrable hands-on experience of using design methods and designing and conducting workshops with communities and stakeholders to co-develop requirements for design of interactive digital systems
•    Demonstrable experience in design and prototyping tools such as Adobe creative suite, Figma (or equivalent)
•    Experience in working in interdisciplinary environments
•    Excellent written and oral communication skills
•    Demonstrable knowledge of qualitative and quantitative data analysis and evaluation skills
•    Track record of leading publication(s) at internationally leading venues
•    Interpersonal skills and demonstrable experience of communicating complex information with clarity and to encourage commitment of others


•    Programming skills (e.g. web application development: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, responsive design; Python, Ruby or Java; and/or mobile dev, C#, Swift etc.) 
•    Physical Computing skills (Arduino, Maker space skills – e.g. 3D fabrication, tooling) 
•    Experience in place-based research 
•    Hands-on experience in designing data visualisation 


Attributes and Behaviour

•    Ability to work on own initiative and prioritise tasks (time management)
•    Ability to work independently, and flexibly as part of a multi-disciplinary team and contribute to the development of effective and mutually supportive working relationships and practices
•    Willingness to support public engagement activities

•    Collegial and has ‘can do’ attitude

•    Ability to manage (parts of) projects and research team leadership



•    PhD or equivalent in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Interaction Design, Computer Science, or related field (awarded or close to submission)

Newcastle University is a global University where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


We are committed to being a fully inclusive university which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all of our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing teams, we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and experiences reflect the diversity of our university and student population.


At Newcastle University we hold a silver Athena Swan award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  We also hold a Race Equality Charter Bronze award in recognition of our work towards tackling race inequality in higher education REC.  We are a Disability Confident employer and will offer an interview to disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role as part of the offer and interview scheme.


In addition, we are a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe. 

Requisition ID: 27338