Fully Funded PhD Scholarship in Computer Science-Human Computer Interaction

[The use of the Metaverse to facilitate well-being in distance education]

Northeastern University London > Faculty of Computing, Maths, Engineering and Natural Sciences

Deadline: 16th June 2023

Funded PhD Project (UK or International Students)

Funding provider: Northeastern University London (NU London)

Subject areas: Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Psychology, Education

Project start date: 2nd October 2023

Supervisors (*lead):

  • Dr Sian Joel-Edgar* (Northeastern University London)
  • Dr Jim Ang (University of Kent)

Aligned programme of study: PhD in Computer Science

Mode of study: Full-time

Northeastern UniversityLondon

As part of a major investment, Northeastern University London (NU London) has multiple, fully-funded PhD studentships available to accelerate its interdisciplinary research in the humanities, social sciences and digital sciences. Each scholarship is fully-funded for three and a half years (UKRI rates) and includes fees, an annual stipend, an additional London allowance and associated costs, such as training.

NU London is both a UK university governed by UK higher education regulations, and the European campus of Northeastern University – a large, top-tier research intensive, Boston-based institution. Founded in 1898, Northeastern received $230.7m of external research funding in 2022, and is the recognized leader in experience-driven lifelong learning. It has campuses across the United States and Canada (in Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; Portland, Maine; Oakland, California; San Francisco; Seattle; Silicon Valley; Arlington, Virginia; the Massachusetts communities of Burlington and Nahant; Toronto and Vancouver). Whilst the PhD will be a UK qualification, students will have the opportunity to engage with and visit the Northeastern University network overseas as part of their London-based doctoral studies, providing a truly unique and highly sought-after dimension to their research training.

The Project

Distance education provides convenient and remote access to knowledge, but it often leaves students feeling isolated due to studying in different locations. This isolation negatively impacts learner well-being. To combat this issue, the Metaverse offers a three-dimensional shared space that fosters closer interaction among learners compared to traditional online distance learning. Using virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and blockchain technology, the Metaverse creates a simulated version of the real world. In this shared virtual space, users can engage, socialize, play games, hold meetings, and learn together in an immersive online 3D reality.

The PhD will consider how the Metaverse impacts on a learner’s well-being. It will also look at the role the Metaverse can play in increasing well-being for people in educational settings. The work will build upon research and theories from HCI, technology adoption and socio-technical systems. It is envisaged that the PhD will produce a greater understanding of how to use the Metaverse to improve well-being in distance education.

The successful candidates will:

  • Have a proven, strong educational background in computer science or a related subject (see eligibility criteria)
  • Be excited and inspired by the proposed project area
  • Be a self-starter
  • Have good communication skills
  • Have an inquiring mind and be willing to challenge themselves

The successful candidates will benefit from Northeastern University London’s brand new campus on the banks of the River Thames next to Tower Bridge, an interdisciplinary, vibrant research environment, international collaboration and networking opportunities, dedicated research space, and a highly experienced, multi-institution supervisory team from NU London and the University of Kent.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed at the end of June. Candidates are welcome to contact the NU London supervisor with informal enquiries before the application deadline 16th June 2023: ([email protected])


  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject (Computer science, Information Technology, Information Systems) – 2:1 or 1st (essential)
  • Master’s degree in a relevant subject (optional)
  • Knowledge of psychology and education (optional)

English Language requirements:

If applicable – IELTS 6.5 overall (with a score of at least 6.5 in each individual component) or equivalent.


Applications are open to UK and international students. Please indicate if you are likely to require a visa on your application form. We are not able to support visa costs.


This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees, an annual stipend and an additional London allowance (set at UKRI rates) for 3.5 years. For the 2022/2023 academic year the annual stipend is £20,722 (£18,622 UKRI stipend plus £2,100 London allowance). Annual increments will be in line with UKRI rates.

International travel

Students will have the optional opportunity to travel to Northeastern University in North America to further their research training and experience.

How to Apply

Please submit a CV and a 1-page covering letter stating how you meet the requirements and why you are interested in the proposed research project. Please also include transcripts of your qualifications (incl. English, if applicable) with your submission. Applications should be made via the jobs.ac apply button (above). Please reference your application ‘PSCH0623’.

View or Apply
To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your cover/motivation letter where (globalvacancies.org) you saw this job posting.

Job Location