PhD candidate sought for research on the smart home and Internet of Things

Are you interested in understanding how smart homes, automated devices and the Internet of (household) things are changing ways of life? We are seeking a PhD candidate to join an Australian Research Council social science research project on Automating the Smart Home at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. The project is based in the school of Global Urban and Social Studies. Applicants with a background in social science disciplines are encouraged to apply.

Prospective candidates are invited to address or adapt one or more of the following research questions in their proposal:

  •  How are new smart home applications (on smart phones/ devices etc.) changing household practices and expectations?
  • How is the Internet of Things changing the spatial and temporal configuration of home/ work/ leisure practices?
  • The Internet of Things has been described as the next technology ‘revolution’? How does it compare to the mid-20th Century industrial revolution of the home?
  • How are expectations of comfort, convenience, cleanliness, entertainment or security changing in relation to new smart home technologies?
  • How do the smart home visions imagine and promote future lifestyles? Are these sustainable/ unsustainable?
  • (How) are smart home technologies gendered, and what does this mean for the visions and practices that emerge through their development?

Applicants can focus on the smart home as a broad category, or on a specific smart home appliance/ devices, such as automated vacuum cleaners, air-conditioners, smart home ‘control centres’ or lighting systems. Applications that incorporate international or cross-cultural comparisons are also welcome. There is scope for applicants to develop a project that aligns closely with their interests.

The successful candidate will work alongside Yolande Strengers and Larissa Nicholls in the Beyond Behaviour Change Research Program (http://www.rmit.edu.au/research/urban/beyondbehaviour), Centre for Urban Research, School of Global Urban and Social Studies. Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their application with Yolande (yolande.strengersATrmit.edu.au)  prior to submission through the RMIT application process.

Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree with First Class Honours or equivalent in Sociology, Geography or a related humanities/ social science discipline.

For more information on how to apply and the conditions of the scholarships see:
Local students: URL: http://www1.rmit.edu.au/scholarships/rps
International students: URL: http://www1.rmit.edu.au/scholarships/rpis

Interested applicants will need to submit their application to RMIT University by 30 October 2015 (http://www.rmit.edu.au/research/phds-and-other-research-degrees/how-to-apply/)

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