PhD Position: VR Accessibility
We are looking for a PhD student with an interest in Virtual Reality and accessibility to join our group. The proposed PhD project is focused on the accessibility of Virtual Reality (VR) for people with physical disability, and asks questions around how the technology can facilitate an equitable experience. It combines a participatory design process with the development of concrete hardware and software prototypes of accessible VR that are tailored to specific user groups, and encompasses both playful and productive perspectives on VR. More concretely, the PhD research will entail the following aspects:
- Designing and carrying out interviews, focus groups, and workshops with and for disabled people with a focus on VR accessibility.
- Developing hardware and software prototypes in co-creative processes, illustrating possible variants of VR that are more accessible than the state of the art.
- Carrying out user studies that evaluate the experience that is provided by the prototypes, and deriving recommendations for the design of accessible VR.
Suitable candidates will have previous experience and/or an interest in the following:
- A background in Computer Science, Engineering, or a related discipline. Strong programming skills in an object-oriented language (e.g., C#/C++) are essential for this PhD. Previous experience in VR development (e.g., using Unity) and/or experience in hardware prototyping (e.g., Arduino, 3D printing, ...) is a plus.
- An interest or first experience in working with people, for example, in the context of design sessions, or as part of evaluation studies, and openness to engage in interdisciplinary research together with a team of colleagues.
- Working command of the English language. Knowing German is no firm requirement, but would be helpful when working with stakeholders not part of the university.
- Showing kindness toward yourself, your colleagues, and the people involved in the research, and willingness to join us in the creation of an inclusive and welcoming work environment.
The position is fully funded for four years (salary category TV-L 13 if all requirements are fulfilled).
For questions about the position or project, please contact Kathrin Gerling via kathrin.gerling∂kit.edu. To apply, please send your CV, a copy of your MSc transcripts (can be preliminary), a letter of motivation and names of two referees to myriam.barth∂kit.edu and kathrin.gerling∂kit.edu, subject: "PhD Application VR Accessibility". Please send all documents in PDF format. Review of applications will start on August 31st, 2023.