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Programme Description

PhD Intelligent Mobility

The Intelligent Mobility Design Centre PhD programme aims to develop independent researchers creating future mobility solutions.

We welcome proposals that explore mobility within the themes of Automotive Transitions, People and Places, and Humanising Technology (see below). Candidates are jointly attached to the Intelligent Mobility Design Centre and an associated RCA programme / school. We accept PhD research by project or thesis. Please see this link for more details on application for PhD research to the RCA, including key dates, particularly the round 2 application deadline of Wednesday 5 February 2020, 11:59pm (GMT). 

Find out more about the Intelligent Mobility PhD Programme at the Research Centres PhD Programmes Open Evening on Wednesday 22 January, 2020.

  • Automotive Transitions

Vehicles, formerly conceived as products, are becoming elements of a service and aspects of the complete mobility experience. Research topics could include but are not limited to designing experiences and behaviours for driverless and shared rides, alternative vehicle types and typologies, car culture paradigm shifts, future manufacturing and materials.

  • People and Places

Mobility is inseparable from its environment. Future mobility will fundamentally change the relationship we have with our cities and suburbs, with our homes, work and play. Research topics could include but are not limited to end-to-end journeys, inclusive design approaches for smart city mobility, mobility solutions for fast growing cities and emerging economies, and urban design.

  • Humanising Technology

The role of design in satisfying human needs in multiple ways including the functional, the aesthetic, and the expressive. Research topics could include but are not limited to creating meaningful experiences, Human Factors, design for ageing populations, and Human Machine Interaction.

Entrance Requirements

Applicants must normally have obtained a good relevant undergraduate degree or an equivalent qualification. An MA, MRes or other research preparation is also desirable. The College recognises as an equivalent qualification any degree, diploma, certificate or other evidence of formal qualification awarded by a university or other higher education establishment, where the award is made following the successful completion of a course of at least three years’ study, the programme of research being open, as a general rule, only to persons holding a certificate awarded on the successful completion of a full course of upper secondary education. 

Exceptionally, other qualifications may be approved, providing that the Academic Board for Concessions and Discipline (ABCD) is satisfied that the applicant has the ability to pursue the programme of research successfully.

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate that they have a very good knowledge of the English language. Candidates who do not speak English as their first language will be required to provide evidence that within the previous two years they have achieved an IELTS score of at least 7.0 with 7.0 in writing, or equivalent for PhD.

How to Apply

Applicants must complete and submit an online admissions application via the RCA online application system. Applicants will need to register on the system to create an account.

Selecting the programme to apply to:

  • Under Programme Name select ‘PhD, Intelligent Mobility Design Centre’
  • Select the start date (2020/21) and read the on-screen information about how to progress through the application.
Your proposal should include the following elements (1,000 words maximum):

  • Title
  • Introduction
  • Research background and questions
  • Key texts and approaches in the field
  • What your project may contribute to existing work in the field?
  • How does it extend our understanding of particular questions or topics?
  • Research methods
  • What resources will you use or need?
  • Any organisations you have approached to undertake research with
  • How will you set about answering your research questions?
  • Schedule of work (within three to four years - full time)
  • Bibliography in a standard format such as Harvard

Please see section 7 of the RCA’s webpage on applying for PhD research for more details on writing the research proposal. 

Please note the Intelligent Mobility Design Centre does not offer funding for PhD research. Successful applicants and candidates will need to source their own funding. Funding opportunities at the RCA can be found here.

For further information, email: [email protected]