|Location:||Exeter, Queensland – Australia|
|Funding for:||UK Students, EU Students, International Students|
|Funding amount:||£15,609 pa|
|Placed On:||12th April 2021|
|Closes:||24th May 2021|
The University of Exeter and University of Queensland are seeking exceptional students to join a world-leading, cross-continental research team tackling major challenges facing the world’s population in global sustainability and wellbeing as part of the QUEX Institute. The joint PhD programme provides a fantastic opportunity for the most talented doctoral students to work closely with world-class research groups and benefit from combined expertise and facilities offered at the two institutions, with a lead supervisor within each university. This prestigious programme provides full tuition fees, stipend, travel funds and research training support grants to successful applicants. The studentship provides funding for up to 42 months (3.5 years).
Eight generous, fully-funded studentships are available for the best applicants, four offered by University of Exeter and four by University of Queensland. This select group will spend at least one year at each University and will graduate with a joint degree from the University of Exeter and University of Queensland.
Understanding crisis-driven decision-making is valuable crisis mitigation. Finding new solutions to global crises relies on quality of decision-making and rates of social change (Decision Making in Social Sciences: Between Traditions and Innovations, 2020). This mixed-method study uses social science and design processes to produce and assess 17 board-game strategies representing each of the UN Sustainability Goals. Observations during gameplay provide insights into social and environmental decision-making of a broad cross-section of UK/Australian participants.
Board-games provide tactile face-to-face settings where participants exchange ideas and collaboratively solve a set of given problems promoting problematisation and simulating a set of conditions that safely immerse participants in unfamiliar territory (Weder et al 2019). i.e. by playing with the dynamics of UN Sustainability Goal No: 13 Climate Action and journeying through lived experiences of those on the frontline of climate change, game participants are inherently more informed/motivated to problem-solve.
Design and assess impact of a set of sustainability-themed games, providing an opportunity for participants to solve global sustainability problems.
Produce new useful new data in field of positive behaviour change through three work packages (WPs).
Approaches and Methods
WP1: Co-creating games
The social design process will be undertaken by you and coordinated by the University of Exeter and University of Queensland supervisors. Game design strategies, objects and narratives will provide a set of sustainability problems taken from lived experiences of people on the frontline of change. Ethnographic and participant observation, unstructured interviews, conversation analysis, and focus groups are conducted during 4 workshops (2 in each country) for each of the 17 UN Sustainability Goals.
WP2: Performing/assessing games
Participant recruitment is conducted via a social media digital campaign. Games (also suitable for primary and secondary school children) are played four times by teams of four adults. Point systems, including a subset of choices, pitfalls and wins are embedded within game design, applying economic-game theory models, and speculative creative processes. Qualitative observations and surveys are conducted before, during and after gameplay. Videography contributes to a documentary detailing project progression and outcomes in WP3.
Through a design thinking cycle, results contribute to new game strategies, which begin visualising the decision-making of a broad participant segment, becoming a series of potentially new social and environmental models. Published research showcases QUEX collaboration and novel mixed-method approach through selected transdisciplinary journals and coincides with a final exhibition/event and documentary.