Skip to main content

Building an Inclusive Metaverse

We are recruiting new Doctoral Researchers to our EPSRC funded Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) PhD studentships starting 1 October 2023. Applications are invited for the project Building an Inclusive Metaverse


Successful applicants will receive an annual stipend (bursary) of approximately £19,668, including inner London weighting, plus payment of their full-time home tuition fees for a period of 42 months (3.5 years).

You should be eligible for home (UK) tuition fees there are a very limited number (no more than three) of studentships available to overseas applicants, including EU nationals, who meet the academic entry criteria including English Language proficiency.

You will join the internationally recognised researchers in the School of Design

The Project

This PhD project will apply the principles of inclusive design in researching and developing the human-computer interaction (HCI) software solutions to facilitate the accessibility and inclusivity of the Metaverse for people with disabilities and older people.

The project will build upon two other EPSRC-funded research projects by the Brunel Design School: Inclusive Immersion and Towards an Equitable Social VR. Both projects are carried out by Brunel Digital Design Lab (Add Link: <>) in collaboration with a number of external partners, including the Engineering Design Centre at the University of Cambridge, Meta, Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Digital Catapult, Open Inclusion and Games London.

Please contact Dr Vanja Garaj at for an informal discussion about the studentships.



Applicants will have or be expected to receive a first or upper-second class honours degree in an Engineering, Computer Science, Design or Business. A Postgraduate Masters degree is not required but may be an advantage.

Skills and Experience

The successful candidate will have the educational background in computer science, engineering and/or design, coupled with a strong interest in the immersive XR technologies of VR, AR and MR. In addition, the project requires a good level of the pre-existing programming skills in Unity and/or Unreal Engine and the ambition to develop these skills further as the project unfolds.

How to apply

There are two stages of the application:

1.Applicants must submit the pre-application form via the following link

by 16.00 on Friday 26th May 2023.

2.If you are shortlisted for the interview, you will be asked to email the following documentation in a single PDF file to within 24hrs.

  • Your up-to-date CV;
  • Your Undergraduate degree certificate(s) and transcript(s) essential;
  • Your Postgraduate Masters degree certificate(s) and transcript(s) if applicable;
  • Your valid English Language qualification of IELTS 6.5 overall (minimum 6.0 in each section) or equivalent, if applicable;
  • Contact details for TWO referees, one of which can be an academic member of staff in the College.


Applicants should therefor ensure that they have all of this information in case they are shortlisted.


Interviews will take place in June 2023.


Meet the Supervisor(s)

Vanja Garaj - Reader in Design, Director of Research for Brunel Design School and Module Leader for DM5544 Design Innovation Futures (MSc Integrated Product Design, MA Design Strategy and Innovation and MSc Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Design) and DM5545 Design and Branding Futures (MA Design and Branding Strategy) modules. Previously, Head of Department of Design (2018 - 2021) and Director of Postgraduate Research for Design. Before joining Brunel Design in 2017, Programme Director for MSc Digital Design and Branding in Digital Media Subject Area, Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Brunel, leading a range of modules on digital design at postgraduate and undergraduate levels—covering product, service and graphic design aspects. Teaching promotes goal-oriented experimentation, while placing emphasis on the design process and practice-based approach in collaboration with industry. Co-ordinated a number of live student briefs, across design fields, with organisations including Cancer Research UK, NHS, Pan Macmillan, Help for Heroes, Friends of the Elderly, Corney & Barrow, Shell, Ibis and BT.