Research Fellow in Sonification Design and Aesthetics

Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear
£35,844 - £40,322
14 Sep 2020
End of advertisement period
20 Sep 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

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RADICAL (‘A Radical New Interdisciplinary Space for Sonification’) is a Research Project Grant funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The grant is held and managed by Dr Paul Vickers in the Department of Computer & Information sciences at Northumbria University with co-investigators at nearby Newcastle University.

Sonification is the use of non-speech audio to communicate data and data relations (like a Geiger counter for data) but, unlike information visualisation, is still not widely used. The sonification research community's understanding of the roles played by embodied perception, spatial considerations, and aesthetics in our listening to, and perception of, sonification is very limited. These aspects of sonification cannot be addressed except through an interdisciplinary approach, and this project draws together proven experts in computer science, sonification, listening and perception,ethnography, music composition, and aesthetics to foster a fundamentally new understanding from which to derive concrete guidelines for better sonification design.

Making use of Northumbria’s IKO icosahedral loudspeaker (which is the only one in the UK) the aim of this project is to conduct a comprehensive study of sonification making and listening to form a fundamental understanding of the relationships between sonifications, their designers, and their listeners and to stimulate are vitalised agenda for sonification research and practice. The interdisciplinary nature of the project team will enable us to develop a new theory of sonification listening and to derive an aesthetics of sonification which, up till now, has no accepted definition. These outcomes will be important in formulating a new framework for successful sonification design.

We are seeking one Research Fellow (RF) at Northumbria to work on the RADICAL project with a primary focus on the design and implementation of data sonifications. You will likely have a technical background in computer science or human-computer interaction and a demonstrable interest in sonification, sonic interaction design, or digital audio.

In addition, the project is recruiting a research associate at Newcastle University with a focus on ethnographic evaluation of technologically-mediated musical and sonic arts practice. A degree of familiarity with, or ability to adapt to the basics of the Newcastle focus will be significant in developing interdisciplinary collaboration with the Newcastle team.

This is an exciting opportunity to collaborate on a new area of interdisciplinary research.

Since the research conducted across RADICAL is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary you will have demonstrable interest to work in an interdisciplinary team. The Northumbria RF is expected to work closely with their counterpart at Newcastle and should be (or be willing to become) conversant with methods of ethnographic research, experimental musics/sonic arts, and Research through Design.

Excellent communication skills are essential. Experience and familiarity with research funding would be beneficial.

The CV of the successful candidate will be sent to Leverhulme for approval before the appointment is confirmed.

See the project webpage at for more information about the RADICAL project.

For an informal discussion about the Northumbria post, contact Paul Vickers at For further information about the Newcastle RA position, please see Newcastle University’s vacancies page.

To apply for this vacancy please click 'Apply Now', and submit a Covering Letter and your CV, including a full list of publications where relevant and any documents specifically requested in the Role Description and Person Specification, such as a sample of written work or journal article.

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values,the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Please note this vacancy will close on 20/09/2020