Job: PhD Position on “Design Fictions In VR” project at KU Leuven, Belgium

PhD Position: Design Fictions In Virtual Reality
KU Leuven, Belgium
(ref. BAP-2018-64)

Deadline: 1 April, 2018

The Artificial Realities and Interactive Ambients (ARIA – team is a new initiative within the Human-Computer Interaction research group at the Department of Computer Science of KU Leuven. Our goal is to start a new Virtual Reality research team in the heart of Europe. We are looking for a new PhD student.

Apply at:


In the past decades, HCI researchers have been frequently inspired by portrayals of fictional technologies in media or literature to drive their design processes. Video-conferencing and multi-touch technologies first appeared in science-fiction media such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Trek, before becoming mainstream products. HCI has also been instrumental in finding real usability issues connected to technologies portrayed in science-fiction, such as the “Gorilla-Arm” effect of the gestural interaction paradigm shown in Minority Report. This project will explore the evaluation of the technologies of tomorrow, today, through the enactment of design fictions (speculative assessments of hypothetical products or scenarios) in Virtual Reality. The candidate will contribute in exploring this direction through the development of interactive VR systems, and the validation of evaluation methodologies and research through design practices in the context of Virtual Reality.


Candidates should have a background in Computer Science or related fields, with a strong interest in Virtual Reality, Human-Computer Interaction, and/or design research. You will have demonstrable experience of programming 3D interactive systems and hardware prototyping. Knowledge of the main 3D Engines (e.g. Unity and Unreal) and hardware frameworks (e.g. Arduino) is preferable. Experience with 3D modelling will be an advantage but is not required. You will also have an excellent knowledge of both written and spoken English.


This position is available immediately at the Arenberg campus of the KU Leuven. You will join an international work environment with the ambition of kickstarting a new VR research team at the centre of Europe. The position is fully funded for the first two years (in Belgium a PhD requires up to four years). You will be supported in securing further funding to complete your PhD.


To apply please prepare and submit the following information:

  1. An academic Curriculum Vitae, including a list of your publications (if any), and at least one letter of recommendation.
  2. A covering letter stating your research interests and how they relate to this project.
  3. A short video (or a link) of a 3D application, game or other related artefact you created (optional).

For more information, or to informally discuss this position, please contact Prof. dr. Adalberto Simeone, mail: Please quote “PhD position” in the subject.

Apply at: (until 1 April, 2018)

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