Job: Postdoctoral Research Associate at Playable Innovative Technologies (PLAIT) Lab at Northeastern University

[From Dr. Sebastian Deterding, Northeastern University]

If you are or know someone who might want to work with me and the fab faculty at the Northeastern University on game design, gameful design, embarrassment, motivation, and all that fun stuff: I have a postdoc position open immediately. Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to ask.


Position Title: Postdoctoral Research Associate
Requisition Number: STFR002325
Division/College: College of Arts, Media and Design
Location: Boston Main Campus
Full-time/Part-time: Full Time
Posting Date: 07/13/2015


The Playable Innovative Technologies (PLAIT) Lab at Northeastern University is seeking a Post Doctoral Research Associate (Post Doc) to join our fast-growing game research group ( The position involves assisting in quantitative and qualitative empirical studies, helping in the design of applied games and playful experiences, and writing research papers around designing for engagement and enjoyment in and beyond game play. Additional responsibilities include grant proposal preparation and laboratory management.

Game play is a subject-environment ecology purposefully designed to create enjoyment, motivation, and engagement. The Post Doc will be involved in advancing the state of knowledge of how design features and contextual circumstances together afford motivation and enjoyment in and beyond games, and how to translate such knowledge into a form useful for designers. The Post Doc will help in writing review articles and grant proposals on particular motives. The main responsibilities will be to help set up and run research studies and publish about these. The Post Doc will get the opportunity to become involved in the development of motivational systems and to supervise graduate and undergraduate students.

Current example projects are developing a system for automatic difficulty balancing of citizen science games (; identifying how embarrassment acts as a hurdle to engagement and how to reduce it (; or understanding how the context of serious games in schools affects their experience and effectiveness. Work will be performed under the guidance of Dr. Sebastian Deterding, an Assistant Professor of Game Design. As most projects will involve collaborations with other PLAIT members and faculty across Northeastern University and around the globe, the Post Doc will have the opportunity to interact with and become visible to a wide variety of researchers and industry partners.


We seek candidates who hold a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Cognitive Science, Learning Science, Psychology, Sociology or related areas at the time of starting their position. Successful candidates will have an interdisciplinary background, a clear research interest in games, and expertise in quantitative and qualitative empirical research. Candidates should ideally have experience with game or user experience design, the development of interactive systems, and grant preparation.


This is a 1-year position with the possibility of 1 year renewal contingent on funding and performance. We hope to fill this position as soon as possible and we will review applications as they arrive. The position is open until filled. For more information, please contact Dr. Sebastian Deterding (


Dr. Sebastian Deterding
Playable Innovative Technologies Lab
College of Arts, Media, and Design
Northeastern University


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