Friday, March 23, 2012

Awesome Job Opportunity Alert!!! Postdoc in Adaptive Gaming, User Innovation and Inclusive Play among Elementary School-Aged Children

I'm hiring a postdoc to work with me on a new project that I'm launching this spring on Adaptive Gaming, User Innovation and Inclusive Play among elementary school-aged children (part of a much larger project on Mobile and Pervasive Computing lead by the amazing Dr. Matt Ratto, that will also encompass a new set of projects run by another of our fabulous iSchool colleagues, Dr. Rhonda McEwen). The details can be found on the University of Toronto iSchool job site, and are reproduced in full below. Interested candidates are welcome to get in touch with me directly to find out more about the position, project, what it entails, etc.

Keywords: kids, inclusive play (facilitating play between kids with and without disabilities), modding/hacking gaming consoles, and supporting user innovation.

Please spread the word (and the link):
Postdoctoral Researcher in Adaptive Gaming, User Innovation and Inclusive Play among Elementary School-Aged Children

The Faculty of Information (iSchool) at the University of Toronto seeks to employ a postdoctoral researcher for a funded project within the Inclusive Design Institute. The successful applicant will play a key role in designing and conducting research on issues of adaptive design, inclusive play, innovation and creativity within elementary school-aged children’s engagement with emerging digital game technologies. The primary goals of the project are to (1) advance knowledge of an emerging phenomenon, (2) explore potential applications for supporting inclusive play experiences among children with and without disabilities, and (3) contribute new insight into the relationships between game design, technology, user innovation and playfulness.

The research will be conducted using a mixed-methods approach that will most likely include qualitative methods such as participant observation, critical design analysis and focus groups. The project will incorporate in-depth analysis of a series of tools, titles and programs designed to enable meaningful user interventions into game designs and other content by non-specialist users, supplemented with case studies of how these tools are (or might be) used by children with and without disabilities.

  • Collaborate with the lead researcher of the Adaptive Gaming project (Dr. Sara M. Grimes), the principal investigator and other researchers within the Mobile and Pervasive Computing Cluster and the larger Inclusive Design Institute, as well as with investigators on related projects at the University of Toronto and other institutions
  • Act as liaison and coordinator for the Adaptive Gaming, User Innovation and Inclusive Play project
  • Plan and conduct ethnographic research involving child participants with and without disabilities, including assisting in the design and implementation of ethics protocols
  • Publish and present the resulting research findings in leading academic journals, national and international conferences, as well as in public forums
  • Assume an active role in shaping the research design, including introducing additional, related research questions and objectives into the project as it unfolds, and identifying additional funding opportunities
  • Assist in the daily management and administration of the Mobile and Pervasive Computing Lab
  • A PhD in a relevant area, in hand by the position start date
  • Research interests in at least one of the following: children and technology, disability studies (including adaptive design), game studies, critical technology studies and/or game design
  • Prior experience working with children is an asset
  • Proven track-record for successfully engaging in self-directed research
  • Working language is English
  • The successful applicant will be expected to be in residence in Toronto, Canada, for the duration of the postdoctoral appointment and be an active colleague within U of T as well as the IDI project.
The salary for this position is competitive in the Canadian context, and is governed in part by SSHRC practices.

Additional information : 
The contract can begin as early as 1 September 2012; it is for a two-year term, with possibility of renewal.

Apply by email:
Application deadline:  Apr 23 2012

How to apply: 
Applications comprising a brief cover letter, CV, recent writing sample, and the names and contact information for three referees should be sent electronically to Please use the subject line “Application: IDI Cluster - Adaptive Gaming” when applying for this position.

Interviews will be conducted via phone or Skype. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled. The application deadline is Monday, April 23rd, 5PM EST.

If you have any questions about the position itself, please feel free to contact me directly. But any and all application materials must be send to the email address indicated above (which is all set up and ready to receive large files, etc.).

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