Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Associate Professor Erik Champion

Main Campus
City West

Applications Close
05 Oct 2023

Study Level

Applications Open To
Domestic Candidate

Tuition Fees:

All domestic students are eligible for a fee waiver. Find out more about fees and conditions.

Project Stipend:
$32,500 p.a. (2023 rates) available to domestic applicants only

About this project

Harness augmented reality tools to engage with challenging histories

If you are passionate about building a career in the augmented reality industry and keen to develop innovative tourism visitor experiences, the University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a hands-on project-based PhD within Australian Research Centre for Interactive and Virtual Environments (IVE), in partnership with the Adelaide Gaol.

Our project aims to develop an interactive and immersive experience that allows Adelaide Gaol visitors to filter and personalise their experience of Adelaide Gaol narratives using their own media and content preferences, via a phone-based software application that incorporates augmented reality (AR) (visual and/or audio-based). 

We aim to explore the use of audio & visual AR,  and  accessibility and user experience design when engaging in prison heritage experiences. We will garner feedback from curators and site interpretation/visitor engagement experts and determine the overlap or differences between subject experts’ and the publics’ expectations and feedback. 

We want to explore the challenges in presenting difficult heritage (such as prison history) to the general public and resolve their preferred delivery medium and the extent to which they prefer personalisable, filterable, and playable content over pre-recorded or human-guided digital narratives. 

With a vibrant, multidisciplinary cohort of researchers, you’ll benefit from their world-renowned expertise and mentorship. There are ample opportunities to connect with other HDRs, senior academics, and industry, helping you to build your professional network and develop your communications skills.

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will undertake site visits and then design, test and evaluate a phone-based AR tour of Adelaide Gaol that can be filtered and personalised by the general public. During the project you will provide data and design recommendations to develop and evaluate a VR or AR application and audience engagement with the difficult heritage of Australia's penal past. 

Upon completion of the project, you will gain skills in phone-based software application and augmented reality for heritage and tourism applications, allowing you to take the next steps in your unstoppable career. As part of the project, you may get the opportunity to travel conferences and workshops to present your work and findings from the project.

Where you’ll be based

You will be based in the Australian Research Centre for Interactive and Virtual Environments (IVE). As a world leader in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), IVE is a unique alignment of computer science, engineering, neuroscience, art, architecture, and design.   

IVE is responding to the challenge of increased demand for AR and VR technologies globally. Our researchers are leaders in many areas of AR and VR research including wearable computing, interface design, empathic computing, 3D visualisation, perception, and telepresence.
IVE is one of the largest concentrations of AR and VR research in Australia. Our vast experience in advanced manufacturing, Internet of Things (IoT), interactive art, and design for healthcare and defence allows us to work in collaboration with our industry partners to transform industry and solve large-scale societal challenges.

Supervisory team

Financial Support

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses. Additionally, a living allowance scholarship of $32,500 per annum is available to Australian and New Zealand citizens, and permanent residents of Australia, including permanent humanitarian visa holders. Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants will be eligible to receive an increased stipend rate of $46,653 per annum (2023 rates). A fee-offset or waiver for the standard term of the program is also included. For full terms and benefits of the scholarship please refer to our scholarship information. International applicants are not invited to apply at this time.

Eligibility and Selection

This project is open to applications from Australian or New Zealand citizens, and Australian permanent residents or permanent humanitarian visa holders. International applicants are not invited to apply at this time.

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for entrance into a PhD. Applicants should also submit a full research proposal (approximately 2500 words) that has been developed in consultation with the proposed principal supervisor. A template to help guide this application is available here.

Applicants who can also demonstrate the following will be highly regarded:
  • Experience with digital heritage, augmented or mixed reality, game design (Unity or Unreal in particular), museum studies, soundscapes or audio editing and/or 3D modelling
All applications that meet the eligibility and selection criteria will be considered for this project. A merit selection process will be used to determine the successful candidate.

The successful applicant is expected to study full-time and to be based at our City West campus in the heart of Adelaide.

Essential Dates

Applicants are expected to start in a timely fashion upon receipt of an offer. Extended deferral periods are not available. Applications close on Thursday 5 October 2023. 

How to apply:

Applications must be lodged online, please note UniSA does not accept applications via email.

For further support see our step-by-step guide on how to apply , or contact the Graduate Research team on +61 8 8302 5880, option 1 or email us at You will receive a response within one working day.

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