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Research Associate - Connected Everything II

Institute for the Contemporary Arts
Salary:   £28,331 to £32,817 pro rata
Closing Date:   Thursday 30 September 2021
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  A3467-R

Ranked as a top 10 UK university (in The Times, Guardian, and Complete University league tables) and in the top 1% of universities in the world, Lancaster continues to sustain its reputation for teaching and research excellence both nationally and internationally.

The main campus is situated on the southern outskirts of Lancaster and is set in 250 acres of landscaped parkland, close to the lively, friendly, and historic city of Lancaster. The campus is 30 miles south of the Lake District, 20 miles east of the Yorkshire Dales, and even closer to the Forest of Bowland and the Fylde. It is one hour’s drive from Manchester and about 2.5 hours by train from London.

Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA) encompasses Lancaster’s teaching and research activities in Art, Architecture, Design, Film and Theatre. LICA is a vibrant and highly supportive learning environment where a strong research ethos underpins and shapes everything we do. We are committed to leading interdisciplinary and international research in contemporary arts.

We are constantly placed in the top ten of our respective subject league tables in the UK demonstrating our commitment to the quality of our teaching. Our students value the real-world focus that we support through visiting practitioners, placements, projects with external organisations and off-site visits. With a strong outward focus and excellent links in the creative sectors students can make the best possible connections with individuals and organisations outside of the University. We have two research centres in LICA; Insight a creative research centre with disciplinary bases in Fine Art, Theatre, Film, Dance and Sound that focuses on making meaning in the arts; and Imagination Lancaster where the project Beyond Imagination is based.

Imagination Lancaster has been established since 2006 is research led with a world leading research team and over 50% of all design students undertaking a PhD programme and cross disciplinary design research. Imagination Lancaster staff have published 40 books, created over 100 design artefacts and 25 exhibitions, and between just 2013-18 we have produced 157 publications of which 10% are in the Top Citation Percentiles, and 19% are in the Top Journal Percentiles. Since 2006 we have secured £55m in research funding.  

 Developing the future of adaptive materials based on HD-reprogrammable matter.

This is a feasibility study funded by Connected Everything. The project aims to develop sportswear that can physically adapt (e.g. change shape, texture, colour and self-heal). The project will produce textile samples/swatches that can have their material properties adapted in response to live sensor data that informs stimuli. You will be based in Imagination Lancaster and will collaborate with colleagues in Lancaster’s Material Science Institute (MSI) to imagine, document and prototype new adaptive materials . You will be responsible for three key elements of this project. Firstly, working with our industry partner to identify what material properties would be desirable for adaptive sportswear. Secondly, working closely with colleagues in MSI to iteratively prototype and fine-tune a current prototype system to create adaptive textile swatches.  Thirdly, document material results/iterations (videography and photography) as well as conceptualise and develop strategies for evaluating material properties generated. 

Being a member of the project will allow you to interact with materials in totally novel ways, which could open up radically new application areas, visions and career potentials. Such as, interactive physical 3D displays for gaming, education and movies. Or, radically new medical prosthetics/devices that are highly bespoke as they can be grown around, programmed and updated with a patient. For an overview on previous work related to this role please see the link:

This is a challenging role that offers significant growth potential for the right candidate.

This is a part time post (0.8 fte). You will join us on an indefinite contract however the role remains contingent on external funding which at this time is until end March 2022.

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Dr Adam Blaney (Email:

For general information about Imagination Lancaster and Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts and, please visit: and



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Please note: Unless specified otherwise in the advert wording, all advertised roles are UK based.

The University provides an environment that strongly supports the individual needs of each employee, whilst promoting the importance of wellbeing for all our colleagues. We have a range of support networks available for our employees, and more information on these can be found on the ‘Working at Lancaster’ information page.


We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis. The University recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address all inequality in higher education.


We warmly welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of their age, religion, gender identity or expression, race, disability or sexual orientation, and are committed to promoting diversity, and equality of opportunity.



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