Research in the School of Design represents the breadth of contemporary design research and scholarship across the disciplines of communication design, industrial design, and digital design.
Our work includes enquiries in and through material practices, digital technologies and environments, and social innovation. The School comprises a vibrant community of researchers and practitioners, including PhD communities, located in RMIT’s global locations – Melbourne, Australia; Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Vietnam; and Barcelona, Spain. We extend our global reach through actively engaging with our Adjunct Professor appointments and international collaborators.
Research in the School contributes to discourses in both applied and exploratory contexts, and has, for the last two Excellence in Research in Australia (ERA) rounds in 2012 and 2015, been assessed as being at or above world standard. Our research is supported by competitive funding including ARC grants, competitive and contract research, and arts and cultural grant schemes.
While maintaining a focus on traditional professional practice areas, there is also an innovative approach to interdisciplinary work in the School, which will see the development of programs, research and engagement in digital and human interface design, co-designing with users, design for social innovation and design strategy. Our research is often collaborative and undertaken with end user communities (these include specific industry sectors and local communities) and includes collaborations with colleagues from other disciplines, RMIT schools, and universities.
In addition to engaging with the University’s research Enabling Capability Platforms, staff develop their research through the following research groups and centres:
Higher Degrees Research Program
RMIT University has a two decade long, internationally renowned higher degree program of creative practice research undertaken through practice-led and project-based approaches, whilst also supporting a thesis mode of research. Our leadership in Practice Research higher degrees is reflected by the EU funded ADAPT_r program that has established our innovative PRS model for design education in Europe, and the Federal government funded DAP_r program that deepened this approach with partner Australian Universities.
Higher Degrees Research (HDR) activity is central to the intellectual life of the School of Design. HDR scholars work in close collaboration with their supervisory team, each other and School colleagues to advance the pursuit of new knowledge and ways of practicing and thinking about design activity and its potential. Research activities in the School are characterised by both the field of research and the mode of undertaking the research. HDR candidates work with a supervisory team to choose the most suitable mode and the field of research.
The PhD program is usually completed in three years full-time or six years part-time, and a Masters program usually completed in two years full-time or four years part-time. Our candidates are supported by at least two supervisors, research strategies coursework, and importantly a rich community of researchers sharing their work twice yearly.
Guidelines for prospective HDR applicants are available here.
Before expressing your interest, please review the School of Design 2019 HDR Projects Guide (PDF 443KB) and indicate the project(s) of interest.
Higher Degrees by Research enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update on Expressions of Interest (EOI)
Prospective applicants for School of Design PhDs are required to submit an EOI through the RMIT University Application Service.
Based on this EOI applicants will be invited to undertake a Pre-Application Interview prior to formally submitting an application (which may include Scholarship application). The EOI will consist of: personal details; contact details; program details and proposed commencement date; research proposal; qualifications including transcripts and dissertation/thesis.
Further information about the application process can be found at how to apply.