Research Training

The QUT Design Lab is comprised of an internationally recognised team of research staff and students who employ bold, fresh, and rigorous design-led research to tackle major societal challenges guided by three value-led research programs:

  • Design and Technologies of Tomorrow;
  • Design for Communities and Resilient Futures, and;
  • Design for Health and Wellbeing.

This is complemented by a number of research groups.

Acting as a hub and home for a diverse team of academics, research students, and industry professionals, the QUT Design Lab supports transdisciplinary collaborations that result in tangible impact and engagement, and which transfer knowledge and technology into beneficial applications for industry and society.

Our approach to research removes disciplinary silos and brings together all higher degree research students in the School of Design under the QUT Design Lab. This enables the lab to recruit research students into strategic focus areas and establish transdisciplinary cohorts of research students working closely with academic staff.

The QUT Design Lab provides an ideal environment for a dynamic, vibrant and intellectually stimulating research culture to flourish with research staff, post-docs, and higher degree research students working together on related topics with strong mentorship and peer support. All lab members are encouraged and supported to publish their research in high-quality publications. Some of the benefits that our research students can access, include:

  • Regular research events, public lectures, and master classes;
  • Reading, writing, ideation, and peer support workshops;
  • Discretionary funds to support travel and research expenses;
  • Residencies and placements with the Lab’s industry organisations and partner universities nationally and internationally, and;
  • Social events.

The QUT Design Lab offers three research degrees:

Call for PhD Scholarship applications

We are always looking for smart people who would like to join our team and conduct higher degree research. You are welcome to propose your own topic and discuss it with us, or consider aligning yourself with one of our research themes or platforms. Please visit our Call for Applications and submit your application by 30 September of each year to be considered in the QUT Annual Scholarship Round for commencement the following year.

For assistance on your research journey, check out the new Creative Industries HDR Student Zone.


To discover more about the research training we offer, including consultation, please contact our Higher Degree Research Training Coordinator Dr Debra Cushing [] and [+61 7 3138 2886].

  • Assoc Prof Debra Cushing

    Dr. Cushing’s research combines her interest in healthy and supportive environments for children and youth with her understanding of effective community participation, creating sustainable and vibrant environments, and theory related to environmental psychology and placemaking. Her current research areas include: children and youth participation in community design and planning to...

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