The AHRC Design Star Doctoral Training Centre connects the design departments at Brighton, Goldsmiths, Loughborough, the OU, and Reading. Design Star brings together world-class research in design for industry, interaction design, design process, communication design, sustainable design, design history, curation and creative practice. Its spread of design disciplines is linked by a common approach to research that encourages the integration of history, theory and engagement.
Design Star research training is innovative, stimulating and relevant, and is supported by a broader range of expertise and covers more methods than within any one single institution. For more information, look at the Design
research area. For enquiries about Design Star studentships, please email
How to apply
Before you apply, please read the design research web pages on this website. Here you can find information about the different areas of OU design research and contact details for members of academic staff who can talk to you about your area of research interest and the suitability of your research proposal for a Design Star award.
To apply for an AHRC Design Star studentship, please complete an OU application form and a Design Star Application. Click on the application form most appropriate to your circumstances:
An OU Design Star application comprises three stages:
- Application form if you are resident in the UK or European Economic Area.
- Application form if you are transferring from another institution.
Talk to an OU academic about your research proposal and your suitability as an OU Design Star doctoral research candidate.
Submit an application to the Open University. This will include an OU application form, an interview, a CV and also the Design Star short application form that you submit at the same time (accessed from the Design Star website). Successful applicants will receive an unfunded studentship offer letter from the OU and be put forward to stage 2 of this process which addresses funding decisions;
Successful applications from the Design Star consortium universities are reviewed and ranked by the Design Star management board. The top ranked candidates will receive funding from Design Star and will be contacted by the Design Star administration shortly after the panel meets in April each year. Unsuccessful candidates may wish to apply again in subsequent years or to follow other funding opportunities in discussion with their potential supervisors.
Further information about eligibility for an AHRC funded Design Star studentship and the application process can be found at Design Star. For specific Design Star enquiries email the Design Star Administrator.
The deadline for Open University Design Star applications (2019/2020) is 21/01/18
(note this date is before the Design Star application deadline). Important dates for Design Star applications can be found at the Design Star website.
If you have any questions about the Open University application process email the OU Research office
or telephone +44 (0)1908 654882 or email
the OU academic lead for Design Star.