Call for Applications: The Imagineering Institute PhD Fellowship

The Imagineering Institute is a new research lab funded by the Malaysian government, with the vision “Invent the Future of Internet”. It is a collaboration with City University London, Osaka University, Japan, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), and Multimedia University (MMU). The Institute invites applications for PhD Fellowships (with scholarship). The recipients of the PhD fellowship will work under the co-supervision of Professor Adrian David Cheok and will be enrolled in the doctoral programs of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) or Multimedia University (MMU) (the student may apply to either, or both, universities, however may only enrol in one university program). The student will be co-supervised by Faculty in UTM or MMU.

We are looking for people who are able to do visionary and quantum step research. They should be highly creative, excited to explore the future and make radical inventions. Experimental scientists and engineers, who have skills in hardware or software, making hacking or prototyping, are particularly sought after.

The research undertaken should focus on the areas of mixed reality, virtual reality, multisensory communication, Internet of Things, pervasive computing, or entertainment computing, etc. The research themes can include, but not limited to:

Multisensory communication: Haptics, gustatory and olfactory (taste and smell) interaction, Digital gustation and olfaction, Neuroscience & psychology of gustation and olfaction.

Technologies and interactions: Virtual, augmented and mixed reality, Ubiquitous and mobile computing, Tangible, animation, embedded, embodied and robotic interaction, media arts, Affective, intuitive and locative media, virtual reality, Smart gadgets and toys, Sensors, actuators and novel input and output technologies, Multimodal and full-body interaction, wearable technologies,

Robotics and AI: Artificial intelligence, Computer chat agents, Robotics, Humanoids, Androids.

Psychology, Design, and Evaluation: Participatory design, Usability and playability, Player and developer experience, Game and media evaluation techniques, Gamification, Funology, enjoyment and experience, Cultural, social and psychological studies, Inclusivity and accessibility, Children, adolescents and seniors.

Application Domains: Health and wellness, Urban and location based media, Interactive art, dance and performances, product design, Sports, fitness and exertion, Education, learning environments and serious games, Broadcasting, podcasting and smart media, Soundscapes and musical expression, Interactive and digital storytelling, Museums and cultural heritage, Advertising and marketing, Pets, livestock and other life forms.

Eligibility: The candidate must hold a master’s degree (or equivalent) and have received training in the following disciplines: Engineering, Computer Science, Science, Psychology, etc. She or he should have experience in qualitative and quantitative research methods. The candidate is required to have a firm command of English. The candidate must fulfil the entry requirements set by the University and be approved by the University to gain entry into the programme.

Fellowship amount: Successful candidates may receive a possible full tuition fee waiver from the university and a very competitive monthly stipend of 4000RM/month from the Imagineering Institute. Malaysia has one of the lowest cost of living in the world (see

Research Environment: Students will work in the Imagineering Institute, which is a cutting edge, visionary, blue sky research lab. It is newly formed, and funded by the Malaysian government. Our aim is to invent the future of the Internet. Students will work with Professor Adrian David Cheok, a world renowned inventor and scientist famous for his pioneering work in mixed reality and multisensory communication. ( A high level of teamwork is required. Students should be at ease at multi-tasking and working on multiple research projects simultaneously.


Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) is an innovation-led and graduate-focused Research University and the oldest public engineering and technological university in Malaysia. It is ranked among one of the top universities in Malaysia. It is located both in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia and Johor Bahru, the southern city in Iskandar Malaysia, which is a vibrant economic corridor in the south of Peninsular Malaysia. UTM have the largest enrolment of PhD student in South East Asia (See for latest facts and figures about UTM)

UTM strives with total and unified effort to attain excellence in science and technology. Its vision and mission is to be recognised as a world-class centre of academia and technological excellence and to be a leader in the development of human capital and innovative technologies that will contribute to the nation’s wealth creation. (See for UTM CoE list)


Multimedia University (MMU), a tertiary education institution set up through Universiti Telekom Sdn Bhd (UTSB), a wholly owned subsidiary of TM, fulfils the noblest of corporate social responsibilities – taking up the challenge of educating the next generation the nation’s leaders and knowledge workers. As the first private university in Malaysia, MMU developed the pioneer model for the successful establishment of private universities in the nation, paving the way for the growth of the private tertiary education sector. As the university at the heart of the MSC, MMU also serves as a catalyst for the development of the high tech ICT industry of the nation, parallel to the Silicon Valley-Stanford model in the United States.

Growing to over 18,000 students in 18 years, MMU has achieved much in a relatively short period of time. It has also grown an outstanding pool of international students numbering at 2000 from 77 countries. Establishing itself as a major player in research and development, and maintaining excellent ties with the industry through collaborations and research partnerships, MMU now hosts 6 University Centres of Excellence and 19 Research Centers to date, focusing in the niche areas of nanotechnology, microsystems, biometrics, virtual reality, microwave, media arts, educational technology, creative multimedia, and telecommunications, engineering, photonics, advanced robotics and business. (See for CoEs and for research centres)


Imagineering Institute is the first independent multidisciplinary Internet and Digital Media Research & Development (“R&D”) Institute and Start-up Entrepreneur Incubation space combined (“The Hangout”). The lab is focused on internet, digital media and mixed reality research and products.

The work done in the lab is termed “Imagineering”, or the imaginative application of engineering sciences. Imagineering involves three main strands of work:

Imaginative Envisioning

The projections and viewpoints of artists and designers


Extrapolation of recent and present technological developments, making imaginative but credible (do-able) scenarios, and simulating the future

Creative Engineering

New product design, prototyping, and demonstration work of engineers, computer scientists, and designers


Unique laboratory in the world

This is the first lab of its kind to integrate blue sky research and accelerator program for entrepreneurship – commercialization of start-up companies and IP. Entrepreneurs work side by side with Post-Doctoral Research Fellows and Ph.D. students building a symbiotic benefit to both the blue sky research (inputs from entrepreneurs and product thinking) and entrepreneurship (world class expert technical advice from researcher colleagues).

Ph.D students may apply to join Imagineering Institute AFTER they have entered UTM or MMU succesfully. The students must have completed all entry procedures before applying to Imagineering Institute.

Email :
Tel: +607 509 6716
Fax: +607 509 6713
Address: Anchor 5, Mall of Medini, No. 4, Lebuh Medini Utara, Nusajaya, 79250, Johor, Malaysia.