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The SMARTlab Academy 

SMARTlab is an academic collective created to ignite change.

SMARTlab promotes user-driven, transdisciplinary research, leveraging Creative Technology Innovations for social change.

For three decades, SMARTlab has run an award-winning practice-based PhD programme and delivered high-impact research, development and innovation programmes and projects. SMARTlab aims to bring together the brightest minds across disciplines and to provide them with the tools they need to contribute to solving real-world problems and building sustainable solutions.

We provide world-class research and incubation space and offer a brain trust for academic staff, practice-based PhD students, Postdoctoral Researchers, transdisciplinary teams spanning the Arts, Engineering, Humanities, Social and Natural Sciences, Connected Public Health and Business Innovation domains, alongside private and public sector partners.

The Leadership Team

The leadership team is comprised of long-standing SMARTlab academics and collaborators, with a range of skills and expertise. The leadership team are supported by a global network of localised research labs, and think tanks. 


SMARTlab takes up residence where it's needed most to help solve complex issues as they relate to those most vulnerable. You can find us​ in universities and in communities,  a global group with specialties that range from immersive XR to leading-edge technology in 3D printing we create solutions that change lives. 

The SMARTlab PhD

A PhD is... An original and substantial contribution to the field of study of publishable quality.


Founded by Professor Lizbeth Goodman in 1992 while at the BBC and Open University, where research was informing the new field of interactive learning models for students at a distance, SMARTlab’s research team and its methods have evolved through four institutions, including the University of Surrey, Central Saint Martins, University of East London and University College Dublin (UCD). SMARTlab’s core team has graduated over 50 practice-based PhDs in that time, and the institute has achieved major international status.

Since 1992, when SMARTlab first opened it's doors, more than 63 artists, scientists, technologists and educators have engaged in transdisciplinary research to complete their PhDs in Inclusive Design + Creative Technology Innovation. We currently have a cohort of 24 PhD students all at various stages of the process, which involves 3 week-long seminars per year, writers retreat and weekly, monthly online sessions. 

Inclusive Design Research Centre / SMARTlab, University College Dublin - Screen4Care

Screen4Care offers an innovative research approach to accelerate rare disease diagnosis, which is based on two central pillars: genetic newborn screening and digital technologies. People living with rare diseases often find themselves on a burdensome diagnosis journey, enduring on average eight years of inconclusive consultations and possible misdiagnoses, leading to ineffective treatments and inefficient healthcare resource utilisation.

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