david1I am an Associate Professor in Human Computer Interaction with the School of Computer Science at University College Dublin and a founding member of the HCI@UCD group. HCI@UCD is an interdisciplinary research group bringing together designers, computer scientists, social and cognitive scientists. We have core research interests in areas including digital health technology, conversational user interfaces, user autonomy, and ethical aspects of design for HCI. We publish regularly in leading journals and conferences, including ACM CHI, and seek to develop technologies that have positive impact on society.

My current research is focused in two main areas:

  • Digital Health Technologies: I am a founding member of the Digital Mental Health research lab in UCD and have active projects investigating online help-seeking, games and mobile devices, and blended CBT to prevent and treat mental health difficulties. From 2016 to 2021 I was the Project Coordinator of the EU funded TEAM ITN, a PhD training network in digital mental health. Outside of the mental health space, I have active projects designing technology to support rehabilitation for cancer and cardiovascular disease.
  • User Agency and Autonomy: I have a long standing interest in applying implicit metrics – derived from recent research in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience – to explore peoples’ experience of agency when interacting with new technologies, including intelligent, on-body and sensing interfaces. More recently this focus has broadened to address questions of user autonomy in diverse contexts.

My research page provides further details of current and past research projects.

Prospective PhD Students:

If you are interested in pursuing a PhD at University College Dublin in an area related to my research interests please contact me to discuss projects and funding possibilities.

Current PhD and Post-doc Vacancies:

I am currently recruiting for two positions, a post-doctoral research fellowship and a PhD position in digital mental health. For details and to apply please see the vacancies page.

Sample projects:   (Full list here)

Online help-seeking for Mental Health
Seeking help is an important step in addressing mental health difficulties. This project is exploring theoretical foundations and provides guidelines for the design on online help-seeking technologies. Evidence suggests that positive help-seeking experiences contribute to an increased likelihood of future help-seeking and improved mental health outcomes.
TEAM was a 4 year Innovation Training Network (ITN), funded by EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions. It provided PhD training in Digital Mental Health. I coordinated the overall network, which focused on developing new technologies to support the assessment, prevention and treatment of mental health difficulties in young people.
User Autonomy and the Sense of Agency
This project applies implicit metrics – derived from recent research in Cognitive Neuroscience – to explore people’s experience of agency when interacting with new technologies, such as on-body and intelligent interfaces.

Leadership Roles: (Full list here)

During my time as an Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer at University College Dublin and and the University of Bristol respectively, I have won in excess of €5million in Principal Investigator funding. I have also led Research Strands in several large-scale research projects. Examples include:

  • Project Coordinator & Principal Investigator: TEAM ITN, EU H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (2016-21)
  • Funded Investigator: Insight Centre for Data Analytics, Science Foundation Ireland (2014-24).
  • Theme Leader: SPHERE Sensor Platform for Healthcare in Residential Environment. EPSRC (2013-17).
  • Principle investigator: Integrated support for adolescent mental health, NHS Health Ent. East (2014-15).
  • Theme leader: Integrative Epidemiology Unit. MRC (2013-17).
  • Principal-investigator: UK Hydrographic Office Knowledge Transfer Partnership (2013-15).
  • Principle investigator: Games supporting adolescent mental health, NHS Health Enterprise East (2013-14).
  • Personal Fellowship: Marie Curie Post-doctoral Fellowship. EU FP7 (2009-12).