Future Students

* I am looking to supervise up to 3 new Master’s or PhD students in September 2024.   

Applications are due before February, though I highly advise submitting before the end of 2023.*

This page is intended for prospective graduate students who are interested in working with Dr. Carman Neustaedter and the Connections Lab (cLab) as part of the Master’s or PhD program in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University.  Applications are due in February for a September start.  Positions are highly competitive.

Interested applicants should email carman@sfu.ca to discuss their application before applying to SFU.  Emails should be sent to Carman between September and January.  Emails sent outside of this time window will generally not receive a response.

Emails should include the following four items (failure to include one or more will mean your email does not get a reply):

  1. a description of research interests related to the lab’s existing research; you need to show clear evidence that you have actually looked at the types of research the lab does
  2. a curriculum vitae
  3. a copy of your unofficial transcript
  4. a picture of you showcasing your chosen superhero powers

Why do I want to see the superhero photo?  I want to see your creativity.  I want to see your personality.  I want to see your programming, design, or media skills.


Our group specializes in the areas of human-computer interaction, domestic computing, interaction design, and computer-supported cooperative work. We study the design and use of technologies aimed at supporting the everyday activities of families. Many of our research projects focus on the study and design of family communication systems and pervasive games for families.  To learn more, you can explore this site and check out what we’ve been up to.

We have a strong research and publishing record.  Take a look at the publications page on this site and see how many papers we routinely have at top conferences in the field of HCI (e.g., CSCW, CHI, DIS). This shows the strength and relevance of our research training program. It also shows that as a graduate student in the group, if you work hard, you will be successful. More publications means more scholarships and better jobs when you finish graduate school.


Please take a look at recent publications to see what work is ongoing in cLab.  New projects will generally follow similar trajectories as recent publications.

The School of Interactive Arts and Technology

Vancouver, BC Simon Fraser University (SFU) has consistently been ranked as one of the top universities in Canada.  SIAT is a young, vibrant department at Simon Fraser University with research and teaching in human-computer interaction, interaction design, and media arts.  Graduate students take a selection of courses in qualitative or quantitative research methods, computation, interaction design, or media arts.  They also complete a written thesis containing a substantial research component.  Expected completion time is 2 years for a thesis-based Master’s degree and 4 years for a PhD (read: you will work hard in our group and finish on time!).

SIAT is located at the SFU Surrey campus located in Greater Vancouver, Canada, within the suburb of Surrey.  Greater Vancouver lies along the west coast of Canada where the Pacific Ocean meets the majestic mountains. With a population of over 2 million people, Greater Vancouver is known as one of the most ethnically diverse cities in Canada and has been ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world based on quality of life.  Vancouver is a great destination for those who love the outdoors (e.g., skiing, hiking, water sports) as well as the indoors (e.g., museums, art, theatre, hockey!).

Skills Needed

I am looking for both programmers and designers / UX researchers.  In order to be considered you must have:

  • a Bachelor or Master’s degree in computer science, HCI, or interaction design (or related fields) with a GPA that meets SFU’s admission requirements
  • strong programming proficiency (web and mobile phone development preferred) OR strong design / user research skills (web and mobile)
  • good written and oral communication skills
  • a demonstration of strong interest in the projects you have engaged with
  • at least one superpower of your own determination
  • a sense of humor


Full funding will be provided at levels commensurate with other Canadian universities as long as adequate progress is made in the graduate program.  Students receive funding to attend international conferences (e.g., ACM CHI, DIS, CSCW) to present their published papers.

Students are also typically sought after for internships with our industrial collaborators.  These include major international software development companies within Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Application Process

Once you have discussed your interest in joining cLab with Carman, you will follow SIAT’s normal graduate student application process.