Each CODEX student will have a First Supervisor (the Director of Studies), a mandatory Second supervisor and a Third Supervisor. Two supervisors will be from the University of Plymouth, including the Director of Studies) and one supervisor will be from the CODEX Research Network. The two or three supervisors will comprise the Student’s supervisory team.

Plymouth based CODEX supervisors are drawn from across the established research clusters in the School of Art, Design and Architecture and include:


These potential supervisors draw on a wealth of supervisory and research experience in their Plymouth based research clusters:

Jiangnan University based CODEX supervisors are drawn from across the established Research Centres in the School of Design, and include:

Professor Li Dongning, School of Digital Media, Jiangnan University. Research Direction:  Digital Media Art Design and Theory, Digital Imaging Theory and Practice. Email:

Prof. Li Dongning is the Professor of Digital Media Design at Jiangnan University. His research interests include digital art design and digital image and art history. His main accomplishments include successively undertook: Zhenjiang City, Jiangsu Province Tourism Planning project, Tangshan City, Nanjing City Master Planning project, and presided over the design of the Nanjing Qing Austrian Museum of large-scale art installations “literature”, “The Olympic Village spatial art of Nanjing Youth Olympic Games”, “Pierre de Coubertin large art device”, “Rogge large-scale art installations”, “Republic of the film Realism Aesthetics Research” and other social and government long-term concern of many major projects. He has published more than ten academic papers in the “Hundred Schools in Arts”, “Journal of Nanjing Art Institute”, “Art & Design” and other authoritative publications. In 2012, he presided over the cultural heritage and reconstruction of the Old City of Nanjing, the Art design project, won the Jiangsu Provincial Social Sciences Applied Excellence Project Award. In 2014, he presided over the Nanjing Green Olympics public Art design project, won the first Jiangsu provincial government Zijin Cultural Creative Design Contest Bronze Award. In 2015, he published personal monographs “the course of the film-Film Life cycle Research”, Jiangsu Province, and won the 14th Fourth of the Philosophy and Social Sciences Outstanding Achievement Award in the third place.

Professor Wang Feng, Associate dean, School of Digital Media, Jiangnan University. Research Direction: Digital Art Design Research, Contemporary Public Art and Digitalization. Email:

Prof. Wang Feng is the Professor of Digital Art Design at Jiangnan University. He has published more than 30 academic journal papers, and more than ten books and educational materials. He has participated and completed numerous national/provincial funds and enterprise application research projects as the principal investigator or main participants, as well as winning many prestige awards. He has served as a committee member in many domestic and international organizations, such as IFIP WG14.7 and etc. He was selected as a member of the “333 High level personnel training project” of Jiangsu province and the “excellent talents in the new century” of the Ministry of Education. His research interests include digital art design and contemporary public art and digitalization research.

Professor Zhang Linghao, Dean, School of Design, Jiangnan University. Research direction: Product Strategy and System Innovation. Email:

Prof. Zhang Linghao is the Professor of Industrial Design and Dean for School of Design at Jiangnan University. He is actively engaged in national academic associations and activities. He is the vice chairman of China Industrial Design Association, deputy director of the National Coordination Group in MA.Eng Education, editorial member of Creation and Design Journal, judge of CEID, as well as a visiting scholar in Polytechnico Di Milano. He has been selected in the Ministry of Education New Century Excellent Talents Supporting Plan, and the Jiangsu Province “Six Talents Summit” Talent Project.

His research interests focus on system innovation design and strategy, contemporary design innovation methods, user experience and brand innovation. He explores design education, research and practice in these fields. Prior to teaching at Jiangnan University, Prof. Zhang works as a design practitioner in management and research, and grasps the international frontier of design concepts and innovative methods. He initiated the Design for Transition International Design Conference, and was selected as the Top 10 Educators in the First China Top Ten Industrial Design Award in 2011.  In 2017, he was selected to be one of the Changjiang Scholars, one of the top Talent Programs in China.

Associate Professor Gong Miaosen, School of Design, Jiangnan University. Research Direction: Service Design and Social Innovation, Strategic Design for Sustainability. Email:

Dr. Miaosen Gong is an associate Professor of School of Design, Jiangnan University, where he is also founder and coordinator of DESIS Lab_JU. He is the co-coordinator of DESIS-China network (The Network on Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability in China) and member of international coordination committee of DESIS association. His research interests focus on Strategic Design for Sustainability, Design for Social Innovation and Service Design. In last years, he has been in charge of a number of government funded projects and international research collaboration on related topics, such as CCSL-China 2007, CHITA 08, DESIS 09/10/11, and DESIL (2012-14), GIDE (2013-), D+C (2014-). He has more than 25 peer-reviewed academic publications in international conferences and journals, and is reviewers of several international design conferences and journals. He graduated in 2000 with a bachelor degree of industrial design in Nanjing University of Science and Technology, in 2003 with a master degree of art design (2003) in Jiangnan University and in 2006 a second master degree of strategic design in Politecnico di Milano where he obtained his PhD degree in design in 2010. He started to work in School of Design at Jiangnan University since 2003 and was a visiting scholar at MEL-Design Lab, MIT in 2009, visiting fellow in HKDI (2011) and visiting scholar in Tu/e (2012/13).

These potential supervisors draw on a wealth of supervisory and research experience in their Jiangnan University based research centres:

Research Proposal:

A student’s PhD journey begins with the application process. Students will apply (see INFORMATION) to join CODEX with a Research Project proposal that maps out their intended research and must demonstrate their ability to engage in substantial research activity for the duration of their enrolment.

A research project proposal will typically be no longer than 4 x A4 pages (Arial 11 point font), and include:

  • Research Project Title
  • Outline of the general topic or area of research;
  • Explanation of key terms and references;
  • Indicative research questions or identification of the problem;
  • The disciplinary field or fields in which the research will contribute to;
  • The context and disciplinary field(s) in which the research sits;
  • The significance and potential impact of the research;
  • Proposed research methodology and why (ie, how this will answer your research questions);
  • References and identification of relevant literature, practitioners, and influential works.
  • A portfolio representing relevant creative skills and practice.

Research Training:

This infrastructure underpins students’ research training and provides a critical awareness of different interdisciplinary methodological approaches and ethics. The training ensures they are able to:

  • Plan an appropriate research project and apply effective project management, setting of research goals, milestones and prioritisation of activities;
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of relevant research methodologies and techniques as well as their appropriate application within your research field, using appropriate library, bibliography and IT skills;
  • Summarise, document, report and reflect on research progress through appropriate modes of communication;
  • Demonstrate self-awareness, motivation and the ability to identify personal development and training needs;
  • Research, record, author, present, disseminate and archive research activities.

Critically, methods training will synthesise a broad range of methodologies from pertinent disciplines. This will enhance students’ research and nurture new transdisciplinary perspectives and collaborations. This type of training also amplifies research impact by ensuring heightened disciplinary literacy and articulation.

Students also engage with the generic training provision provided for Arts & Humanities students at the University of Plymouth delivered through the School of Art, Design and Architecture and Doctoral College.


CODEX also supports Post-Doctoral researchers and professional artists and designers in residence. Contact Professor Mike Phillips the CODEX Director with an outline Research Proposal.