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David Brown

David Brown

Professor in Interactive Systems for Social Inclusion

School of Science & Technology

Staff Group(s)
Computing and Technology


Professor Brown is Module Leader for Serious Games, Grundtvig Game On Project Coordinator, Leonardo GOAL.NET Project Coordinator.

Research areas

Professor Brown is a member of the Interactive Systems Research Group (ISRG)

Areas of research interest include:

  • The design, development and evaluation of Virtual Reality and Multimedia Learning Environments to promote social inclusion (Adapt, DLTR, NLCB, NLSC, NCH, NLEA)
  • Guidelines for accessible web design for people with a disability (Mental Health Foundation, Leonardo da Vinci)
  • Design guidelines for higher education eLearning systems (NTU SDG)
  • Design of virtual tutoring agents for people with cognitive impairments (ESRC)
  • Research in best practice eLearning systems to promote social inclusion (NTU SDG)
  • User sensitive methodologies for the development of assistive and adaptive devices for use by people with physical and cognitive impairments (EPSRC, Equal)
  • Pedagogy and virtual environments (ESRC)
  • Game-based learning to promote the engagement of young disaffected students in e-learning (EU Grundtvig, ESF West Midlands, Derby Libraries, NLSC)
  • Game-based learning to develop employment related skills in people with cognitive and sensory impairments (EU Leonardo).

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil/PhD exist in all the areas identified above and in associated interdisciplinary areas. Further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.

External activity

  • Governor of the Shepherd School for people with a severe learning disability (2002-present)
  • Committee Member of the Nottingham eLearning Foundation (2003-2005)
  • Member for the Virtual Reality Technical Steering Group for Mencap (2000)
  • Trustee of The Ann Craft Trust for the protection of people with disabilities from abuse (1998-2003)
  • Committee Member of the British Computer Society Disability Group (1998-2003)


  • Interactive History - Nottingham Libraries Award (2003)
  • Business Software Challenge - Best Business Solution Winner (FT, BCS, BIM) (1995)

Sponsors and collaborators

Current and recent research is being conducted with the collaboration, funding and / or support of the following:

  • The Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing, University of Nottingham
  • The Birmingham Institute for the Deaf (BID)
  • Greenhat Interactive: Social Enterprise that develops and trains in eLearning programmes and materials for accessible, anytime, anywhere learning for socially excluded groups and disadvantaged communities
  • Information Society Open to All (E-Isotis), Greece
  • European Pole of Knowledge (Europole), Italy
  • Integra: a non-government organisation, part of the larger Integra - network of partnering agencies, involved in social and economic development of the countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Bulgaria
  • Zgura-M: one of the founders of Marie Curie Association, implementing both national and international projects which aim at contributing to the social, educational and labour integration of disabled people, Bulgaria
  • Centrul de Pregatire Profesionala în Cultura: Centre for Profesional Training in Culture, Romania
  • Leonardo: part of the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme.

Research funding in the period since 2000 includes the following:

  • ViPi - Virtual Portal for Interaction and ICT Training for People with Disabilities, EU LLP KA3 ICT, (2010-2013), grant total €107,192
  • AEGIS - Open Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure, Standards, EU Seventh Framework Programme: THEME ICT-2007.7.1 ICT and Ageing. (2011-2012), grant total £141,802
  • Promoting Acceptance Using Simulated Environments, D Brown - PI and International Project Coordinator, PAUSE EU Leonardo, (2010-2012), grant total €285,000
  • RECALL - Reconnecting Communities And Lifelong Learning, D Brown - PI and International Project Coordinator, EU LLP KA3 ICT, (2009-2012), grant total €585,000
  • Extending the Applicability of a Low Cost VR System for Home Based Rehabilitation of the Upper Limb Following Stroke, iNET EMDA (2011) grant total, £25,360
  • Blind Cricket Simulation Project, D Brown - PI, JISC, (2010), grant total £9,600
  • Using the Nintendo Wiimote Controller in Upper Limb Stroke Rehabilitation, D Brown - PI, (CLAHRC) (2009-2010), grant total £46,967 (approx. £5,871 spend in June 2007-2009 period)
  • Game On Extra Time (GOET) (2008-2010) EU Leonardo Serious Games Including Those on Mobile Platforms for People with Cognitive and Sensory Impairments, D Brown - PI and International Project Coordinator, 2007-2009, grant total €300,000. (approx. €105,895 spend in June 2007-2009 period)
  • GOAL.NET EU Leonardo: Serious games based learning for people with cognitive and sensory impairments, D Brown PI and International Project Coordinator,2007-2009, grant total €219,795 (approx. €180,984 spend in June 2007-2009 period)
  • Game On EU Grundtvig: Game On - Accessible Games Based Learning for Offenders and Ex-offenders, D Brown - PI and International Project Coordinator, (2006-2008) Grant total: €164,079 (approx. €110.047 spend in June 2007-2009 period).

Professor Brown has had consultancy contracts with Greenhat Interactive as Director of Research for the following projects:

Nottingham CVS Data Sharing in the Voluntary Sector 01/11/2002 27,000
Nottingham Learning and Skills Council Cyberstags 01/10/2003 12,000
Nottingham Learning and Skills Council Learning to Learn 01/10/2003 119,500
Nottingham eLearning Foundation Assessment of goals and research objectives 01/12/2003 10,000


Conferences organised:

Can participating in games based learning improve mathematic skills in students with intellectual disabilities? Brown DJ, Ley J, Evett L and Standen PJ, IEEE 1st International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health, seGAH 2011, 1-9.

Journal articles:

Designing location based learning experiences for people with intellectual disabilities and additional sensory impairments. Brown D, McHugh D, Standen P, Evett L, Shopland N and Battersby S, Computers and Education, 2011, 56 (1), 11-20

An evaluation of the Wii nunchuck as an alternative assistive device for people with intellectual and physical disabilities using swift controlled software. Brown D, Mchugh D, Standen PJ, Evett L, Shopland N and Battersby SJ, Computers and Education, 2011, 56 (1), 1-10

Effect of playing computer games on decision-making in people with intellectual disabilities. Brown D, Standen PJ and Rees F, Journal of Assistive Technologies, 2009, 3 (2), 6-15.

Invited lectures and keynotes:

Further uses of educational and assistive technology for people with disabilities. Swedish Rehabilitation Conference, Keynote Lecture, September 2011, Gothenburg, Sweden

More uses of educational and assistive technology for people with disabilities. Wishing Well 11 - Keynote Lecture, July 2011, Nottingham, UK.


International Journal on Disability and Human Development: Special Issue on disability, Rehabilitation and Virtual Reality Editors Standen P, Brown D and Sharkey P, 4(4), 2005, Freund Publishing House Ltd

Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation. Editors Brown DJ and Rose D, 24 (11-12), 2002, ISSN 0963-8288, Taylor and Francis.

See all of David Brown's publications...

Press expertise

  • Games-based learning
  • Inclusive design
  • Serious games
  • Virtual environments
  • Assistive technologies
  • Brain control interfaces