Welcome to D-REAL

Multimodal digital media, across video, text, image, speech and Virtual/Augmented Reality (VR/AR) content, are rapidly reshaping our working and living environments. Seamlessly blending digital media and interaction within the physical world offers disruptive potential to enhance our effectiveness, efficiency and quality of engagement in everyday life.

What is D-REAL?

The SFI Centre for Research Training in Digitally-Enhanced Reality (D-REAL) is an innovative, industry partnered, research training programme that equips PhD students with deep ICT knowledge and skills across Digital Platform Technology, Content and Media Technology and their application in Industry sectors. D-REAL postgraduate students will make research breakthroughs in areas such as multimodal interaction, multimodal digital assistants, multilingual speech processing, real-time multilingual translation and interaction, machine intelligence for video analytics and multimodal personalisation and agency. 

Whether via multimodal devices such as smart phones, embedded displays and IoT, or virtual assistants and VR/AR experiences, media technology is revolutionising the way we interact, collaborate and behave. D-REAL PhD students will develop skills for next generation human-centric media technology, including:

  • machine intelligence-based sensing and understanding of digital content and information,
  • its transformation and personalisation
  • its multimodal interaction and delivery via speech, text, video, image and VR/AR, and
  • its impactful application in multiple industry and societal settings.

How many PhD students will there be?

D-REAL will have four intakes of at least thirty PhD students, so 120+ students will be trained as world class researchers through the SFI Centre for Research Training in Digitally-Enhanced Reality (D-REAL).

What Universities are involved?

  • Trinity College Dublin (TCD; D-REAL Coordinator)
  • Dublin City University (DCU)
  • National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG)
  • Technical University Dublin (TU-Dublin, formally DIT)
  • University College Dublin (UCD)

When will it begin?

We will be accepting applications for PhDs starting in September 2019 very soon. There will be three subsequent intakes of students in 2020, 2021 and 2022.


Please register your interest here and we will let you know when the application process is live.

D-REAL Leadership Team

  • Lead Applicant: Prof. Carol O‚ÄôSullivan, Professor of Visual Computing and Head of the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin (TCD).
  • Prof. Vincent Wade, Chair of Computer Science (1990) and Professor of Artificial Intelligence at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), and founding Director of the SFI ADAPT centre for Digital Content Technology
  • Prof. Julie Berndsen, Professor of Computational Linguistics and Speech Technology at University College Dublin (UCD).
  • Prof. Alan Smeaton, Professor of Computing at Dublin City University (DCU) and founding Director of the SFI INSIGHT Centre for Data Analytics.
  • Prof. Peter Corcoran, Professor of Electronic Engineering at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) and Director of the Centre for Computational, Connected & Cognitive Imaging (C3I).
  • Prof. John D. Kelleher, Academic Leader of the Information, Communication, and Entertainment (ICE) Research Institute at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).