Ph.D. Studentship in interpretation of human behaviour in Human-Robot Interaction

University of Plymouth - Faculty of Science & Engineering - School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics

A 3-year PhD studentship is available, initially on the European project “DREAM: Development of Robot-Enhanced therapy for children with AutisM spectrum disorders” ( This candidate will carry out interdisciplinary research on human robot interaction (HRI), with a particular focus on robot understanding and interpretation of human behaviour. The first year will focus on the particular use case of DREAM (where such interpretations can assist psychotherapists in evaluating progress during therapeutic sessions) and thus offers a unique opportunity to gain immediate practical experience with the open research challenges in this area. The student will be supervised by Associate Professor Serge Thill and Professor Tony Belpaeme (School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics).

The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full Home/EU tuition fees plus a stipend of £14,553 per annum.  The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home/EU fees with relevant qualifications.  Applicants normally required to cover overseas fees will have to cover the difference between the Home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates (approximately £10,350 per annum).

For further information contact Serge Thill ( and Tony Belpaeme ( Background information on the supervisors’ research profiles can be found on Plymouth University website.


Applicants must have a first degree in computer science, robotics, cognitive science or related discipline. A Masters level degree in the same disciplines is a desirable criterion. Good programming skills is also an essential requirement. Applicants with knowledge, and/or previous research experience in human-robot interaction and/or machine learning are particularly encouraged to apply.

General information about applying for a research degree at Plymouth University is available at:

You can apply via the online application form, which can be found at: and click ‘Apply’.

Please mark it FAO Mrs Carole Watson and clearly state that you are applying for a PhD studentship within the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics.

Applicants should upload a CV, along with their application and provide 2 referees within their application.

This is a full-time position working 37 hours per week on a fixed-term basis for 36 months starting 1 October 2017.

The closing date for applications is 12 midnight, 31 August 2017.

Plymouth University is committed to an inclusive culture and respecting diversity, and welcomes applications from all sections of the community and is a Stonewall diversity champion.

The University holds a Bronze Athena SWAN Award which recognises commitment to advancing women’s career in STEMM academia.

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South West England