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PhD Studentship: Machine Learning based Painting Authentication

Bournemouth University - Faculty of Media & Communication

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bournemouth
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £15,000
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 25th March 2019
Closes: 26th May 2019

Funding amount: £15,000 maintenance grant per annum

Lead Supervisor name: Dr Hongchuan Yu

Art historians employ a wide range of methods for authenticating and dating works by artistic masters, for example, microchemical analysis of paint samples, canvas thread counting, documentary research, and categorizing painting styles and techniques. For the last of these approaches, most of them have become increasingly interested in computer-based analysis schemes since driven by rapid advancements in digitization, computers can extract certain patterns from scans more thoroughly than is possible through manual attempts, can process a much larger number of paintings, and are less subjective.

Research efforts based on computational techniques to study art and cultural heritages have emerged in the recent years. However, the current methods cannot provide a precise definition and measurement of brushstrokes for a given painting. Indeed, painting authentication prefers to objective assessments based on brushstrokes rather than subjective judgements, e.g. “like” or “not like”.

This proposal aims to extract brushstrokes from paintings and further develop a statistical framework for assessing the level of distinction between categories of paintings and for identifying attributes that differ significantly in average.

What does the funded studentship include?

Funded candidates will receive a maintenance grant of £15,000 per annum (unless otherwise specified), to cover their living expenses and have their fees waived for 48 months. In addition, research costs, including field work and conference attendance, will be met.

Funded Studentships are open to both UK/EU and International students unless otherwise specified.

Eligibility criteria

Candidates for funded PhD studentship must demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 4 years.

Studentship candidates must demonstrate outstanding academic potential with a 1st class honours degree and/or a Master’s degree with distinction. An IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6 in each component) is essential for candidates for whom English is not their first language.

Additional Eligibility:

A good programming experience or mathematics is desired.

In addition to satisfying basic entry criteria, BU will look closely at the qualities, skills and background of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project in order to ensure successful and timely completion.

Closing date: The first call for applications will close on 26 May 2019.

For further information on how to apply click the ‘Apply’ button below or email

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