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Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher

University of Sheffield - Department of Psychology & Department of Computer Science

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Sheffield
Funding for: EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £37,335 salary per annum
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 7th June 2019
Closes: 2nd July 2019
Reference: UOS022830

Fixed-term for three years

Faculty: Faculty of Science, Faculty of Engineering

Salary: £37,335 per annum. This includes a non-pensionable annual Mobility Allowance of £4,889 (available to all post holders). An additional non-pensionable Family Allowance of £2,038 per annum is available to those in a legally recognised partnership

Applications are invited for two three-year Early Stage Researcher pre-doctoral positions on tactile processing for robotics and prosthetics. The positions are part of the new H2020 Marie-Curie Network NeuTouch ( NeuTouch aims at improving artificial tactile systems, by training a new generation of researchers that study how human and animal’s tactile systems work, develop a new type of technology that is based on the same principles, and use this technology for building robots that can help humans in daily tasks and artificial limbs that can give the user the sensation of real touch.

The two projects allocated to the University of Sheffield are:

1. Memory-based tactile perception and task-relevant action selection in robots

The aim of the project is to develop, and implement in robots, a biologically-inspired mathematical model of how spatiotemporal patterns of tactile information can be efficiently encoded and recalled for the selection of action and control of behavior.

The PhD will be under the main supervision of Professor Tony Prescott (Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Engineering).

Key requirements are a good degree in a numerate discipline (e.g. Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics), with experience of programming (ideally in Python, C, or Matlab), a strong interest and/or experience in understanding human/animal brain function, experience/strong interest in robotics.

2. A spiking model of realistic human tactile interactions

This project aims to improve current population spiking models of peripheral tactile responses such that they can be directly coupled to an appropriate touch sensor and deliver realistic tactile feedback in real-time.

The PhD will be under the supervision of Dr Hannes Saal (Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science).

Key requirements are a degree in Computer Science, engineering, or another numerate discipline, with experience in programming (ideally Python or Matlab); an interest in interdisciplinary work involving neuroscience, robotics, and engineering.

Successful individuals will be employed as a salaried researcher at the University of Sheffield, while studying towards his/her PhD. Salary rates and additional mobility, career and travel allowances are as per the Marie Curie programme (see Annex 3 of this document, page 69). Please check Section III.3 of the following link for further information on the Marie Curie scheme regarding eligibility criteria: . In particular, candidates cannot have lived in the UK for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their appointment. In addition to submitting applications to the University of Sheffield, candidates should apply via the website provided by coordinator:

We’re one of the best not-for-profit organisations to work for in the UK. The University’s Total Reward Package includes a competitive salary, a generous Pension Scheme and annual leave entitlement, as well as access to a range of learning and development courses to support your personal and professional development.

We build teams of people from different heritages and lifestyles whose talent and contributions complement each other to greatest effect. We believe diversity in all its forms delivers greater impact through research, teaching and student experience.

Follow @sheffielduni and @ShefUniJobs on Twitter for more information about what makes the University of Sheffield a remarkable place to work.

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