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PhD Studentship in Computer Science: Trustworthy, Transparent, and Self-aware Autonomous Agent Systems

Newcastle University

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £18,622
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 10th October 2023
Closes: 31st January 2024
Reference: COMP2151

Award Summary

100% Home fees covered and a minimum tax-free annual living allowance of £18,622 (2023-24 UKRI rate)

Overview

Autonomous agent systems have the promise to improve our lives with applications ranging from a swarm of drones in mission-critical tasks to sophisticated robots in care homes. To realise this potential, these systems need to be trustworthy (safe to employ by users), transparent (accountable for humans to scrutinise), and self-ware (capable of collaborating with other agents/humans), in particular, under an environment pervaded by uncertainty.

This PhD project provides a unique opportunity to develop new and improve existing methods for 

  • verifying the correctness of agent designs/implementations,  
  • capturing the properties of transparency within agent designs/implementations, 
  • developing agent self-awareness for knowledge, spatiotemporal, risk, and social dimensions. 

Number Of Awards

1

Start Date

April or September 2024

Award Duration

3.5 years

Application Closing Date

31 January 2024

Sponsor

School of Computing

Supervisors

Dr Mengwei Xu

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants should have, or expect to gain, a first class or high 2:1 honours/master degree or international equivalent in Mathematics, Physics, Engineering or Computer Science. A strong mathematical (e.g. discrete mathematics) or programming background will be highly advantageous.

Applicants whose first language is not English require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills.

The studentship covers fees at the Home rate (UK and EU applicants with pre-settled/settled status and meet the residency criteria). International applicants are welcome to apply but will be required to cover the difference between Home and International fees. 

International applicants may require an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate prior to obtaining their visa and to study on this programme. 

How To Apply

You must apply through the University’s Apply to Newcastle Portal 

Once registered select ‘Create a Postgraduate Application’. 

Use ‘Course Search’ to identify your programme of study:   

  • Search for the ‘Course Title’ using the programme code: 8050F 
  • Research Area: Computing Science  
  • Select PhD Computer Science as the programme of study  

You will then need to provide the following information in the ‘Further Questions’ section:   

  • A ‘Personal Statement’ (this is a mandatory field) - upload a document or write a statement directly in to the application form. This ‘Personal Statement’ should answer at least the following four questions: 
  • Comment on your transcript/predicted degree marks, outlining both strong and weak points. 
  • Discuss your final year Undergraduate project work - and if appropriate your MSc project work. 
  • How well does your previous study prepare you for undertaking Postgraduate Research? 
  • Why do you believe you are suitable for doing Postgraduate Research? 
  • A up-to-date CV and transcripts 
  • The studentship code COMP2151 in the ‘Studentship/Partnership Reference’ field   
  • When prompted regarding your research proposal - select ‘Write Proposal’. You should then type in the title of the research project from this advert. You do not need to upload a research proposal. 

Contact Details

Dr Mengwei Xu

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