Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh are jointly offering an exciting opportunity to study a PhD through an innovative 4-year PhD training programme, drawing on our extensive experience with postgraduate teaching and research supervision in the area of Robotics and Autonomous Systems.
Robots have the potential to revolutionise the world's economy and society over the next twenty years, working for us, beside us and interacting with us. The Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) area was highlighted by the UK Government in 2013 as one of the 8 Great Technologies that underpin the UK's Industrial Strategy for jobs and growth. The UK urgently needs graduates with the technical skills and industry awareness to create an innovation pipeline from academic research to global markets, in application areas including manufacturing, assistive/medical robots, offshore energy, environmental monitoring, search and rescue, defence, and support for the ageing population.
We are recruiting students who have, or expect to obtain, a 2i or higher in Engineering, Computer Science or related subjects such as Maths, Physics, Computational Linguistics. Applicants from a Psychology background with a strong technical background and/or experience in statistical research methods are also welcome.
Year one comprises a taught element aimed at filling in gaps in knowledge that you may need for your PhD and providing you with foundation skills in research for RAS. With your supervisor, you will agree a flexible Technical Learning Portfolio based on your proposed research area, your current knowledge and previous education. You are expected to spend approximately 50% of your time on taught courses and 50% exploring your PhD topic, reading papers and conducting a literature review, which will go in your first-year report.
During year two, you will focus on your PhD but there will be a Group Project based on a real-world problem, as well as prestigious speaker and personal development events and courses (#Cauldron). The goal of the group project is to promote and encourage cross-disciplinary and co-creation approaches to working.
In year three, you have the possibility of an international placement with industry or an academic Project Partner, to expose you to different working environments and cultures, scientific excellence and broaden your horizons and employment opportunities.
Year 4 will focus on finishing the PhD but also includes further training on innovation and industry-readiness and the opportunity to apply for funding to seed start-up ideas.