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AI4ME (BBC Prosperity Partnership)


   School of Computing & Communications

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

A fully funded PhD studentship which including fees and stipend is available for candidates to join the BBC partnership 'AI4ME' in the School of Computing & Communications at Lancaster University.

AI4ME is an exciting new five-year EPSRC & BBC-funded Prosperity Partnership that will address the key challenges involved in creating and delivering personalised content at scale. AI4ME brings together the BBC, Lancaster University and University of Surrey to design entirely new types of media experiences that can adapt to individual preferences, accessibility requirements, devices, and location. This is a unique opportunity for students to join a major new research partnership and take advantage of this vibrant collaborative research environment.

AI4ME builds upon the rapid changes underway within the industry in how media experiences are produced and delivered, from television and films to video games. In television and broadcast media, the prevalence of Internet-based delivery supports the independent transport of different parts of a stream – including audio, video, and additional media experience components – to be composed together at the point of playback. This paradigm is enabling new forms of hyper-personalised and immersive storytelling and represents both opportunities and new challenges in the network delivery of these experiences.

We are looking for PhD candidates to be part of our exciting journey in building the world’s first hyper-adaptive end-to-end delivery infrastructure to deliver personalised object-based media on an unprecedented scale. This will require research in computer networking and distributed systems.

The following represent possible areas that could form the basis of your PhD:

  • Novel Self-Adaptive Distributed Systems Paradigms: new approaches to building distributed systems, in which self-adaptive behaviours are at the core of the system’s capability.
  • Distributed Reinforcement Learning: developing new techniques which scale well for state-of-the-art real-world stream processing systems.
  • Orchestration Methods, Models, and Languages: how orchestration models or languages can be used within a highly adaptive deployment infrastructure to provide services that meet specific delivery criteria.

About You

You will have a 1st or 2:1 (Hons) degree in Computer Science (or related field), or a Masters (or equivalent) in a relevant engineering or scientific discipline or equivalent specialist experience.

You need to have a genuine interest, and ideally experience, in computer networking or distributed systems and should be able to demonstrate strong computer programming skills.

Evidence of research skills, for example, through a significant Bachelors/Masters project involving experimental research, appropriate use of the literature and a formal dissertation-style report will be considered a plus.

General enquiries are welcomed by Professor Nicholas Race by email at

You may apply directly: Applying for postgraduate study mentioning the “AI4ME PhD studentship”.


Funding Notes

This PhD studentship is open to UK students and cover university tuition fees for 4 years and a tax-free maintenance grant (stipend) of £17668k per annum. The studentships also include funding to support travel costs to present research at national and international conferences.

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