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  Haptic Augmented VR for Improved Information Capture and Exchange in Medical/Social Environments


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  Dr Arkadiusz Sitek  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Sano Centre for Computational Medicine is a new International Scientific Foundation located in Kraków, Poland. Sano aspires to be a major translational scientific institute, operating at the meeting point of academic science, established MedTech industry, and emerging start-up environment, combining the best of these three perspectives. Established with support from the European Commission and the Foundation for Polish Science, Sano aims to be a major driving force behind the advancement of computational medicine for the benefit of healthcare systems worldwide.

Sano will act as a core technology and expertise provider for industry, and creator of innovation, developing state-of-the-art solutions for healthcare. Thanks to the substantial funding and excellent European partnership network, Sano will bring a critical mass to this transformational field of research, in order to translate scientific advancements onto clinical practice. Sano’s ambition is to become the Reference Centre for Computational Medicine in Central Europe and build a reputation as a leading center on a global level. 

As a cross-disciplinary institution, Sano will use machine learning/artificial intelligence (ML/AI), large scale computer simulations, data science, and other computational technologies towards overcoming global challenges in healthcare systems. The research agenda will be executed in close collaboration with Partners in Poland, EU and USA.

  • About job
  • Closing date: March 31st
  • Level of education: Master's degree
  • Hours: 40 hours per week
  • Salary indication: up to 8000 PLN gross monthly


University of Sheffield: Dr. John Fenner (dr. Andrew Narracott – 2nd supervisor, dr. David Randall – 3rd supervisor)

Sano: Dr. Arkadiusz Sitek

Project period: Apr 2021 – Mar 2024 (the project will start as soon as the candidate is accepted, and is planned for 4 years)

Degree Awarding InstitutionUniversity of Sheffield

This project will provide the methods and technologies for augmenting VR with cheap, adaptable, accessible haptic technology, designed to facilitate natural information exchange. Although VR currently finds application in numerous social contexts (eg. VR conferencing), it suffers from constraints, such as its capacity to isolate the user from traditional office tools such as keyboard, mouse, pen and paper. This project proposes a novel, cheap and effective solution incorporating haptics and hand tracking, 3D printing etc. As proof of concept, the result will provide a haptic rendition of keyboard/mouse/pen/paper in VR that is seamlessly integrated with the VR environment. This will transform information exchange in a social VR context, by removing isolation from necessary office tools, and open the door to many potential applications.

For this PhD, the effectiveness of this strategy will be evaluated through two environments, namely surgical planning in the clinic, and supervision of in silico medicine R&D. Simple exercises will be assessed with and without the haptically-augmented tools, relying on relevant metrics and questionnaires to judge performance. A successful outcome will promote refinement and urge further acceptance (i.e. translation) within broader medical and technical environments.

This is innovative work and multiple publications and broad application is anticipated. Resolution of issues relating to IP will be a necessary feature of the PhD.

  • What are you going to do?

You are expected to: 

  • do original research in this field under the direction of the supervisor;
  • participate in the many seminars by internal and external speakers as well as journal clubs and group activities;
  • collaborate with other PhD candidates, postdoctoral researchers and other Sano employees.

As our successful candidate you should have:

  • Master’s degree (completed or near completion) or 1st Class undergraduate Honours degree in a relevant discipline such as computer science, engineering, robotics, computer graphics, bioinformatics, etc.;
  • knowledge of numerical methods, virtual reality, game design, programming skills (Python, C#);
  • interest in pursuing applied research;
  • excellent written and oral English communication skills, to meet the entry requirements for PhD study at of the University of Sheffield

We offer a fixed term contract for 40 hours per week for the duration of 4 years. This will be supported by an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. The contract will include opportunities to participate in teaching and supervision of undergraduate and master students.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be up to 8000 PLN gross per month, based on a full-time contract (40 hours a week) for the duration of 4 years with private medical care and a sports card.

This PhD will be a collaboration between Sano and the Insigneo institute for in-silico medicine (Sheffield). The University of Sheffield will be the degree awarding body. The student will be based in Poland, Krakow operating in conjunction with the Cyfronet supercomputing centre hosted by AGH. Visits to Sheffield will form part of the PhD for purposes of strengthened supervision and training – the student is expected to spend up to 6 months visiting collaborating institutions including Sheffield during the contract.

Sano offers excellent opportunities for study and development, an access to many international conferences on computational medicine and a possibility to grow in a scientific society.

If you feel that this job opportunity is the career that you are looking for, please apply immediately and give Sano a chance to meet you. Please, be informed that Sano will contact only with Candidates fulfilling the formal criteria.

Sano is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application.

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • a cover letter;
  • a curriculum vitae;

During later stages, you’ll also be asked to provide:

  • copies of your degree certificates;
  • copies of your English certificates;
  • two reference letters (to be submitted online by the reference writers).

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 About the Project