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Lifelong Learning Neural Systems

   School of Science

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  Dr A Soltoggio, Dr Shirin Dora  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

We are seeking excellent candidates to advance core AI research in the area of lifelong learning machines. This new field of AI seeks to create machines that learn during a lifetime similarly to biological brains. This research continues and advances recent progress from the DARPA-funded Lifelong Learning Machines (L2M) and Shared Experience Lifelong Learning (ShELL) projects. Collaboration opportunities with world-leading AI laboratories will be encouraged and supported.

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Graduate School, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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The ability to learn over a lifetime, building on previous knowledge, and increasing performance over many tasks is a defining ability of biological systems. On the contrary, artificial neural systems mostly lack this ability because they are best suited to learn only one task and forget past knowledge. This Ph.D. aims to advance core scientific methods to create lifelong learning machines, particularly in the context of learning agents in reward-based environments. The aim is to create systems that can continuously learn over a lifetime and during deployment, in a variety of tasks and contexts.

Find out more:

You can read more on this research topic in the review paper “Born to Learn” at and this article on Shared Experience Lifelong Learning

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in computer science, mathematics, or a related subject. A relevant master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: computer science, machine learning.

Please see the programme website for international entry requirements by country.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.


All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select 'Computer Science'. Please quote reference number: AS/CO/2022.

Funding Notes

Please note that studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and other advertised projects within the School. Funding decisions will not be confirmed until early 2022. The studentship is for 3 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,609 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK rate. International (including EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will cover the International Tuition Fee Only.
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