FindA University Ltd Featured PhD Programmes
FindA University Ltd Featured PhD Programmes
FindA University Ltd Featured PhD Programmes

PhD Psychology: Building a Culturally Flexible Generative Model of Face Signalling for Social Robots

College of Science and Engineering

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Dr R Jack , Prof Philippe Schyns No more applications being accepted Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The project: This ambitious project aims to mathematically model the human face as an algebraic generator of dynamic social signals, and build a psychologically and culturally valid generative model of social face signalling that is transferrable to social robots. The project will use a multidisciplinary approach that combines social and cultural psychology with dynamic 3D structural face computer graphics, vision science psychophysical methods, and mathematical psychology.

Research environment: The successful applicant will experience a unique research environment, undertake a specific programme of specialist research skill development, and have access to (1) state-of-the-art 4D structural face imaging technology; (2) specialist in-house training on quantitative methods and statistical analyses (e.g., 4D image processing, model fitting); (3) a strategic research agenda and an intellectually stimulating environment; (4) postgraduate/postdoctoral communities; (5) a dedicated Research Technologist specializing in 3D and 4D computer graphics; (6) a dedicated IT support team providing data storage (>4 Petabytes), high-security data management systems, high-performance equipment and software; (7) an online Subject Pool (18,000+ members, 106 nationalities); and (8) international collaborators via Jack, Schyns, and DI4D.

Supervision/Training: The successful applicant will join an internationally renowned high performance interdisciplinary research team, and will receive regular close supervision from Jack & Schyns via weekly lab meetings to develop specialist knowledge and skills including 3D & 4D face capture and generation, advanced MATLAB programming, lab preparation, data collection, computing face signalling models, analyzing high-dimensional data, scientific writing, and producing high-quality data visualizations for presentations and publications. The successful applicant will also work closely with DI4D, possibly other interested parties (e.g., gaming industry), and potential users (e.g., Facebook virtual reality). The successful applicant will also present at national and international academic conferences, participate in public engagement activities, and submit their work to high-impact and specialist peer reviewed academic journals.

Required qualifications:
o Outstanding academic record. At least 2.1 Honours Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science, Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Engineering, or related fields;
o Excellent team working, organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills;
o Demonstrated interest or research experience in psychology, social robotics, communication, or related fields;
o Undergraduate level knowledge of statistics and data analysis;
o Strong work ethic

Preferred qualifications:
o Strong computer programming skills (e.g., MATLAB, OpenGL, Python, Java)

Funding Notes

Funding is available to cover tuition fees for UK-resident applicants through the ESRC, as well as paying a stipend at the Research Council rate (estimated £14,553 for Session 2017-18).

Candidates MUST have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the project (although this can include a short period of absence such as a year abroad). See Annex 1: Residential guidelines here for more details:

Check your eligibility here:
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