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Understanding/modelling Human Face Perception

   Faculty of Natural Sciences

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  Dr P J B Hancock  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Applications are invited for a funded full-time PhD studentship available for UK/EU citizens to work in the Face Research Lab with Professor Peter Hancock. The project could be anything in the area of human face recognition/perception and so potentially entirely experimental. However, I would welcome applications to work on a computer model of human face perception and recognition. Such a model should show characteristics of human perception, for example being very good at recognising familiar faces but rather poor with unfamiliar ones, yet still able to derive things like age, sex, race and expression. Note that this is explicitly not a hard-core, squeeze the best you can out of a deep neural network project. It would be about modelling, to some extent, how humans might do it. The balance between modelling and experimental work would be open to discussion.

The student will join a much larger project, FACER2VM (, where the aim is to improve the state of the art in computer face recognition ‘in the wild’, working with two postdocs who are studying human face recognition. There is a second studentship available starting at the same time, which might be more experimental in nature. One of them will be funded by the Dylis Crabtree scholarship, for which preference will be given to female applicants.

Doing a computational project would require good programming skills, for example in Matlab or Python. Ideally you will also already be familiar with the psychology of human face perception.

Informal enquiries to Peter Hancock, [Email Address Removed] Tel: +44 (0) 1786 467675. I’m aiming to make decisions by early May.

Formal application by submitting a CV and research proposal via the online application, selecting ‘Research Degree in Psychology’:

Once you have started the application process, please email [Email Address Removed] to ask to be exempted from the ‘find-a-supervisor’ process.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available for three-years, and includes a tax-free stipend of approximately £14,777 p.a. Tuition fees will be met by the University at the home/EU rate. Subject to satisfactory progress review at the end of the first year, the studentship will be renewed for a second year and thereafter for a third year.

The studentship will have an anticipated registration date of 1 October 2018.

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