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Using computer vision to determine emotion in animals


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  Prof Matt Bell  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Title: Doctoral Studentship (PhD)

Application Closing Date: Wednesday 9 th February 2022

Location: Hartpury University, Gloucestershire.

Stipend: £14,000 per annum home student, £7,000 per annum international student

Contract Type: Full Time (3 years)

Area of Research: Using computer vision to determine emotion in animals

The aim of this studentship is to use computer vision technology to monitor animal emotion. The project will use facial expression analysis to obtain signals of emotional wellbeing, both positive and negative, such as pleasure, pain, and stress via facial cues. Computer models will be used to learn facial features for livestock and companion animals that are indicative of the differing emotions for the generation of vision-based tracking technology. Digital technology offers the opportunity to provide an objective assessment of animals and support their management. As animal management becomes increasingly data informed, how that information is best utilised by owners is still poorly understood and particularly for managing individual animals. The project would suit a student with a background in computer science. The objectives of the work are to:

1) Carry out studies to collate training images of animal faces and elicit changes in emotion

2) Develop and train computer vision models to detect emotions

3) Propose a technological solution that enhances the monitoring of animal wellbeing

For more information and for an initial discussion please contact [Email Address Removed]

Description of studentship:

Hartpury University is pleased to be offering three fully funded studentship to start on 4th April 2022. This studentship will be based in the Animal and Agriculture Research Centre. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to become part of vibrant postgraduate community in an idyllic rural setting, with world leading facilities and undertaking impactful cutting-edge research. University of the West of England is the awarding body for this degree.

Studentships comprise of tuition fees at home rates and a stipend of GBP 14k per year tenable for 3 years. Alongside their research projects, successful candidates will be asked (as a condition of their stipend) to deliver up to 7 hours per week teaching or research support within the Department in which the PhD is hosted.

PhD Studentship Selection Criteria: The following criteria will be taken into account when considering applications:

  • The strength of your professional and academic profile, as demonstrated through previous study and/or professional experience
  • A background in computer science
  • The quality, invention and viability of ideas relating to the research project you are applying for
  • The contribution you are able to make to the Hartpury research community and your host department, in terms of both research and teaching

Candidates should also be aware of the following:

The normal expectation is that applicants will hold at least a 2:1 or a Masters qualification from a UK university or a degree of comparable standing from a university outside the UK. The candidate’s degree relevant to the studentship should demonstrate their potential for practice-led research or alternative evidence of research aptitude.

Applicants whose first language is not English require a recognised English language qualification. The minimum entry requirement is GCSE English at grade C or above or IELTS score 7.0 or TOEFL score 600 (or demonstrable equivalent).

Applying for a PhD studentship

To apply for a PhD studentship you must send the following documents to [Email Address Removed]:

A curriculum vitae (maximum 3 pages)

A covering letter outlining your suitability for the studentship

A recent piece of critical writing you have completed (max 3000 words)

If English is not your first language, certification of English language qualification

Applications that do not arrive by Midnight (UK time) on Wednesday 9th February 2022 will not be considered.

If your application is selected, you will be invited for interview on Wednesday 16th February 2022. All applicants must ensure their availability on this date.

Key dates

9th February 2022: Deadline for submission of applications

16th February 2022: Interviews at Hartpury*

25th February 2022: Studentships announced

7th March 2022: Deadline for accepting studentship

4th April 2022: Studentship begins

*Please note that by submitting an application you are confirming your availability to attend an interview on Wednesday 16th February 2022.

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. We will ensure that all our recruitment and selection practices reflect this commitment. All successful candidates will be subject to Disclosure and Barring Service checks along with other relevant employment checks.

Hartpury values a diverse workforce and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.


Funding Notes

Stipend: £14,000 per annum home student, £7,000 per annum international student
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