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EPSRC - Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (IGGI)

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Fully-funded four-year PhD Studentship available

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (IGGI)

One fully-funded four-year PhD Studentship available for September 2017 start at the University of Essex

Covers fees at Home/EU rate and a tax-free stipend

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (IGGI) provides an opportunity to undertake a funded four-year PhD with a unique training programme in new technology and applications for digital games. Based at the School of Computer Science, University of Essex, you will be working alongside 45 PhD students in IGGI, and receive expert input from over 60 games industry and game user partners. Your supervision team will be drawn from a pool of over 80 world-leading academics in games across 3 Universities. See www.iggi.org.uk/apply/ for details of how to apply.

IGGI is a collaboration between the University of York, the University of Essex and Goldsmiths, University of London. The IGGI Centre trains the next generation of leading researchers, designers, developers and entrepreneurs in digital games.

Ranked in the top 20 UK universities for research excellence (REF 2014), Essex was one of the earliest UK universities to offer Computer Science as a degree subject with the founding of the original Department of Computer Science by Professor Tony Brooker who had worked with Alan Turing at Manchester. The University of Essex was one of the pioneers of serious research in Artificial Intelligence in the 1970s. In the 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities, Essex was ranked joint 8th in the UK for Computer Science.

The studentship is based in the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, a vibrant school that cares passionately about excellence in research and in education, and prides itself on its research-led education. We are a growing school projected to have more than 50 academic staff by 2018. We offer a transformative education to our students, and the latest official figures (source: DHLE) show a graduate employment rate of 97.1%.

For this IGGI studentship we particularly welcome applications in the following research areas:

  • General Video Game AI (see gvgai.net)
  • Applications of Monte Carlo Tree Search, Rolling Horizon Evolution and Deep Learning
  • Automated generation of novel games
  • AI Assisted Game Design (Automated game evaluation, Level Generation, Automated Game Tuning)
  • The interplay between games and robotics
  • Believable Characters
  • Player experience modelling
  • Gamification


IGGI gives you the chance to work on a focused research topic to extend the forefront of current knowledge in digital games technology and applications. IGGI gives you the opportunity to work with our industrial partners on your research, giving you an opportunity to contribute directly to the future of games. You’ll have the opportunity to undertake industrial placements during the programme. These give you first-hand experience of the gaming industry, contributing to your research, as well as giving you the skills needed to succeed in a career in the games industry or games research.

Fully-funded four-year PhD Studentship available

Our partners include organisations such as: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, The Creative Assembly, Codemasters, 22Cans, Eutechnyx, Roll7, Rebellion, Game Republic, UKIE, TIGA, The Knowledge Transfer Network, BT, Sue Ryder. Check them all out at www.iggi.org.uk/industry-partners/.

Your research work with partners like these will help to increase the use of games as a tool for scientific research and societal good, as well as creating more fun and profitable games that exploit research advances. Your research will take up around 80% of your time, working closely with one or more expert supervisors. This research will be supplemented by a tailored teaching and training programme where you will develop games and undertake other activities in small teams with the other IGGI PhD students. See www.iggi.org.uk/students/ for example of the IGGI students work to date.

You will develop through events such as:

  • the IGGI Game Jam, a 48 hour Game Development Challenge to enhance your skills in game design and development, and teamwork. This is part of the Global Game Jam, so you will be jamming alongside teams from all over the world;
  • the IGGI Symposium, a student-led event that is a showcase for student research alongside industry and academic speakers.
  • industry days, where practitioners from industry share insights into their business and present real-world problems for teams to solve.

You will receive high-level technical skills training from a range of academic leaders, covering topics in games development, games design and research skills. You will also have the opportunity to access advanced taught modules at your home institution.

Apply for IGGI

We have one fully-funded studentship to award to an outstanding applicant that covers fees and an annual tax-free stipend of at least £14,553 (tax and national insurance free) for four years.

You can contact potential supervisors directly (see the Essex supervisors on this list www.iggi.org.uk/supervisors/), or we can help you to choose a principal supervisor from Essex based on your interests and background.

In previous years, we have had substantial competition for IGGI studentships, and we encourage good students to submit applications as early as possible, and to contact potential supervisors well before the deadline. The deadline for applications is midnight (GMT) on Friday 5th May 2017. Interviews are expected to be held on Friday 26th May, 2017.

For details of how to apply, visit www.iggi.org.uk/apply/.

fully-funded four-year PhD Studentship available
Centres For Doctoral Training

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