PhD student in Human-in-the-Loop Design and Automation for Social Robotics

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 21 Feb 2022

Published: 2022-01-20

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 54,000 students, more than 7,500 employees and a turnover of around SEK 8 billion.

The PhD student will be based at the Uppsala Social Robotics Lab, Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University.

The Department of Information Technology has approximately 300 employees and conducts research and education in a spectrum of areas within Computer Science and Information Technology. The research is organized in five Divisions, and the research at the Division of Visual Information and Interaction is a unique combination of expertise in computerized image analysis and human-computer interaction. More information about the department and its activities can be found at .

The Uppsala Social Robotics Lab ( ) aims to design and develop robots that learn to interact socially with humans and bring benefits to the society we live in, for example in application areas such as education and assistive technology.

The PhD project will be supervised by Katie Winkle (main supervisor) and Ginevra Castellano.

Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at Uppsala University

The PhD project will be focused on using human-in-the-loop design and automation methods to increase diversity in (i) who gets to develop social robots and (ii) what social robots “look like” (in terms of e.g. physical appearance, behaviour and/or “personality”) for improving human-robot interaction in socially assistive contexts (e.g. health, education). The specific PhD research plan will be adapted to the candidate's research plan, profile, and interests.

The candidate must have (at the time of the start of the project) a Master of Science degree in computer science or related areas relevant to the PhD project topics such as interaction design and HCI. Good programming skills and willingness to work in an interdisciplinary team are required. Good communication skills in English, both spoken and written, are required (prior knowledge of Swedish is not required but is an advantage).

Additional qualifications
Experience with programming robots, machine learning and/or conducting experimental user studies is an advantage. The PhD position is highly interdisciplinary such that an understanding and/or interest in human-centered design, social sciences and/or psychology would be advantage. An interest in the social and ethical consequences of AI and robotics would be particularly appreciated.

The application should include a description of yourself, your research interests, reasons for applying for this particular PhD position and past experience (max. 3 pages), a CV, copies of relevant university degrees and transcripts, links to relevant publications and your MSc thesis (or a summary in case the thesis work is ongoing) and other relevant documents. Candidates are encouraged to provide contact information to up to 3 reference persons. We would also like to know your earliest possible date for starting. Please note that applications can only be accepted via the web interface link below (and not via email).

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines .

About the employment
The employment is a temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. Scope of employment 100 %. Starting date as soon as possible or as agreed with the supervisors. Placement: Uppsala.

For further information about the position, please contact: Katie Winkle,; Professor Ginevra Castellano, telephone: +46 18-471 3463, +46 70-4250200,

Please submit your application by 21 February 2022, UFV-PA 2022/183.

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Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Information Technology

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: ST/TCO
Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2022/183

Last application date: 2022-02-21

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