PhD opportunities in Computer Science
Funding may be available for the projects below, if there is no specific funding mentioned with the project details please check the 'Funding' tab for further options.
We also welcome applications from students who already have funding in place.
For further information contact the relevant supervisor.
Please note this list is not complete and applicants should contact staff members in whose research there are interested.
Heriot-Watt University is seeking applicants for Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP) scholarships or James Watt Scholarships on ICT-Robotic Interactive Technology for Healthy Ageing and Assisted Living
All applicants must have or expect to have a 1st class Honours degree or Masters Degree in Computer Science by Autumn 2019. Selection will be based on academic excellence and research potential, and all short-listed applicants will be interviewed (in person or by Skype).
Heriot-Watt University has available Doctoral Training Partnerships and James Watt Scholarships in the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences for 2019. The James Watt scholarships will provide full fees and stipend for 3 years from Autumn 2019, whilst the DTPs provide full fees and stipend for 3.5 years. DTP’s are only open to UK/EU applicants. For James Watt Scholarship students, the annual stipend will be £15k and full fees will be paid, for 3 years, whilst for DTP Scholarship students, the annual stipend will be £14,777 and full fees will be paid, for 3.5 years.
PhD ICT-Robotic Interactive Technology for Healthy Ageing and Assisted Living
These PhD projects will contribute to the development of innovative, engaging, sustainable, affordable and scalable ICT-Robotic solutions to address the national priority of caring for people and the urgent problem caused by the predicted steeply rising costs and strains of healthcare provision and services. The work will involve establishing realistic requirements through data gathering and interpretation activities to ensure that the technology is designed to deliver maximum impact by making the right transformation in relation to existing care models/processes. To this end, the research will avail of a new state-of-the-art laboratory situated in the Heriot-Watt campus in Edinburgh. The laboratory provides a ‘Living Lab’ home environment where roboticists and computer scientists, and also health experts, psychologists, and sociologists, can work alongside people with assisted living needs and those supporting them, to co-design and test innovative solutions for health and assisted living.
The student will be supervised Lynne Baillie of the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences (MACS) based at Heriot-Watt University. Heriot-Watt University is recognised as one of the leading UK research institutes in general engineering as per the Research Excellence Framework (REF) results of 2014 (ranked 1st). The Human Robotic Interaction (HRI) research group in CS is one of the leading research groups in the UK in this area.
MACS is part of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics. The Centre harnesses the potential of 30 world leading investigators from 12 cross disciplinary research groups and Institutes across Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh. The research and training focus is on the broad classes of physical and cognitive interactions between robots, people, environments and autonomous systems.
To apply for a studentship, candidates should complete an online application. Candidates can also send an inquiry email to Lynne Baillie if they wish to find out more about the position and discuss project ideas before applying. Further details of the research group can be found on the HRI Group webpage.
Learning from failure: how can we use unexpected interactions to understand the world better?
In order to navigate around an environment - whether physical or virtual - automated systems need a representation of what that environment is like, and how they expect physical objects and/or other systems to behave. But in the real world, environments are both complex and dynamic, meaning that automated systems often have representations of the world that are not precisely correct - and this vagueness or incorrectness may lead to interactions with the world that don’t go as expected. This project looks at how automated systems can use unexpected or failed interactions with the world to reason about how their knowledge representation is wrong, and how they can update this representation to more accurately reflect their environment - hence leading to more successful interactions.
To apply for a studentship, candidates should complete an online application. Candidates can also send an inquiry email to Fiona McNeill if they wish to find out more about the position and discuss project ideas before applying.
Uncertainty quantification and visualisation of machine learning using Gaussioan Processes
This project, for which both UK/EU fees and stipend are fully sponsored, would develop advanced statistical machine learning methods (based on Gaussian Processes) coupled with data-driven and highly interactive visualisation techniques, for trustworthy modelling of business processes. In these situations Deep Neural Networks are generally not employed as their uncertainty cannot be reliably quantified and their solutions (that involve the optimisation of tens' and hundreds' of thousands of parameters) cannot be easily explained or verified. This project would develop verifiable and understandable machine learning techniques and visualisations to allow confident use in high-consequence businesses.
To apply for a studentship, candidates should complete an online application. Candidates can also send an inquiry email to Mike Chantler or Gareth Peters if they wish to find out more about the position and discuss project ideas before applying. Further details of the research groups can be found on the Strategic Futures Laboratory webpage and the Quantitative Risk Solutions Lab webpage.
Other projects may be available, please check information about research activities in the relevant areas which can be found here.
James Watt scholarship
As part of an ambitious expansion programme to intensify further our world-leading research programmes, Heriot-Watt University is currently offering James Watt Scholarships in the School of Mathematical & Computer Sciences for the next academic year, opportunities may be available to both UK/EU and Overseas students. For further details contact Professor Mike Chantler.
EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training Award (Robotics and Autonomous Systems)
The Centre's main programme is the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and Autonomous Systems. Its goal is to train innovation-ready robotics researchers to be part of a multi-disciplinary enterprise, requiring sound knowledge of physics (kinematics, dynamics), engineering (control, signal processing, mechanical design), computer science (algorithms for perception, planning, decision making and intelligent behaviour, software engineering), as well as allied areas ranging from biology and biomechanics to cognitive psychology.
Further information can be found here
EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training Award (Embedded Intelligence)
Heriot-Watt University and Loughborough University are jointly offering a unique 4-year PhD training programme, drawing on their considerable expertise in postgraduate teaching and research supervision in the fields of sensors, system design, embedded software and systems, applications engineering and systems services.
Embedded Intelligence is characterised as the ability of a product, process or service to reflect on its own operational performance, usage load, or in relation to the end-user or environment in terms of satisfactory experience. This self-reflection, facilitated by information collected by sensors and processed locally or remotely, must be considered from the design stage such as to enhance the product lifetime and performance, increase quality of process or service delivery, or ensure customer satisfaction and market acceptance. For more detailed information, please visit our website or contact Professor Mike Chantler.
EPSRC-funded PhD studentship
Heriot-Watt receives in the region of £1.5M per annum from the UK Research Councils to fund PhD research students. Awards to individuals comprise payment of fees and a non-taxable stipend of around £14,500 per annum. This is available to suitably qualified UK nationals and non-UK nationals if resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the course. Other EU students can apply to have fees paid only although Schools may be able to provide a partial stipend for highly qualified EU applicants.
Information about research activities in each area can be found on the relevant group websites which can be found here.
Further enquiries should be addressed to Professor Mike Chantler.
How to apply
Informal enquiries should be made to Professor Mike Chantler.
Full details of how to apply can be found here.
If applicable, please specify on the application form for which funding option you are applying.