PhD & Postdoc Opportunities in Accessible Explainable AI

Peter Lewis

Dear all,

The Trustworthy AI Lab at Ontario Tech University, in collaboration with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), is offering a funded PhD studentship and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow position in the area of accessible explainable artificial intelligence.

The position will be supervised by Dr Peter Lewis, Canada Research Chair in Trustworthy AI at Ontario Tech and Dr Mahadeo Sukhai, VP Research and International Affairs & Chief Accessibility Officer at CNIB.

The successful candidates will contribute to the 'Accessible Explainable Artificial Intelligence in Decision Making' project, which is funded by Accessibility Standards Canada’s Advancing Accessibility Standards Research Program.

Candidates should have a background in computer science, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, human-computer interaction, or a related field, and be interested in the accessibility of AI technology and its implications for the sight loss community. We are looking for candidates with strong technical and writing skills, an interdisciplinary mindset, and a deep understanding and commitment to accessibility and equity.

Working as part of the project team, the successful candidates will conduct research that explores ability bias in current AI technology and will contribute to the development of explainability techniques that that are accessible to persons with sight loss and other sensory disabilities. Engaging both the disability and technical communities in joint co-design sessions, the successful candidates will propose, prototype, and promote new best practice concerning how to remove systemic barriers in artificial intelligence.

As a member of the Trustworthy AI Lab at Ontario Tech, you will join a thriving, collegiate, and interdisciplinary team of researchers. There will be substantial opportunity for collaboration including with companies and other research groups nationally and internationally. The successful candidate will be expected to play an active role in these activities, as well as for advancing the lab’s profile and its broader mission to help make the relationship between AI and society work better. Our primary focus within this is to develop new knowledge and understanding concerning how to build AI systems that can reflect on, expose, and enhance their trustworthiness to people.

We aspire to be a collaborative, open-minded, inclusive, supportive, and fun environment for researchers to work and grow in, and we welcome applications from candidates who want to help us to advance this culture.

We adopt a flexible approach to working remotely or from the lab, though we anticipate that at least some physical presence at the lab will be necessary, and international travel might be required in line with international research community norms.

How to Apply:

PhD Position:
Candidates should apply to the PhD Computer Science program, mentioning this project, through the graduate admissions portal at

Postdoctoral Position: Candidates should apply via the university's job portal at

Candidates are also strongly encouraged to email Dr Peter Lewis (peter.lewis@...) in advance, for an informal discussion about the project.

Ontario Tech University welcomes applications from all qualified candidates, while especially encouraging applications from women, members of visible minorities, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

Ontario Tech University respects people's different needs and therefore will take all reasonable steps to ensure accommodation for applicants where appropriate. The University is also committed to ensuring that confidentiality is maintained throughout all aspects of the recruitment cycle.

If you require an accommodation to participate in the recruitment process, please get in touch with Peter Lewis (peter.lewis@...) or Mahadeo Sukhai (mahadeo.sukhai@...). You are also welcome to contact the university’s Student Accessibility Services.

The university acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation which is covered under the Williams Treaties. We are situated on the Traditional Territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation which includes Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi.