Funded PhD Scholarship in Developmental Neurorobotics at Sheffield Hallam University (UK)

Alessandro Di Nuovo

About the Project

This scholarship will support the PhD candidate to carry out frontier research in Developmental Neurorobotics, a combination of Neuromorphic Computing and Cognitive Developmental Robotics. The PhD candidate will work with the Professor Alessandro Di Nuovo and his team, who have been awarded funding by the EPSRC for his research in the field. We are looking for an outstanding student to work with the team of a new EPSRC project.

The research will pioneer the new developmental neuromorphic paradigm, which will be a synergic combination that will go beyond the limitations of the individual paradigms: neuromorphic computing will provide efficient brain-like resources able to process a more accurate representation of the real world, meanwhile developmental robotics will deliver the missing learning mechanisms for complex applications of neuromorphic spiking neural networks.

The short-term objective is to demonstrate feasibility and lay the foundation of a biologically plausible framework to simulate the human-like learning process of numerical and abstract cognition, a fundamental characteristic of human intelligence.

The team long-term goal is to create an artificial mind for robots that 'grows up' like a child's brain. This will be underpinned by neuromorphic computing which emulates the deep-lying architecture of the brain and will allow it to interpret and adapt to situations. As well as enabling the creation of robots with a human-like ability to reason, behave and interact the creation of an artificial mind will boost research in life sciences disciplines such as neuroscience by allowing researchers to run biologically realistic simulations to test theories. By simulating information on the inner workings of the brain that could not otherwise be detected, it could enhance our understanding of neurodevelopmental and learning disorders and lead to new treatments.


Information on entry requirements can be found here<>

The ideal candidate should have a Masters degree in Neuromorphic Computing, Computational Neuroscience, Machine Learning, or closely related disciplines in AI and Robotics, excellent programming skills and experience in interdisciplinary research.

How to apply

Your application should be emailed to industry-innovation-admissions@...<javascript:void(0)>

Any interested candidates must contact the lead academic, Prof. Alessandro Di Nuovo, a.dinuovo@...<javascript:void(0)>, to discuss your application.

The application should explain how the candidate knowledge, skills and experience are relevant to the project short and long-term objectives.

For information on how to apply please visit<>

Funding Notes
The PhD studentship provides tuition fees at UK level and a maintenance bursary at the UK Research Councils' national minimum doctoral stipend rate (£17,668 for 2022/23). The scholarship is available for three years of full-time.
Di Nuovo, A., McClelland (2019). Developing the knowledge of number digits in a child-like robot. Nature Machine Intelligence, 1(12), 594-605.
Di Nuovo, A., & Jay, T. (2019). Development of numerical cognition in children and artificial systems: a review of the current knowledge and proposals for multi-disciplinary research. Cognitive Computation and Systems, 1(1), 2-11.
Di Nuovo, A., & Cangelosi, A. (2021). Abstract Concept Learning in Cognitive Robots. Current Robotics Reports, 2(1), 1-8.
Roy, Jaiswal, Panda, (2019). Towards spike-based machine intelligence with neuromorphic computing. Nature, 575(7784), 607-617.
Krichmar (2018). Neurorobotics-A Thriving Community and a Promising Pathway Toward Intelligent Cognitive Robots. Frontiers in Neurorobotics, Vol. 12, p. 42.
Furber (2016). Large-scale neuromorphic computing systems. Journal of Neural Engineering, 13(5), 51001.
Sengupta, et al. (2019). Going deeper in spiking neural networks: VGG and residual architectures. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 13, 95.
Quax, D'Asaro,van Gerven, (2020). Adaptive time scales in recurrent neural networks. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 11360.

Alessandro Di Nuovo, PhD
Professor of Machine Intelligence
Leader of Technological and Digital Innovations, Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre
College of Business, Technology and Engineering
Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom
Email: a.dinuovo@...<mailto:a.dinuovo@...>