[jobs] Fully-funded PhD studentship: Machine Learning for Human-Robot Interaction

Frank Foerster

[Apologies for multiple copies due to cross-posting]


PhD studentship


Adaptive Systems Research Group
Centre for Computer Science and Informatics Research
School of Physics, Engineering and Computer Science
University of Hertfordshire, UK
Contact: Frank Foerster (f.foerster@... <mailto:f.foerster@...>)


Short-listings will start on 01 October 2022*
Bursary £17,668 p.a.

* application before this date is strongly encouraged

We invite applications for a PhD studentship at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, under the supervision of Dr. Frank Foerster in the area of machine learning for human-robot interaction, with particular interest in robotic language acquisition and potential applications to dialogue systems. We are particularly interested in pursuing research that connects to the following two topics, but alternative ideas will be considered too.

Research Topics

Topic 1: Socially driven Machine Learning in Robotic Language Acquisition

Topic 2: Repair Mechanisms in Interaction

More information including relevant papers are provided in the following PDF:

Independent of the particular topic, we have recently become member of the HomeBank corpora, and would strongly encourage interaction and collaboration with developmental psychologists and psycholinguists.

Person Profile

You will have an excellent first degree and a very keen interest and motivation in human-machine interaction in general or in language acquisition in particular. Optimally you should have
an excellent background in Computer Science, Computational/Cognitive Robotics, (computational) linguistics, Artificial intelligence, or similar disciplines with a considerable quantitative/computational component.
Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the topic we will also consider applicants with a background in (developmental) psychology, philosophy, or pragmatics as long as you have
some experience in programming, machine learning, or dialogue systems. Prior experience with topics such as reinforcement learning, or statistical learning more generally is highly desirable, but not essential if the quantitative background is otherwise very strong. The knowledge of later Wittgenstein is a big plus.

If you have questions, have alternative suggestions for a related, but distinct topic, and/or are generally interested in applying, please contact

Dr. Frank Foerster
f.foerster@... <mailto:f.foerster@...>


Research in Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire has been recognised as excellent in REF 2021, with 90% of the research submitted and all of the research impact rated as internationally excellent or world leading.

The University of Hertfordshire provides a very stimulating environment, offering a large number of specialised and interdisciplinary seminars as well as general training and researcher development opportunities. The University is situated in Hatfield, in the green belt just north of London. Hatfield is close to Central London (less than 25 minutes by direct train to Kings Cross), with convenient access to Stansted, Luton and Heathrow airports, and, via the nearby historic town of St. Albans, also to Gatwick airport.

Application forms and submission instructions are available under


Applicants must submit or obtain:

- a completed application form, which can be obtained from website linked above
- a research statement stating past experience/research background and interest and motivation/research ambition for current project
- two academic references
- copies of qualification certificates and transcripts
- a copy of your passport

Applications from outside the UK or EU are eligible for this studentship.

The application form should be returned to:

doctoralcollegeadmissions@... <mailto:doctoralcollegeadmissions@...>