2 PhD positions in social robotics – Department of Information Technology in Uppsala University, Sweden

2 PhD positions in social robotics – Department of Information Technology in Uppsala University, Sweden


Application deadline: 22/10/2017

Uppsala University is an international research university focused on the development of science and education. Our most important assets are all the individuals who with their curiosity and their dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting work places. Uppsala University has 45.000 students, 6,800 employees and a turnover of SEK 6,300 million. The Department of Information Technology (http://www.it.uu.se/first?lang=en) is with approximately 275 employees, including 110 senior faculty and 120 PhD students, and more than 4000 students enrolled annually, one of Uppsala University’s largest departments.

The Social Robotics Lab (http://hri.research.it.uu.se/) led by Dr. Ginevra Castellano 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.


Two PhD positions in social robotics are available within the ANIMATAS project (http://animatas.isir.upmc.fr).

ANIMATAS (MSCA – ITN – 2017 – 765955 2) is a H2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie European Training Network funded by Horizon 2020 (the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation), coordinated by Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris, France).

ANIMATAS will establish a leading European Training Network (ETN) devoted to the development of a new generation of creative and critical research leaders and innovators who have a skill-set tailored for the creation of social capabilities necessary for realising step changes in the development of intuitive human-machine interaction (HMI) in educational settings. 15 early-stage researchers (ESR) positions are available within ANIMATAS.

The 2 PhD positions offered at Uppsala University are on the following topics:

1) Modelling trust in human-robot educational interactions (ESR3)

2) Learning ethically appropriate robot behaviours (ESR8)


For more information about the topics, see description of ESR3 and ESR8 at this link: http://animatas.isir.upmc.fr/

The successful candidates will participate in the network’s training activities offered by the European academic and industrial participating teams. The PhD students will have the opportunity to work with the partners of the ANIMATAS project, and primarily with KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Jacobs University Bremen, Furhat Robotics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Pierre et Marie Curie University and Softbank Robotics, with opportunities for secondments at these institutions.


The student will be part of the Social Robotics Lab at the Division of Visual Information and Interaction of the Department of Information Technology.

The Social Robotics Lab’s focus is on natural interaction with social artefacts such as robots and embodied virtual agents. This domain concerns bringing together multidisciplinary expertise to address new challenges in the area of social robotics, including mutual human-robot co-adaptation, multimodal multiparty natural interaction with social robots, multimodal human affect and social behavior recognition, multimodal expression generation, robot learning from users, behavior personalization, effects of embodiment (physical robot versus embodied virtual agent) and other fundamental aspects of human-robot interaction (HRI). State of the art robots are used, including the Pepper, Nao and Furhat robotic platforms.


The positions are for four years.

Rules governing PhD candidates are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5, § § 1-7. More information at: http://teknat.uu.se/ and http://www.it.uu.se/.

The department is striving to achieve a more equal gender balance and female candidates are particularly invited to apply.

How to apply:

To apply, candidates must submit their CV, a letter of application, two letters of reference and academic credentials to the ANIMATAS recruitment committee, Mohamed Chetouani (network coordinator), Ana Paiva and Arvid Kappas at contact-animatas@listes.upmc.fr and to the main supervisor of the research project of interest (Ginevra Castellano, ginevra.castellano@it.uu.se). Please specify which project you are applying for (ESR3 or ESR8).


Qualifications: The candidates must have an MSc degree in computer science or related areas relevant to the PhD topics. Good programming skills are required. Expertise in machine learning is appreciated, especially for ESR8. The PhD positions are highly interdisciplinary and require an understanding and/or interest in psychology and social sciences.

Read more about eligibility requirements at this link: http://animatas.isir.upmc.fr


More information about the position and about working in Sweden here:



Information about the positions can be provided by
Dr. Ginevra Castellano, ginevra.castellano@it.uu.se

Dr. Ginevra Castellano, Docent

Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor)

Department of Information Technology

Uppsala University

Box 337, 751 05 Uppsala, Sweden

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