Job: PhD position in social robotics at Uppsala University

PhD position in social robotics
Division of Visual Information and Interaction,
Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University

Topic: Social learning for personalized human-robot interactions

Application deadline: February 16, 2016

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 Division of Visual Information and Interaction ( is making a strategic initiative towards building a new research strand concerned with the study of intelligent interactive systems, with a specific focus on natural interaction with social artefacts such as embodied virtual agents and, especially, robots.

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).

The topic of the PhD position will be social learning for personalized human-robot interactions.

The PhD project will include the development of novel user modeling and adaptive learning methods to allow social robots to adapt in a natural, personalised way to their users, as well as the implementation of human-robot interactions studies to test the effectiveness of these methods.

The Social Robotics Lab ( led by Dr. Ginevra Castellano at Uppsala University 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. State of the art robots are used, including the Nao and Furhat robotic platforms. The PhD is part of a project in collaboration with the Department of Applied IT, University of Gothenburg (Dr. Wolmet Barendregt). The PhD will be funded by a Swedish VR grant.

The student will be part of the Division of Visual Information and Interaction of the Department of Information Technology. The Department of Information Technology ( 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.

Qualifications: The candidate must have an MSc degree in computer science or related areas relevant to the PhD topics. Good programming skills are required and expertise in machine learning is appreciated. The PhD position is highly interdisciplinary and requires an understanding and/or interest in psychology and social sciences.

The position is for at most five years, and includes department duties (mainly teaching) at a level of at most 20%, as well as course participation. You will be expected to be able to teach in Swedish or English, and good English communication skills, both spoken and written, are required. For foreign applicants, willingness to learn Swedish is desirable.

Rules governing PhD candidates are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5, § § 1-7, and in the Uppsala University’s rules and guidelines, at

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

The application should include a description of your research interests, reasons for applying for this PhD position with us and past experience, a CV, copies of exams, degrees and grades, relevant publications, a copy of your MSc thesis and other relevant documents. Candidates are encouraged to provide letter(s) of recommendation and contact information to reference persons. We would also like to know the earliest possible date for starting. In order to apply, please follow the instructions at this link: Please note that applications can only be accepted via the web interface linked below.

Information about the position can be provided by
Dr. Ginevra Castellano,, +46 18 471 3463.

For further information please contact
Professor Ingela Nyström, e-mail, phone +46 18 471 3470,
Professor Mats Lind e-post, telefon +46 18 471 10 04.

You are welcome to submit your application no later than February 16, 2016. UFV-PA 2016/113.


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