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ISCApad Archive  »  2020  »  ISCApad #267  »  Jobs  »  (2020-05-26) Fully funded PhD position in data-driven socially assistive robotics,Uppsala University, Sweden

ISCApad #267

Thursday, September 10, 2020 by Chris Wellekens

6-19 (2020-05-26) Fully funded PhD position in data-driven socially assistive robotics,Uppsala University, Sweden

** Fully funded PhD position in data-driven socially assistive robotics**

Uppsala Social Robotics Lab

Department of Information Technology

Uppsala University, Sweden


Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has 46.000 students, 7.300 employees and a turnover of SEK 7.3 billion.

The Department of Information Technology holds a leading position in research as well as teaching at all levels. The department has 280 employees, including 120 faculty, 110 PhD students, and 30 research groups. More than 4000 students are enrolled annually.

The Uppsala Social Robotics Lab ( led by Prof. 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.


We are collecting expressions of interest for an upcoming PhD position in data-driven socially assistive robotics for medical applications within a project funded by Uppsala University’s WoMHeR (Women’s Mental Health during the Reproductive lifespan) Centre, in collaboration with the Department of Neuroscience.


The PhD project will include the development and evaluation of novel machine learning-based methods for robot-assisted diagnosis of women’s depression around childbirth via automatic analysis of multimodal user behaviour in interactive scenarios.


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

The Uppsala 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 position is for four years.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines


How to send expressions of interest:

To express your interest, you should send to Ginevra Castellano ( by the 10th of June a description of yourself, your research interests, reasons for applying for this particular PhD position and past experience (max. 3 pages), a CV, copies of relevant university degrees and transcripts, links to relevant publications and your MSc thesis (or a summary in case the thesis work is ongoing) and other relevant documents. Candidates are encouraged to provide contact information to up to 3 reference persons. We would also like to know your earliest possible date for starting.



Qualifications: The candidates 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 appreciated. The PhD position is highly interdisciplinary and requires an understanding and/or interest in psychology and social sciences and willingness to work in an interdisciplinary team.


Working in Sweden:

Sweden is a fantastic place for living and working. Swedes are friendly and speak excellent English. The quality of life is high, with a strong emphasis on outdoor activities. The Swedish working climate emphasizes an open atmosphere, with active discussions involving both junior and senior staff. PhD students are full employees, with competitive salaries, pension provision and five weeks of paid leave per year. Spouses of employees are entitled to work permits. Healthcare is free after a small co-pay and the university subsidizes athletic costs, such as a gym membership. The parental benefits in Sweden are among the best in the world, including extensive parental leave (for both parents), paid time off to care for sick children, and affordable daycare. Upon completion of the PhD degree, students are entitled to permanent residency to find employment within Sweden.



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