PhD Studentships in Information-Based Self-Motivated Learning in Robots, University of Hertfordshire, UK

University of Hertfordshire
Science and Technology Research Institute

Applications are invited from candidates for a PhD studentship on self-motivated learning in robots based on information-theoretical principles.

Project and Requirements:
Based on a class of recently developed information-theoretic techniques and models, the project will study candidate mechanisms for the generation of biologically plausible self-motivated learning and behaviour dynamics for robots. The project will involve the intrinsically driven identification of intelligent behaviours based on informational criteria, and their incremental acquisition, refinement and expansion. The methods will be first developed in simulation and will then ideally be transferred to hardware robots.

The prospective candidates should have a keen interest in contributing to a new and dynamic research area and a strong background in Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics, Statistics or another relevant computational discipline. In particular, they should demonstrate very strong programming skills in one or more major computer languages. A good mathematical/numerical background would be desirable, ideally including probability theory and data modelling/neural network techniques.

Successful candidates may be eligible for a research studentship award from the University (equivalent to £12,940 per annum bursary plus the payment of the standard UK student fees).

The envisaged research will take place in a vibrant and enthusiastic research environment as a part of the Adaptive Systems Research Group in the School of Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire. The university is located in Hatfield, less than 25 minutes by train from London Kings Cross and with convenient access to Stansted, Luton and Heathrow airports and not far from the historic town of St. Albans.

Contact for informal inquiries on the research topic: Dr. Daniel Polani (E-mail:

For further information on the application process and an application form, contact

Mrs Lorraine Nicholls
Research Student Administrator
STRI, Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences
University of Hertfordshire
College Lane, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AB, UK.

Tel: 01707 286083
Fax: 01707 284185

or email:

The short-listing process will begin on 25th July 2008, but earlier application is encouraged.