Computer Science: Fully Funded Swansea University PhD Scholarship: Continuous Self-Monitoring of Simulated Robot Motion for Intent Expression (RS630)

  • DeadlineDeadline: 24 June 2024
  • WalesWales


Closing date: 24 June 2024

Funding provider: Swansea University

Subject areas: Intelligent Robotics and Virtual Reality

Project start date: 

  • 1 October 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-September)


Aligned programme of study: PhD in Computer Science

Mode of study: Full-time 

Project description: 

When robots move, human interaction partners and observers ascribe an intention to the robot. For example, in a simple pick-and-place scenario where a robot is facing two different objects, as its arm begins to move towards one of the objects, human observers ascribe a probability to the robot’s intention of picking up one or the other object, a probability which changes over time (Dragan et al, 2013). The degree to which a robot’s intention becomes clearer as it moves, or its legibility, depends on several factors, including the task at hand, the capabilities of the robot, trajectories of its motion and the viewing perspective of the observer (Nikolaidis et al, 2016).  

This project will develop continuous models of action legibility using these sources of information from data collected in a virtual reality (VR) Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) scenario. The models’ measure of action legibility will be evaluated against human response times of user confirmations in a variety of scenarios, using appropriate statistical testing to test the efficacy of the models.  

The project forms part of a wider effort for developing an effective VR HRI toolkit for improving interactive fluidity between robots and humans. The successful candidate will join the new Intelligent Robotics group in the Computer Science Department in the Computational Foundry in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Swansea University, in addition to interfacing with the established Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) FIT lab. The candidate will be working alongside other researchers on the FLUIDITY project on human-robot interaction, and those working on other real-world applications. 

For more details please see here:

Entry Requirements

Academically, ideally the candidate should hold a degree, of be predicted with certainty to hold a degree this academic year, of an equivalent of at least a UK high 2.1 undergraduate degree, or masters degree at least ‘Merit’ level, in any of the following disciplines: Computer Science; Robotics; Engineering; Virtual Reality; Mathematics; Physics. Evidence of publishable standard projects is also desirable. If you are eligible to apply for the scholarship but do not hold a UK degree, you can check our comparison entry requirements (see country specific qualifications). Please note that you may need to provide evidence of your English Language proficiency. 

English Language: IELTS 6.5 Overall (with no individual component below 6.0) or Swansea University recognised equivalent. Full details of our English Language policy, including certificate time validity, can be found here. 

This scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality.

International Fee Eligible Students:

Swansea University is pleased to offer the Swansea University International Postgraduate Research Excellence Scholarship (SUIPRES) which covers the difference between the International and the Home/UK tuition fee for the duration of the PhD/Professional Doctorate programme. All International applications will be considered for a SUIPRES Scholarship. You will be informed whether a SUIPRES Scholarship will be offered within your offer letter.


Please note that the programme requires some applicants to hold ATAS clearance, further details on ATAS scheme eligibility are available on the UK Government website.  

ATAS clearance IS NOT required to be held as part of the scholarship application process, successful award winners (as appropriate) are provided with details as to how to apply for ATAS clearance in tandem with scholarship course offer. 

If you have any questions regarding your academic or fee eligibility based on the above, please email with the web-link to the scholarship(s) you are interested in. 


This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees and an annual stipend of £19,237.

Additional research expenses will also be available.

How To Apply

To apply, please complete your application online with the following information:

  1. Course choice – please select Computer Science / PhD / Full-time / 3 Year / October

    In the event you have already applied for the above programme previously, the application system may issue a warning notice and prevent application, in this event, please email where staff will be happy to assist you in submitting your application.

  2. Start year – please select 2024
  3. Funding (page 8) –
  • ‘Are you funding your studies yourself?’ – please select No
  • ‘Name of Individual or organisation providing funds for study’ – please enter ‘RS630 - Simulated Robot Motion’

*It is the responsibility of the applicant to list the above information accurately when applying, please note that applications received without the above information listed will not be considered for the scholarship award.

One application is required per individual Swansea University led research scholarship award; applications cannot be considered listing multiple Swansea University led research scholarship awards.

We encourage you to complete the following to support our commitment to providing an environment free of discrimination and celebrating diversity at Swansea University: 

As part of your online application, you MUST upload the following documents (please do not send these via e-mail). We strongly advise you to provide the listed supporting documents by the advertised application closing date. Please note that your application may not be considered without the documents listed:

  • CV
  • Degree certificates and transcripts (if you are currently studying for a degree, screenshots of your grades to date are sufficient)
  • A cover letter including a ‘Supplementary Personal Statement’ to explain why the position particularly matches your skills and experience and how you choose to develop the project.
  • Two references (academic or previous employer) on headed paper or using the Swansea University reference form. Please note that we are not able to accept references received citing private email accounts, e.g. Hotmail. Referees should cite their employment email address for verification of reference.
  • Evidence of meeting English Language requirement (if applicable).
  • Copy of UK resident visa (if applicable)
  • Confirmation of EDI form submission (optional) 

Informal enquiries are welcome, please contact Dr Julian Hough (

*External Partner Application Data Sharing – Please note that as part of the scholarship application selection process, application data sharing may occur with external partners outside of the University, when joint/co- funding of a scholarship project is applicable.

Who is eligible to apply?

This scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality.

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