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PhD Stipend in Automatic trust assessment in human robot interaction (7-21052)

At the Technical Faculty of IT and Design, Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, Aalborg University, a 3-year PhD stipend is available within the study program of Media, Architecture & Design. The PhD Stipend will be situated at Aalborg University. The position is available from September 1, 2021 or soonest thereafter. The Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology has as its goal the development of an innovative cluster of engineering-based environments for education and research which integrates creativity, engineering and technology within the disciplines of architecture, urban design, industrial design, digital design and interactive media. The department is a leading research and educational environment in Denmark that addresses the challenge of the interplay between creativity and technology and develops new areas in research and education directed towards the end-user.

Job description

The PhD stipend is part of the DFF project Regulating trust in HRI. Trust has been shown to be a crucial factor in the efficient use of automation. Trust in HRI increases the level of complexity due to the physical embodiment of the robot that shares the same space as the operator and thus resembles (partly) a "face-to-face" interaction.

Research in trust has so far been restricted to post-hoc measurements of whole interaction episodes. This is useful as an analytical tool to statically optimize the system design, but does not support trust adjustment during the interaction to ensure efficient task completion.

The goal of the PhD is thus to investigate machine learning for automatic assessment of user trust in different HRI scenarios based on sensor data. This includes the investigation and prioritization of the relevance of different sensor input (e.g. vision-based vs IMU-based motion tracking, eyetracking, physiological sensor, etc.) as well as tracking of trust levels during interactions.

The PhD will be affiliated with the human machine interaction group (https://hmi.create.aau.dk) and will work in the context of the interdisciplinary and cross-departmental HRI-lab at AAU (https://hri.tech.aau.dk). Moreover, the research project is carried out in close collaboration with the HRI lab at SDU campus Sønderborg (https://www.sdu.dk/en/om_sdu/institutter_centre/idk/projekter/human-robot+interaction)

 Candidate Profile:

  1. A Master’s degree in Robotics, Computer science, Signal processing or HCI.
  2. Good programming skills (e.g., Matlab, C++, Python). Experience with statistical signal processing and machine learning methods is highly valued.
  3. Knowledge of and experience with experimental user studies would be welcome.
  4. Great written and verbal communication, as well as presentation skills.
  5. Highly proficient English language skills.
  6. Good organizational skills, creative, innovative, motivated thinker.
  7. Motivation to collaborate in an interdisciplinary international team.

Application must include:

  1. A cover letter describing the motivation for applying to the position.
  2. A Curriculum Vitae including education qualifications, research and industrial experience, awards and fellowships, any additional scientific achievements.
  3. A list of publications (if applicable).
  4. A copy of the Master’s certificate (or equivalent).
  5. An official transcript of the completed subjects and grades achieved in the course of the Master’s programme.
  6. A one-page description of the research as envisioned by the candidate in relation to the research project with which the PhD is affiliated.

You may obtain further information from Professor Matthias Rehm, Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, phone number +45 9940 3647, e-mail: matthias@create.aau.dk concerning the scientific aspects of the stipend.

PhD stipends are allocated to individuals who hold a Master's degree. PhD stipends are normally for a period of 3 years. It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Technical Doctoral School of IT and Design in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of August 27, 2013 on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions. According to the Ministerial Order, the progress of the PhD student shall be assessed at regular points in time.

Shortlisting will be applied. This means that subsequent to the deadline for applications the head of department supported by the chair of the assessment committee will select candidates for assessment. All applicants will be informed whether they will be assessed or not.

For further information about stipends and salary as well as practical issues concerning the application procedure contact Ms. Sofie Pia Jensen, The Doctoral School at The Technical Faculty of IT and Design, email: spj@adm.aau.dk, phone: +45 9940 3478.

For more information of The Technical Doctoral School of IT and Design: www.phd.tech.aau.dk

The application is only to be submitted online by using the "Apply online" button below.

AAU wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background or belief.


Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of 28 June 2019 on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the current Circular of 11 December 2019 on the employment structure at Danish universities.

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