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Computer Science and ATRACT

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About the opportunity

This is an excellent opportunity for a talented and motivated applicant to undertake an original programme of research working with Professor Ardhendu Behera and other members of the Intelligent Visual Computing Research Centre.

About the research project

You will work on an EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Science Research Council) funded project, ATRACT – A Trustworthy Robotic Autonomous system to support Casualty Triage. The project aims to develop drone-based active sensing and simultaneous detection and monitoring of injured soldiers on a battlefield for rapid effective prioritisation in a trustworthy manner before the evacuation helicopter arrives. Beyond the battlefield, it can be adapted to civilian applications including search and rescue, ambulance emergency, and other multiple-casualty disaster situations. Its trustworthiness will be achieved by considering the legal, ethical, system, and human elements embedded in the design, development, and testing phases. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the project, you will be working closely with involved co-investigators from Loughborough University London, the University of Brighton, and the University of Portsmouth.

The applicant should have solid mathematical ability and excellent programming skills. A basic knowledge of machine learning, computer vision and/or artificial intelligence is essential. Prior research experiences in image/video, language, sequential data analysis, and understanding or any combination of these modalities will be a bonus.

The successful applicant will investigate the development of a person-specific lightweight computer vision and AI model for real-time assessment of health conditions (e.g., movability, pain, breathing status, responsiveness, etc.) of the target person. This also involves the recognition of various body positions on the ground (lying on sides, back/chest, body straight/curled forward/backward, face up/sides/down) by analysing the live stream of aerial view video. In order to achieve this, we will advance our recent works (Behera et al., AAAI 2021, Bera et al., IEEE Transaction on Image Processing 2022, and Behera et al., IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing 2020) on deep learning-driven fine-grained visual recognition to discriminate subtle changes in images.

The successful candidate will join a team undertaking computer vision, AI, and deep learning research in this field, and will be supported by a supervisory team with an international reputation in discipline-specific expertise. The candidate will have access to cutting-edge computing facilities, exceptional mentoring opportunities, and collaborative work with project partners.


The successful applicant will receive:

  • Overall payment of £18,622 per annum, which is aligned with the UKRI rate.
  • Full waiver of research degree tuition fees worth approximately £5,900 per annum for UK postgraduate researchers (PGRs) and £14,500 per annum for international PGRs.
  • The opportunity to complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education with full waiver of the tuition fee (worth approximately £3,000).

How to submit your application

In the first instance please complete the online application form. Please ensure that in the Research title Section of the application form you specify “Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence studentship”.

Once you have done this, please send the following items in one email to quoting the advert reference and the Scholarship title, in the subject of the email:

  • a downloaded copy of your application form.
  • a cover letter/personal statement outlining your suitability.
  • a full academic CV (maximum of three A4 pages, using size 12 font) which includes the contact details of two referees.
  • a copy of your qualification certificates and passport.

International applicants, including those residing in the EU, will also need to provide evidence of meeting the English language requirements as part of their application. See details of accepted language paperwork.

Key contacts

Please think about the support you need and contact one of the below directly:

Research project and supervision questions: please contact Professor Ardhendu Behera,

PhD registration and qualification questions: please contact

Deadlines and start date

Closing date: Friday 19 January 2024

Interviews are expected to be held between Monday 25th February and Friday 22nd March 2024.

The successful applicant will be required to start on 1st February 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter. This is for a full-time PhD position.

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