Fully-funded PhD Studentship / Scholarship at the University of Birmingham, UK

Fully Funded PhD Studentship in Self-Aware and Self-Expressive Computing Systems


Applications are invited from highly motivated candidates for a fully funded PhD studentship (at the UK/EU student level) on self-aware and self-expressive computing systems. The successful candidate will join the European project Engineering Proprioception in Computing Systems (EPiCS) and will work alongside other researchers involved in the project at the University of Birmingham and the other EPiCS partners.

The studentship, totalling a minimum of GBP17,682 per year for three years (subject to the student's satisfactory progress), including fully-paid tuition fees at the UK/EU student level (GBP3,732 per year) and a tax-free stipend of GBP13,950 per year. There may also be opportunities to undertake limited teaching duties, which attract additional pay. We are sorry that we are unable to cover overseas student tuition fees. As a result, only UK/EU students should apply.

The studentship is available immediately and due to the nature of the funding the student must have begun his/her work by 1 September 2011. S/he will be supervised by Prof. Xin Yao (x.yao@cs.bham.ac.uk).

Area of Research

Within the EPiCS project, the University of Birmingham is the leading partner in the work package "Concepts and Foundations" of self-aware and self-expressive systems, which includes work on architectures for self-aware and self-expressive systems, online learning and anticipation in self-organising environments, and mechanism and strategy design for eliciting desirable behaviour in heterogeneous multi-agent systems.

It is expected that the student will develop expertise to complement the research expertise already in the group, by focussing on the in-depth study of a range of online learning algorithms. Both theoretical and applied research will be possible, and it is expected that the student would work with others to deploy and evaluate developed algorithms in the EPiCS project demonstrator applications. There are excellent opportunities for collaborations among different European partners.

Wider Context

As the development of computing systems continues, they are increasingly being composed of large numbers of heterogeneous components, each with potentially different goals or local perspectives, and connected in networks whose topologies change over time. Management of such systems quickly becomes infeasible for humans. As such, future computing systems, from robots to personal music devices to web services, should be able to achieve advanced levels of autonomous behaviour, in order to manage and adapt themselves. Nevertheless, users still expect high performance, reliability, security and other qualities.

In order for a system to effectively manage itself and adapt to changing circumstances, the system's ability to be self-aware becomes important. Self-awareness is concerned with the availability and collection of knowledge about a system by that system. The presence of such knowledge permits reasoning and intelligent decision making, which can support effective, autonomous adaptive behaviour.

The Candidate

The successful applicant must have at least a 2.1 or above degree in computer science or a closely related field. We do consider outstanding applicants from mathematics, physics and engineering as long as they have sufficient computer science background. A good knowledge of machine learning is required; additionally, knowledge of multi-agent systems and co-evolution would be an advantage.

Applicants must have excellent analytical and programming skills and he or she must be an excellent team player who can work independently and communicate well with others.

How to Apply

For more information on the PhD programme at Birmingham: http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/admissions/postgraduate-research/

Please apply according to the instructions given in the above website, NOT to the person below. Once you have applied online, send a copy of your CV to x.yao@cs.bham.ac.uk with your application number.

For academic enquiries only: Prof. Xin Yao (x.yao@cs.bham.ac.uk)

More Information about the EPiCS project




31 July 2011, although late application may be considered.