Marie Curie Funded PhD in Cognitive Robotics or Computational Neuroscience

A funded PhD position in Cognitive Robotics / Computational Neuroscience is available as part of a
Marie Curie Initial Training Network - ‘NETT - Neural Engineering Transformative Technologies’:

based on the School of Sciences/Engineering, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal

Marie Curie Actions Early Stage Researcher (PhD fellowship) -

"Learning and adaptation in a dynamic neural field architecture for human-robot interaction"

Living allowance: 33.364 Euro per annum (+ mobility allowance)

Applicants are invited to work with Professor W. Erlhagen and Professor E. Bicho on a project in the area of natural human-robot interaction to underpin the neuronal dynamics approach to cognitive robotics developed at UMinho. Within the context of an existing dynamic field model of collaborative joint action, the successful candidate will numerically explore, analyse and implement state of the art learning and adaptation techniques from computational neuroscience. A direct goal is to endow the humanoid robot ARoS, developed in the European project JAST (,
with the capacity to adapt to different users and to learn new tasks in direct interaction with them.
The PhD work will be closely integrated in the research of a multidisciplinary team of engineers, mathematicians and cognitive scientists at UMinho.

The fellowship includes a three-month secondment most likely in the second year working with either Dr Simon Schultz in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London, UK or with Dr Bert Kappen in the Donders Institute for Neuroscience in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. It also includes a three-month internship in the third year with the project private partner, AMI-HPG hospital in Guimarães, Portugal, to test the robotics system in real-world service applications. Candidates must therefore be able to move between countries as necessary.

Applicants should have a first degree in Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Physics or related disciplines. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in Robotics or Computational Neuroscience.

As part of our commitment to promoting diversity we encourage applications from women. To comply with the Marie Curie Actions rule for mobility applicants must not have resided, worked or studied in Portugal for more than 12 months in the 3 years prior to Sept 2012.
The successful candidate will register for a PhD in the School of Science or in the School of Engineering depending on her/his background.

This full-time post is available from the 3 September 2012 or as soon as possible thereafter and will be offered on a fixed-term contract for a period of 36 months.

Informal enquiries and applications ( including a CV, statement of research interests, and the names and full contact details of two referees) may be addressed to the emails of
Prof. W. Erlhagen or
Prof E. Bicho

For information about the “Dynamical Systems and Autonomous Robotics” group at UMinho see

Closing date: 15 July 2012