Early Stage Researcher/PhD Position, Institute for Transport Studies

Leeds, United Kingdom
16 Nov 2019
End of advertisement period
15 Dec 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Long-Term Effects of Automation Exposure on AV/VRU Interactions, as part of a new Marie Sklodowska Curie Project at the Institute for Transport Studies

Are you interested in understanding the human factors challenges of Automated Vehicles? Do you want to further your career and attain a PhD in one of the UK’s leading research intensive Universities?

The successful applicant for this Early-stage researcher (ESR) post will be employed for a period of 36 months at the Institute for Transport Studies, Faculty of Environment, University of Leeds, United Kingdom. The position will be funded by SHAPE-IT, a European Commission Horizon 2020 program for Research and Innovation: Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) Innovative Training Network (ITN). The main objective of SHAPE-IT is to facilitate the safe, acceptable and, ideally, desirable integration of user-centred and transparent automated vehicles (AVs) into tomorrow’s mixed urban traffic environments, using both existing and new research methods, designing advanced interfaces and control strategies.

We are looking for a candidate interested in studying Long-Term Effects of Automation Exposure on AV/VRU Interactions. Using the state of the art facilities at Leeds, including the newly established HIKER lab this project will investigate how Vulnerable Road Users’ (VRUs) experience, trust, and acceptance of AVs change with long-term/repeated exposure to the vehicles, as their exposure to the AV increases in urban traffic. The work will also determine whether these effects are influenced by user characteristics such as gender, age and personality. This project is a continuation of our work currently taking place in the interACT project and will investigate how different vehicle trajectories and externally presented Human Machine Interfaces affect long term behaviour and reactions of VRUs.

You should have an MSc degree (or expect to attain one by February 2020) in psychology/behavioural sciences or an engineering discipline, with knowledge in one or more of the following fields: human factors, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, ergonomics, human machine interfaces, cognitive modelling, artificial intelligence, machine learning, statistics, automotive technology, driver assistance systems, software engineering, computer science, control theory, transport modelling, and safety analysis.

Employment is expected to start between February and April 2020. The ESRs will be hired for three years. All ESRs will work towards the PhD degree at their host institution (Leeds), which will be assessed following successful publication of their research in international journals, relevant to their field.

Important eligibility rules for this position 

There are no restrictions on the nationality, but:

  • Applicants must, at the time of recruitment, not already hold a doctorate degree and must be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers (measured from the date of obtaining the degree which would entitle you to embark on a PhD);
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the UK for more than 12 months in the three years immediately prior to their recruitment to the SHAPE-IT project. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account. 


The Marie Sklodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher salary is €54,858 per annum plus allowances in accordance with Marie Curie European regulations. The salary figure is before employer’s and employee’s deductions for national insurance and taxes, and will be paid in Sterling on a monthly basis using an appropriate conversion rate.

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact:

Professor Natasha Merat, Chair in Human Factors of Transport Systems

Tel: +44 (0)113 34 36614, email:

Location:      Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service:      Faculty of Environment
School/Institute:      Institute for Transport Studies
Category:      Research
Grade:      Off grading structure
Salary:      p.a.
In line with the Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN requirements
Working Time:      100%
Post Type:      Full Time
Contract Type:      Fixed Term (3 years due to external funding)
Closing Date:      Sunday 15 December 2019
Interview Date:      To be confirmed
Downloads: Candidate Brief