Research Fellow in Human-Swarm Interaction

Southampton, United Kingdom
£31,406 to £38,587 per annum
06 Dec 2021
End of advertisement period
03 Jan 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Agents, Interactions & Complexity

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £31,406 to £38,587 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term (until 31/03/2025)
Closing Date:  Monday 03 January 2022
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  1622721FP

The role will be part of an EPSRC-funded project on Smart Solutions Towards Cellular-Connected Unmanned Aerial Vehicles System (AUTONOMY) and will also involve collaboartion with the UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous System Hub. This is a joint project between University of Southampton, Queen Mary University of London and King’s College London with industrial partners such as Ericsson, Thales, Northrop Grumman, Accelercomm and Toshiba.

At Southampton, you will join an internationally renowned and multi-disciplinary team led by Professor Gopal Ramchurn. You will be based in the Agents, Interaction, and Complexity Research group, which is home to the UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub   (TAS Hub) and part of the School of Electronics and Computer Science.  

The role will involve carrying out research in swarm robotics and human-machine interaction with the objective of developing trustworthy swarms. Research will need to be carried out to address some of the challenges in human-swarm teaming including: 

  • Leader election in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) swarms.
  • Study of interaction modalities to operate swarms in low operator to vehicle ratios.
  • Generating explanations for human operators about swarm states.
  • Calibrating human trust in UAV swarms.
  • Human-Machine Interaction for UAV swarms.

You will also collaborate with the project partners and members of the research group and the UKRI TAS Hub. 

To be successful you will have:

  • *PhD or equivalent professional qualifications and experience in a field related to robotics and/or AI with experience in running user studies eg Machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Human Robot Interaction, Human Computer Interaction.
  • Experience in designing and testing user interfaces.
  • A strong publication record in machine learning and/or robotics 
  • A strong theoretical background in multi-agent planning, decision-making under uncertainty, swarm robotics and/or human-robot interaction
  • Programming skills including experiences using Python, C++, Java and/or MATLAB
  • Ability to present work clearly both written and orally

Equality, diversity and Inclusion is central to the ethos in the School of Electronics and Computer Science. We particularly encourage women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic, LGBT and disabled applicants to apply for this position. We are commited to improving equality for women in science and have been successful in achieving an  Athena SWAN bronze award in April 2020.   We give full consideration to applicants that wish to work flexibly including part-time and due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy*, onsite childcare facilities. 

The University of Southampton is in the top 1% of world universities and in the top 10 of the UK’s research-intensive universities. The University of Southampton is committed to sustainability and being a globally responsible university and has recently been awarded the Platinum EcoAward.  Our vision is to embed the principles of sustainability into all aspects of our individual and collective work, integrating sustainable development into our business planning, policy-making, and professional activities.  This commits all of our staff and students to take responsibility for managing their activities to minimise harm to the environment, whether this through switching off non-essential electrical equipment or using the recycling facilities.

*subject to qualifying criteria

*Applications for the position will be considered from candidates who are six months before completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

The position is full time and fixed term until 31/03/2025. The post is due to start in 1st of April 2022. 

Application Procedure 

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Hannah Farrance (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 2507 or email  Please quote reference 1622721FP on all correspondence. 

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