New: PhD Studentship in physiological computing-powered accessible and assistive technology

Outstanding students are invited to apply for a fully-funded PhD studentship in the Department of Computer Science at UCL. We are seeking a talented individual who will explore an emerging research area, physiological computing and artificial intelligence, with a specific aim to develop physiological computing-powered accessible and assistive technologies, contributing to disability technology innovation.

Starting in October-December 2022, this is a 4-year fully funded post (home tuition fees, stipend and research expenses) based in the Department of Computer Science at UCL. (Please see below for further details on residency criteria for this studentship.)


Under the supervision of Dr Youngjun Cho (Associate Professor, UCL Computer Science) at the Global Disability Innovation Hub (WHO Collaborating Centre for Research on Assistive Technology) & UCL Interaction Centre, the successful candidate will benefit from close collaboration with other departments, industrial partners and external organisations (e.g. WHO). This is a full-time programme where students have regular supervision meetings. The supervisor and the department will offer additional training and support where required.

Project Theme: Physiological computing-powered Accessible and Assistive Technology

AI-powered physiological computing is a rapidly growing research area that focuses on enabling technologies that help us to listen to our bodily functions as well as psychophysiological needs, and contribute personalised interventions. The research field has been helping shape trends of emerging assistive technology products, such as self-care technologies (e.g. health and emotion monitoring), brain-computer interfaces (BCI) for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), enhanced learning experiences and mobility in daily activities. For example, EEG neurofeedback is shown to be effective in rehabilitating motor skills for people with cerebral palsy and spinal cord injury. And often with using gamification it has been shown to help regulate emotion or improve learning and communication skills for a wider user community including people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety disorder.

The project's main focus will be investigating novel physiological computing-driven accessible and assistive technologies (AAT). In doing so, the candidate will start studying contact-less physiological sensing (e.g. remote PPG, thermal imaging and pupillometry) and machine learning for developing new AAT functionalities, and then will delve into user interactions both in controlled lab settings and in the real world.

Person specification

Applicants should have an interest in Physiological Computing, Machine Learning, Human-Computer Interaction and Accessible & Assistive Technology, as well as some experience of Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Physiological Signal Processing or Brain-Computer Interface. Applicants must hold a Master's degree in a related discipline.

How to apply

Applicants should submit their applications via UCL Select by 30 June 2022. NB: Please indicate clearly on your application that you are applying for this studentship by tagging "supervisor: Dr Youngjun Cho" on the application portal and in your personal statement. Also, please notify Aeesha Bhaiyat with your application number when you apply. Applications must include:

  1. A personal statement and separate research proposal (2-5 pages) describing your research questions within the aforementioned project theme, a summary of some relevant literature, and an outline of the type of research to be conducted (including ideas about which methods would be appropriate).
  2. Name and email contact details of 2 referees.
  3. Academic transcripts
  4. A CV highlighting publications or project experience.

In-depth interviews will be held once shortlisting has been completed.
Questions about the studentship can be made to Dr Youngjun Cho, while enquiries about the application process can be made to Aeesha Bhaiyat.

Residency criteria for this studentship
Those eligible to pay home fees are as follows:
• UK nationals provided they meet residency requirements (as listed below)
• EU nationals with settled status
• EU nationals with pre-settled status are eligible provided they meet residency requirements
• Irish nationals living in UK or Ireland
• Those who have indefinite leave to remain or enter

Residency requirements for UK nationals:
• Living in the EEA or Switzerland on 31-Dec-2020 and lived in UK, EEA, Switzerland, or Gibraltar for at least 3 years immediately before the studentship begins
• Lived continuously in UK, EEA, Switzerland, or Gibraltar between 31-Dec-2020 and the start of the studentship
Residency requirements for EU, EEA, or Swiss nationals with pre-settled status:
• Living in UK by 31-Dec-2020 (a requirement to receive pre-settled status)
• Living in UK, EEA, Switzerland, or Gibraltar for at least 3 years immediately before the studentship begins

If you do not qualify for home-fees you will be categorised as an international student and therefore will pay overseas fees.**