UK: EPSRC funded PhD studentship in Adaptive Interactive Systems

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PhD Studentship in Adaptive Interactive System/HCI for pain rehabilitation

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship on the design and development of an interactive system to monitor and motivate a patient with chronic pain during physical exercise sessions. Based at the UCL Interaction Centre (www.uclic.ucl.ac.uk), the student will be part of a multidisciplinary group within the EPSRC-funded project E-Pain (http://www.uclic.ucl.ac.uk/people/n.berthouze/EPain/).

Emo&Pain is a large EPSRC-funded research project that brings together researchers from UCL, Imperial College and Leicester University to improve self-management in patients with chronic pain. Chronic pain is one of the big challenges facing healthcare providers in the western world due to the rising number of people with chronic health problems.

Under the supervision of Dr Nadia Berthouze (main PI), and in collaboration with a team of psychologists, clinicians and computer scientists, the student will be involved in the design and development of an affective-aware and movement sensing rehabilitation coaching system supporting patients during self-directed exercise sessions. S/he will investigate the use of adaptive multimodal feedback mechanisms to improve patients’ mood and motivate physical activity by tackling the problem from two fronts: (1) from a kinematic perspective, making the activity fun and engaging and, at the same time, helping patients to improve/correct their movement; (2) from a psychological perspective, by employing cognitive techniques and emotional contagion mechanisms to help patients overcome negative affective states (e.g., anxiety) and pace their activity.

Applicants should have a first or upper-second (2:1) class honours degree in Computer Science, a strong background in either Human-Computer Interaction or Adaptive Interactive Systems (e.g., through a MSc programme) as well as excellent programming skills (Java or C++). Candidates should have excellent written and verbal communication skills.

British and EU nationals who meet the UK residency requirements, as defined by EPSRC (http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/PostgraduateTraining/StudentEligibility.htm), will receive a full award covering both tuition fees and a tax-free annual stipend starting at £15,590 per annum. The post is also open to overseas candidates, who will receive the annual stipend, however, only a portion of the total tuition fee, equivalent to the UK fee (£3,466 per annum), will be covered.

Instructions on how to apply: Please fill in the PhD application form available at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/admission/graduate-study/application-admission/. Indicate that you are applying for a PhD position at UCLIC, Computer Science Department under the supervision of Nadia Berthouze. Submit the application through the online service (or through the other options available) AND MAKE SURE you also email a copy of the application to Nadia Berthouze (n.berthouze@ucl.ac.uk). Please make sure you receive an acknowledgment that Nadia Berthouze has received your application.

Informal queries can be directed to Nadia Berthouze (n.berthouze@ucl.ac.uk).

The studentship runs for 42 months full-time starting end of September 2010 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Closing date for applications is 19 August 2010.

Interviews will be held around 26 August 2010.

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