UK: PhD Studentship in Bio-inspired Cognitive Architectures for Open-Ended Learning at Queen Mary, University of London

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Description: A fully funded PhD is available to work as a part of our group studying Darwinian Neurodynamics, a new theory of the brain that explores how Darwinian principles may be integrated with supervised and unsupervised learning. The candidate will develop cognitive architectures capable of accumulation of adaptation, transfer learning, and creativity in robot control. Robots will learn a series of tasks. The skills acquired in earlier tasks will be reusable in later tasks, thus allowing incremental learning. The critical research question is what kinds of cognitive architecture are most suitable for transfer learning in reinforcement learning problems? Knowledge of machine learning, evolutionary computation, and reinforcement learning is highly desirable, but an interest and enthusiasm for developing complete models of cognition is key. Experience in computer vision, computational neuroscience, and cognitive science is also desirable.

You’ll be working alongside an EU group that includes Prof. Eors Szathmary (Munich), Prof. Dario Floreano (EPFL), Prof. Luc Steels (Barcelona) on the FP-7 Funded Project INSIGHT, and a John Templeton Foundation funded project “Bayes, Darwin and Hebb”. This will additionally fund visits to partners in Europe where you will present your work. You will be expected to also work as part of to test your cognitive architectures in a range of 3D printed robots, the Nao Humanoid robot, and other robotic systems for sale to the general public.

Funding: The PhD is funded from either EPSRC (3.5 years UK Residents only) or an International studentship (3 years).

Requirements: I request a statement of research interest that should answer two questions: (i) Why are you interested in the proposed area? (ii) What is your experience in the proposed area? Your statement should be brief: no more than 500 words or one side of A4 paper. In addition I would also like you to send a sample of your written work. This might be a chapter of your final year dissertation, or a published conference or journal paper. More details can be found at:
Also you are strongly advised to contact :
Chrisantha Fernando ( to arrange an informal discussion and to obtain our research papers in Darwinian neurodynamics prior to your application.

The closing date for the applications is 31st. January 2014

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