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Umeå University announces...

Umeå University - with its 33,000 students and over 4,000 employees - is an organisation in constant change and development. Umeå University conducts groundbreaking research within several areas - several in which we are among the best in the world - within others regarded as the leaders in Sweden. We are one of Sweden’s largest providers of education and offer a broad and attractive range of courses and programmes. Our campus constitutes an inspiring environment for everyone that studies and works here. We wish to co-operate with companies and organisations throughout the Umeå region and all over the world.

PhD student position in computer science
Orientation towards Interactive Robotics
Research topic: Learning from Demonstration and Imitation

Umeå University is seeking outstanding candidates for a PhD student position in Interactive Robotics at the Department of Computing Science. The Robotics Group at the department conducts research in both Field robotics and Cognitive robotics.

This position is part of the INTRO project (INTeractive RObotics Research Network) which in total offers 10 positions in the interdisciplinary areas of Interactive Robotics; Cooperative Robot Learning, Cognitive Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) and Intelligent Interface Design. INTRO ( is funded by the European Commission as part of the FP7 program and involves 6 partners: Umea University, Sweden; Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany; University of the West of England, UK; Space Applications Services, Belgium, and Robosoft, France.

To promote mobility, the following rules apply to the offered position at Umeå University: The applicant must not be a national of Sweden unless the applicant holds also another nationality, and has not resided in Sweden during the previous 5 years. At the time of appointment, the applicant must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity in Sweden for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her appointment. Exceptions are given if the applicant has legally resided and had his/her main activity in a non–Associated third country for at least 3 of the last 4 years immediately prior to his/her appointment.

The PhD student will join a training program in close cooperation with researchers from all partners. The network-wide training program includes a research project, courses, seminars, and workshops. In the research project, the PhD student will develop techniques for robot learning, based on Learning from Demonstration and Imitation by utilizing various aspects of human-robot interaction. Models and techniques for ways in which parameterized high-level skills can be combined into sequences will be developed. The nature of ambiguities in demonstrations will be investigated, and ways to reduce them by various types of human-robot interaction, e.g. models for human attention and intention identification will be developed. One part of the project will be conducted at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany.

Applicants should have 240 ECTS-credits of higher education studies of which 60 should be on an advanced level (Master level). A solid background in Computer Science is desirable. The applicant needs to be skilled in both oral and written communication in English, be able to work independently as well as in collaboration with others. Experience in artificial intelligence, robotics, cognitive science and programming are merits.

Anticipated start date: 1st of August 2010. Career exploratory allowance and travel allowances will be available.

Questions about the position will be answered by Dr. Thomas Hellström, e-mail:

Union information is available from SACO, +46-(0)90-786 53 65, SEKO, +46-(0)90-786 52 96 and ST, +46-(0)90-786 54 31.

Applications will be discarded or, if the applicant so wishes, returned two years after the position has been filled. The application should contain a CV, academic grades, a copy of degree project report and any publications, two personal references and one A4 sheet describing the personal motivation for applying for this position. Documents sent electronically should be in MS Word or PDF format. If you are applying to several positions with different reference numbers, you must submit a separate application for each position.

The application period for this advert has expired.


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