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New EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and Autonomous Systems

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The Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and Autonomous Systems was jointly awarded to Heriot Watt University and the University of Edinburgh by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in November 2013. This represents an investment of over £6M over the period of 8.5 years from EPSRC, along with around 38 companies investing upto an additional £2M in studentships and in-kind, through joint projects.

Robots will revolutionise the world's economy and society over the next twenty years, working for us, beside us and interacting with us.  The CDT in Robotics and Autonomous Systems in Edinburgh will address key challenges for managing interactions between robots and their environments, between multiple autonomous systems, and between robots and humans.  We will equip graduates with technical skills and industry awareness to create an innovation pipeline from academic research to global markets, combining our scientific leadership with extensive industrial engagement to ground research and training in real world challenges.  This will be supported by our world class infrastructure, enhanced through the recent £6.1M EPSRC capital grant ROBOTARIUM.

This PhD training programme lasts 4 years, including assessed masters level courses in the first year and continuous training in commercial awareness, creativity, social challenges and innovation.  Students will graduate with a joint PhD from both universities.

More information about current areas of research and potential supervisors at Edinburgh can be found at the Institute for Perception Action and Behaviour. Please contact the CDT Director: Professor Sethu Vijayakumar for informal enquiries.


The Centre is now recruiting its first cohort of students, with the earliest start date for study being 1st Sept 2014.  The Centre will offer approximately 12 funded studentships per annum.  We are currently finalizing our administrative procedures.  In the interim applications for the programme can be made via the University of Edinburgh online application system.  This link should take you to the 'Informatics: IPAB' PhD programme.  Please complete this application form, clearly stating in the 'Research Topic' field AND in the title of your Research Proposal document (uploaded to your EUCLID application) that you wish to be considered for the Robotics and Autonomous Systems CDT.

You can also apply via the Heriot-Watt information page.

Note that all applications, by either route, will be considered together by the Robotics and Autonomous Systems CDT selectors.  Also note that your application will be automatically transferred to the Robotics and Autonomous Systems CDT programme once it is in place, you will not need to re-apply. We'll be in touch if we need any further documentation, or if we decide to invite you for interview.

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