PhD Studentship at the University of Sheffield

Deadline: 16 August 2015
Open to: UK, EU and international applicants with 2.1 or above in Computer Science, or a closely related subject
Scholarship: annual tax-free maintenance stipend of £14,057


The Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare (CATCH) in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science is seeking applications from talented and strongly motivated Software Engineering, Computer Scientist or Engineering Graduates interested in studying for a PhD studentship with potential for high societal impact in the healthcare domain. The successful candidate will work in a stimulating and exciting environment alongside researchers in the inter-disciplinary Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare as well as researchers in the Speech and Hearing Group (SPandH) in the Department of Computer Science.

The focus of the PhD research is: Spoken Language Dialogue Systems in Assistive Technology. This project will focus on the implementation of a spoken dialogue system for a smart-home environment with applications to assistive technology. By providing an easy-to-use, natural language interface in a domestic setting, older people and people with physical disabilities can get support from an intelligent home environment as they go about their daily life. This will help them live independently and could greatly improve quality of life. The successful applicant will have access to CATCH’s state-of-the-art HomeLab – a fully functioning living lab, which facilitates evaluation and testing in a real-life environment.


Successful candidates must meet following requirements:

  • Candidates must have a 2.1 or above in Computer Science, or a closely related subject, and have excellent programming skills;
  • Some prior experience of speech technology applications is highly desirable;
  • Previous exposure to healthcare research and assistive technology would be a distinct advantage, as is other previous experience of carrying out research.


The studentship is open to UK, EU and international applicants. Overseas students may apply but would need to fund the fee differential between the Home/EU fees rate and the higher Overseas tuition fees rate from another source. Due to the demands of the project and the role, the studentship is only available by full-time PhD study. The studentship will cover:

  • The standard UK/EU tuition fee for PhD study;
  • Annual tax-free maintenance stipend at the standard UK Research Council rate (currently £14,057 for the 2015/16 academic year).

The scholarship will fund up to three years full-time study, subject to satisfactory progress.

How to apply?

The deadline for applications is 16 August 2015. To apply for the studentship, please send your application to Mark Hawley ( Please include the following information in your application;

  • Your CV;
  • A Cover letter detailing your suitability for PhD study and for the research topic;
  • Two references, preferably with at least one academic reference discussing your suitability for PhD study;
  • Details of your academic qualifications and your English Language proficiency (such a UK A levels, GCSEs, a degree from a UK Higher Education institution, or English language qualifications such as the IELTS exam).

For more information please visit the official website.

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