PhD Position Available!

Human-Robot Interaction investigates the use of natural communication channels (speech, gestures …) between robots and humans and finds applications in the industry as well as in personal services such as therapy and education. The state-of the art research in Human-Robot Interaction has mainly explored short term interactions (limited time or limited sessions). Interested in long term impact, our research aims to provide new elements that enable to measure unplugged effect of HRI (e.g. impact outside the interaction). Grounding our research on human-human interaction and human-computer interaction (related to healthcare, education or cognitive sciences), our work will feature AI and data-driven approaches and will lead to empirical evaluations of the proposed systems.

Technical and theoretical contributions will be valued and potentially provide impact in both research and society. Contributions can be focused in modelling the interaction, enabling autonomous and adapted interaction or designing new interaction types.

Profile of the candidate

You must have Bachelor or Masters degree in Computer Sciences or a related field (Mathematics, Electrical or Mechanical). Good programming skills are required (C++, Python and others). Training and skills in AI, machine learning or robotics is preferable. Knowledge of classical programming frameworks in these domains is appreciated (PyTorch, Tf, ROS). English proficiency is required. The PhD position is highly interdisciplinary and requires an understanding and/or interest in social sciences.

Further details

Depending on the research focus, joint supervisors specialised in Design, Robotics, AI, HCI or Education, will be invited. UNSW and CSE will provide you to access to the HCI and Robotics Labs, GPU clusters and the HRI experimental facility equipped with more than 200 sensors (available to run studies).

UNSW Sydney is in the top 100 universities in the world, with more than 59,000 students and a strong research community. Located in Sydney, Australia’s largest city, the University was established in 1949 with a unique focus on scientific, technological and professional disciplines. At UNSW, you will benefit from an international and vibrant research community in a pleasant environment.

The net amount of the scholarship will be approximately AUD 2300 per month, increasing annually. You will also receive a holiday allowance. Additional financial support is available for attending conferences and workshops. There will also be possibilities for a research visit (industry or international) during the PhD.


For informal queries, do not hesitate to contact wafa /dot/ johal /at/ Your application should include:

  • A letter highlighting your motivation for your application including: Why do you wish to pursue a PhD in human-robot interaction? What prior experience do you have? How would you approach human-robot interaction research? Please also indicate your research interests and whether you have any external funding for covering the UNSW tuition fee (see section below) and living costs.
  • A CV, with copies of relevant grades, masters thesis work or publications.
  • The names and contact details of at least 2 referees.

Selected candidates will be invited for interview, which can be organised over Skype if necessary.

Tuition Scholarships

To enrol in the PhD program in computer science at UNSW, you are expected to have a degree that is equivalent to a First Class Honours degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, or a related field. Obtaining a PhD scholarship from UNSW is a very competitive process. UNSW’s online self-assessment tool gives a good indication of how competitive you are for scholarships. PhD students under my supervision are often eligible for top-up scholarships from Data61.

Along with the documents mentioned above, please send me the results of the online self-assessment tool.

All scholarship applicants need to prepare a research proposal in consultation with the prospective supervisor (around 500 words). The selection also usually takes into account your grades (mainly for the last 2 years of study), the ranking of your previous university, and your publications (if any).