PhD Scholarship in Intelligent Multi-Modal Human Computer Interaction

This programme of research will aim to investigate the utility of Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) for users with a range of physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities. This could include investigating the control of virtual and mixed reality environments, and alternative text entry systems using contemporary BCIs including the emotiv EPOC and NeuroSky. These systems overcome the limitations of older EEGs in that they remove the need for the use of a conductive gel between the sensors and the head, and employ built in electrical “noise” reduction software/hardware. One of our previous studies has already developed ‘Dasher-BCI’ – a new software tool, based on recognition of neuronal firing patterns, to allow students to type words via Dasher (Alternative Text Entry System) using their thoughts.

The previous study showed that BCIs are particularly useful for students with Cerebral Palsy, and the current programme of research will (amongst other research questions) compare BCIs against eye gaze technology to determine the most effective modality to control alternative text entry systems for this population. A potential solution may include the definition of a multimodal system which combines brain signal, eye-gaze and potentially other (e.g., gesture) modalities intelligently based on real-time analysis of the user’s state.

You will be a candidate on a 1st class or 2:1 trajectory in Computing with strengths in computer science, experimental design, implementation (including programming) and critical evaluation. There will be opportunities to work with local special education needs schools to improve the ecological validity of the research. 

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Entry requirement

A first class or upper second class UK BSc (Hons) degree (or equivalent) or Master degrees in Computer Science.


Applications can be accepted from UK/EU and also International students. The minimum English language proficiency requirement for candidates who have not undertaken a higher degree at a UK HE institution is IELTS 6.5 (with no element to be below 6.0) or TOEFL 560/iBT 94-95.


The studentship will pay UK/EU fees and provide a maintenance stipend linked to the RCUK rate (currently £13,590 per annum) for up to three years. Applications from non-EU students are welcome, but due to funding restrictions a successful candidate would be responsible for paying the difference between non-EU and UK/EU fees. (Fees for 2013/14 are £11,600 for non-EU students and £3,900 for UK/EU students and are likely to rise in subsequent years).


For informal enquiries about the studentship, please contact Professor David Brown or Professor Nasser Sherkat

Download an application form

Please return your fully completed application form; a copy of your CV; copies of academic certificates obtained to date; your research proposal of between 1000 – 2000 words; copies of any research papers you might have written or co-authored; and copies of English proficiency certificates (if applicable) via email to:

Applications by CV only will not be accepted.

The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is 9 am on Friday 26 July 2013.

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