Research Studentship in AI for Multi Robot Systems

Research Studentship in AI for Multi-Robot Systems


3.5-year D.Phil studentship, available from October 2018 (subject to eligibility requirements below).


Research Area


The Oxford Robotics Institute (ORI) and Honda Research Institute Europe (HRI-EU) are looking for an excellent candidate to undertake a DPhil in the ORI at the University of Oxford, supervised by Professor Nick Hawes from ORI and Dr.-Ing. Manuel Mühlig from HRI-EU. 

The DPhil will address problems in the space of integrating planning and learning over long durations for multi-robot systems. The work will be set in the context of autonomous systems cooperating with humans in a smart environment. We expect the research to address:

  • multi-agent planning under uncertainty;
  • using machine learning to create models on which planning can be based;
  • balancing the known daily tasks of the multi-robot system against expected future demands;
  • generating explanations of task commitments;
  • the practical implementation and evaluation of research results on mobile robots in end-user environments.

For further information, see


Award Value

The studentship covers University fees at the level set for UK/EU students plus a stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) of £16,277 p.a. for the first year, and at least this amount for a further two years. The studentship does cover the payment of college fees (c £2,765 p.a.).


This studentship is available to all applicants but the University fees are covered only at the UK/EU rate.  Therefore overseas students would have to provide the difference between the UK/EU and the overseas student rates for University fees from some other source, such as a scholarship or personal funds.

Candidate Requirements


Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:


  • A first class honours degree in Engineering, Physics, Mathematics or Computer Science;
  • Experience in programming and practical work with AI techniques and/or mobile robotics;
  • Excellent English written and spoken communication skills;


The following skills are desirable but not essential:

  •  Familiarity with sequential decision making techniques (MDPs, planning, RL) and/or formal methods;
  • Ability to program in Python;
  •  Experience with the Robot Operating System (ROS).


Application Procedure

To apply for this studentship, candidates should send the following documents to

  • CV
  • Covering letter (explaining your suitability for the study with respect to the above criteria, what you hope to achieve from the DPhil and your research experience to date)
  • Contact details for two academic or professional referees


NOTE: Candidates are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria available at and a full graduate application must be made at the same time as applying for this studentship.  Your studentship application will not be considered until you have submitted a graduate application. Further details about making a graduate application are available at

Please quote HRI-EU Studentship in all correspondence to the Department and in your graduate application.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Nick Hawes ( Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted. 

Application deadline:  18 May 2018