PhD in Psychology: Computing the Face Syntax of Social Communication

The project: This ambitious project aims to mathematically model the human face as an algebraic generator of dynamic social signals and build a psychologically and culturally valid generative model of social face signalling that is transferrable to social robots. The project will use a multidisciplinary approach that combines social and cultural psychology with dynamic 3D structural face computer graphics, vision science psychophysical methods, and mathematical psychology. As the project involves interdisciplinary knowledge and skills the ideal candidate would have experience of both computational (e.g., programming) and social psychology, for example via a joint degree or research experience/interests.

The Team

Primary supervisor:  Prof. Rachael E. Jack

Secondary supervisor:  Prof. Philippe G. Schyns

The successful applicant will join an internationally renowned high performance and interdisciplinary research team, and will receive regular close supervision from Jack via weekly lab meetings to develop specialist knowledge and skills including 3D & 4D face capture and generation, advanced MATLAB programming, lab preparation, data collection, computing face signalling models, analyzing high-dimensional data, scientific writing, and producing high-quality data visualizations for presentations and publications. The successful applicant will also have the opportunity to present at national and international academic conferences, participate in public engagement activities, and submit their work to high-impact and specialist peer reviewed academic journals. Successful applications could also have the opportunity to work with other interested parties (e.g., social robotics designers).


Required qualifications

o  Outstanding academic record. At least a 1st class Honours Bachelor's degree or Master’s degree with Distinction in Cognitive Science, Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Engineering, or related fields;

o  Excellent team working, organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills;

o  Demonstrated interest or research experience in psychology, social robotics, communication, or related fields;

o  Master’s level knowledge of statistics and data analysis used in Psychology;

o  Strong work ethic

Preferred qualifications

o  Computer programming skills (e.g., MATLAB, OpenGL, Python, Java)

How to Apply: Please refer to the following website for details on how to apply:

Funding Notes

Open to ALL nationalities.
Funding is available to cover tuition fees for international applicants for 3 years, as well as paying a stipend at the Research Council rate (estimated £15,609 for Session 2021-22).