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Human-AI collaboration


The School of Computing & Communications invites applications for a full-time PhD studentship for a new and exciting research programme in software engineering that tackles a fundamental issue of our time, Human-AI collaboration.

The successful candidate is expected to start in February 2024 or soon after

The selected candidate will investigate methods to represent and reason about human (and group) behaviour and capabilities to enable their collaboration with autonomous agents (e.g., robots). The aim is to enable collaboration between humans and autonomous agents via coordination and adaptation.

The aim of the project is to improve the resilience of emergency care and improve emergency response through collaboration between humans and robots. The PhD student will have the unique opportunity to collaborate with a multidisciplinary team from the disciplines of Computer Science and Emergency care and with stakeholders ranging from developers and emergency responders to regulators and end users. The studentship is designed to offer exceptional access to resources, training and career development and networking opportunities.

This is an opportunity to join a thriving multidisciplinary research team working closely with a large industrial partner and collaborating with world-leading academic institutes in the UK and Ireland.

The studentship is designed to offer exceptional access to resources, training and career development and networking opportunities.


Skills Required

  • Strong software development skills in languages such as Python or Java
  • Good oral and verbal communication skills
  • An interest in human aspects of computing
  • Knowledge of machine learning techniques

The research will be carried out as part of a  UKRI/EPSRC-funded project REsilient Autonomous SOcio-cyber-physical ageNts (REASON), within the Open University (OU) Software Engineering and Design (SEAD) group, and in collaboration with a number of partner universities.

More details about the studentship, including who to contact for clarifications, can be found at:

This funded studentship is open to both UK and international students.

This studentship is for three years and covers tuition fees, a tax-free stipend (£15,609 in the first year, then increased in line with inflation) and a research allowance (£1,500 per annum). The successful candidate will be based at The Open University’s campus in Milton Keynes, which combines a friendly and flexible working environment with exceptional research and computing facilities. Milton Keynes is centrally located between Oxford, Cambridge, London and Birmingham.


Background reading

In preparing you application, you may wish to read the following related papers.

  • Carlos Gavidia-Calderon, Amel Bennaceur, Anastasia Kordoni, Mark Levine, Bashar Nuseibeh: What Do You Want From Me? Adapting Systems to the Uncertainty of Human Preferences. ICSE (NIER) 2022: 126-130
  • Amel Bennaceur, Thein Than Tun, Arosha K. Bandara, Yijun Yu, Bashar Nuseibeh:
  • Feature-Driven Mediator Synthesis: Supporting Collaborative Security in the Internet of Things. ACM Trans. Cyber Phys. Syst. 2(3): 21:1-21:25 (2018)
  • Gül Çalikli, Mark Law, Arosha K. Bandara, Alessandra Russo, Luke Dickens, Blaine A. Price, Avelie Stuart, Mark Levine, Bashar Nuseibeh:
  • Privacy dynamics: learning privacy norms for social software. SEAMS@ICSE 2016: 47-56
  • Raian Ali, Carlos Solís, Inah Omoronyia, Mazeiar Salehie, Bashar Nuseibeh:
  • Social Adaptation - When Software Gives Users a Voice. ENASE 2012: 75-84


Key dates

Application cut-off date: 31st December 2023

Start dates: 1st February 2024 or soon after that date.


How to apply

For application guidance, please visit . Your research proposal should briefly summarise related work and outline how you would approach the problem.



Informal enquiries are welcome. Please email (with a short CV if possible).

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