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AISB opportunities Bulletin Item

Two Research Fellowships on EU Cognitive Robotics Projects at University of Birmingham, UK



Applications are invited for two Research Fellowships, starting as
soon as possible after 1 February 2008 on a project due to end on 30
June 2012. The posts are to work on two major EU funded projects:
CoSy: Cognitive Systems for Cognitive Assistants, and
CogX: Cognitive Systems that Self-Understand and Self-Extend.

The first post (Ref S43238) will be concerned with the learning of
affordances of objects via simple manipulation. The work will in the
later stages look at modular motor learning as a framework for
carrying out this activity. The research will be concerned with
integrating novel methods in computer vision with manipulation
abilities to allow the robot to acquire knowledge about the
behaviour of objects by experimental manipulation. Applicants must
have a strong background in robotic manipulation and computer
    Further details and instructions for applicants are
    available here:

The second post (Ref S43237) will be concerned with planning
information processing and information gathering within a cognitive
architecture. The person appointed to this post will work on new
methods for reasoning and planning about sensing and perceptual
processing in a mobile robot able to manipulate objects, with an
emphasis on visual processing. One goal of the work will be to
develop new methods for choosing sensing actions and making
inferences about a scene when the robot has to make decisions about
where to look, and what visual processing to perform. Another goal
will be to develop new planning techniques that combine the benefits
of decision theoretic planning with those of symbolic planning to
support a robot that can reason about what it can learn, and cope
with uncertainty in action and sensing. Applicants must have a
strong background in probabilistic reasoning, and preferably
planning algorithms.
    Further details and instructions for applicants are
    available here:

If appointed, you will work in a team of six researchers at
Birmingham and along with partner groups in five other universities.
The CoSy project is described at the following sites: and

Information on the CogX project is available at

The Intelligent Robotics Lab is a growing centre for research in
robotics, cognition and machine learning in the UK. We collaborate with
engineers, psychologists and biologists to develop new ideas and
techniques. The group currently has 13 members, including 3 faculty, 4
postdoctoral researchers and six doctoral students, and holds over 1.9m
pounds in external research funding. As part of your duties you will also
be encouraged to contribute to grant writing, and setting the research
agenda for the future work of the group. Strong communication and
management skills are therefore essential.

You must hold or be working towards the achievement of a PhD in Computer
Science, AI, Cognitive Science, Engineering or a related subject, OR
equivalent research experience, including if possible robotics/vision
research experience and linux expertise. In exceptional circumstances we
will consider appointment from someone in a related field with relevant
experience, such as Psychology or Neuroscience. You will need excellent
programming skills, in C/C++ or Java, together with the ability to
engineer software to very high standards of reliability.

Informal enquiries (preferably by email) to
    Dr Jeremy Wyatt
        tel.: +44 121 414 4788,

    Dr Richard Dearden
        tel.:+44 121 414 6687
    Prof Aaron Sloman
        tel.: +44 121 414 4775

Standard information required by applicants is explained in this

Please provide additional information that you think is relevant,
including information about how you think you can contribute to the
CogX project, and URLs for relevant recent publications you have

The standard application form may be obtained, in various formats,
at this site:

Please, if possible fill in the electronic form and submit it
electronically, with additional attachments if necessary.

Applications should be sent, preferably by email to
    Ms. Jo Gerald,
    tel.: +44 121 414 7415.
    Postal address is
        Ms Jo Gerald,
        Human Resources,
        The University of Birmingham,
        Birmingham B15 2TT,
        United Kingdom.

Please also send an email copy of your application if possible to Dr
Wyatt, Prof Sloman and Dr Dearden.

Appointment will be until 30 September 2009 in the first instance, with
a view to extension until June 30 2012 subject to the normal requirements
of successful project reviews and funding.

Starting salaries for both posts will be in the range of 25,134 to
32,796 a year (potential progression on performance once in post to

Closing date for applications: 9 January 2008 Refs: S43238 & S43237

Late applications will be considered if the appointments process has
not gone too far.

Details may also be requested from +44 121 415 9000
HR, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT

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