PhD Studentship in Artificial Intelligence for the Future of Society
University of Southampton School of Electronics and Computer Science
United Kingdom

PhD Studentship in Artificial Intelligence for the Future of Society (AIFS): Knowledge Disruptors and Thought Leaders

Web & Internet Science

Location:  Highfield Campus

Closing Date:  Monday 31 August 2020
Reference:  1263620FP

Supervisor:                 Professor Les Carr & Professor Jacek Brodzki

Project description

The Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton is offering a 4-year PhD position in collaboration with Elsevier.

Project Description

This project will focus on the use of Topological Data Analysis within networks to look at how the structure of a large scale knowledge interaction changes over time and influences the changing shape of scientific research. The research will explore recent mathematical techniques on the algebraic topology of large datasets, and apply those techniques to scientific research networks.

We are particularly interested in the temporal dynamics of networks i.e. the way that large scale topological features change over time to identify the appearance of key influencers and the effects that they have on science, scholarship and innovation. 

You will be supervised by an interdisciplinary academic team from Mathematics and Computer Science, and be part of a broader cohort of students investigating the challenges of a future AI society.  Your research will be supported by relevant training, and may include MSc modules according to your individual needs.  You may also have the opportunity to include an internship as part of your studies. 

The is an entrepreneurial non-profit research institute which supports interdisciplinary doctoral training in .  The WSI focuses on globally-recognised cross-disciplinary research, training and innovation, which explore the digital economy, cultures and social practices, based on Web, Data Science and AI technologies.   The Centre for Doctoral Training in Web Science Innovation is hosted by the WSI and there are close links with the University’s Centre for Machine Intelligence (CMI). Students will also benefit from opportunities offered by the University’s partnership with the Alan Turing Institute. 

This PhD project is run in partnership with , the R&D arm of Elsevier, a global information analytics business specializing in science and health. Elsevier has partnered with the scholarly community for 140 years to curate and verify knowledge, and is committed to using machine learning and AI techniques to advance the analytical capabilities of its services. Elsevier will provide bibliographic data for the project and will be involved in the PhD supervision team.

Entry Requirements:

A good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent) in a relevant computational subject, such as Computer Science, Software Engineering or Mathematics.  Advanced AI experience is not needed but applicants should demonstrate an interest in social applications of AI and/or experience of interdisciplinary research.  For candidates from non-computational backgrounds, programming experience would be desirable. 

Closing date

31 August 2020

Early application is advised.  Applications will be considered until the position is filled.


A 3.5 year studentship is offered for UK/EU applicants, covering tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend of £15,285.

How To Apply:

Applications should be made online selecting “PhD Web Science” as the programme.  Please enter “AI for the Future of Society” under the Topic or Field of Research.

Guidance about preparing a research proposal can be found

Applications should include

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: 

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Engineeroxy


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