PhD Studentship in Computer Science: AI&HCI – Developing a Conceptual Framework for Human-AI Interaction

Newcastle University

Award summary

100% Home fees covered and a minimum tax-free annual living allowance of £17,668 (2022-23 UKRI rate)


The proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) agents in socially complex environments, such as hospitals and schools, necessitates a cross-disciplinary understanding of human-AI interaction (HAII) and its impact on human users. In HAII, the design of an AI agent extends beyond its functionality, encompassing its operational dynamics and the conscious or subconscious perceptions of human users. This project focuses on the sociocultural dimension of HAII, surpassing the traditional “human-in-the-AI-loop” perspective for a nuanced “AI-in-the-human-loop” approach. 

By challenging the oversimplified view of algorithmic performance, we aim to explore the conceptual and ethical aspects of design and evaluation in HAII. This is crucial for advancing theory, empirical research, and methodological advancements. Our goal is to develop a robust conceptual framework guiding empirical studies and ensuring socially aligned AI systems. Ultimately, this project strives to enhance our understanding of HAII and promote responsible and socially conscious AI design. 

Number of awards: 1

Start date: September 2023

Award duration: 3.5 years

Sponsor: School of Computing

Supervisors: Dr Lei Shi

Eligibility criteria

You must have, or expect to gain, an MSc/MEng degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, including computer science, data science, artificial intelligence, applied statistics, human-computer interaction, cognitive sciences, cognitive and/or experimental psychology, design, or similar. Enthusiasm for research, the ability to think and work independently, excellent analytical skills and strong verbal and written communication skills are also essential requirements. 

Applicants whose first language is not English require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills. 

The studentship covers fees at Home rate (UK and EU applicants with pre-settled/settled status and meet the residency criteria). International applicants are welcome to apply but will be required to cover the difference between Home and International fees.

International applicants may require an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme ) clearance certificate prior to obtaining their visa and to study on this programme.

How to apply

Apply using Apply to Newcastle Portal

Once registered select ‘Create a Postgraduate Application’.

Use ‘Course Search’ to identify programme of study:

  • Search for the ‘Course Title’ using programme code: 8050F
  • Research Area: Computing Science
  • Select PhD Computer Science as programme of study

You then need to provide the following information in the ‘Further Questions’ section:

  • A ‘Personal Statement’ (mandatory field) – upload document or write a statement directly in the application form
  • The studentship code COMP2145 in the ‘Studentship/Partnership Reference’ field
  • When prompted regarding research proposal – select ‘Write Proposal’. You should then type in the title of the research project from this advert – and provide your own statement.

In addition, before you submit you will need to upload the following supporting documentation:

  • covering letter and CV. Covering letter must state the title of the studentship and code COMP2145. State how your interests and experience relate to the project.
  • degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualification.

You will not be able to submit your application until you have submitted all required documents/information.

Contact details:

Dr Lei Shi
Open Lab
School of Computing

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