Funded research projects

Funded research projects

Abertay offers a range of funded PhD and Masters projects for enthusiastic and ambitious candidates who are interested in pursuing a research degree at Abertay University.

Funded PhD and Research Masters projects are available to students who hold (or expect to gain) either a First Class Honours degree, an Upper Second Class Honours degree or a Masters qualification.

The studentships described below are divided into three categories:

Open – Applications are currently open for these studentships. You can find further details on the Abertay jobs page and FindAPhD.com.

Closed – These studentships are now closed for applications, however, you may be interested in seeing the topics we have funded previously.

 

 

Open

Project Title5G & Edge computing technologies to unlock compelling immersive multiuser experiences for mobile XR applications

PhD Studentship: R-LINCS2 funded. The Studentship is available for October 2024 or February 2025 start.

A PhD studentship that comprises tax-free stipend of £19,237 (increasing in line with UKRI per annum) per year over 3.5 years, student tuition fees paid, and a generous study package (e.g. limited research consumables, travel budget, and training when appropriate). 

The pan-University Graduate School offers an integrated training programme to the postgraduate community within a single centre, serving to inculcate interdisciplinary working in our next generation of researchers.

Project Description: There is an ever-increasing demand for immersive xR (mixed reality) applications across many sectors – sport, retail, gaming and healthcare. To date these applications are designed for in-door applications. This is due to xR technology requiring high computation and bandwidth to transfer data required for immersion. 5G technology can address these issues providing the required processing and bandwidth to users on the go and outdoors. The convergence of 5G and xR is in its infancy - this studentship will develop a technical pipeline which can be applied in new contexts and will seed new collaborations and research opportunities.

Key project phases:

 

  1. Prototype a simple XR application: determine and create a prototype XR application that displays interactive and high-fidelity 3D objects.
  2. Using mobile devices for XR applications: experimentally investigate the use of 5G and edge computing to overcome the challenge of limited processing on mobile devices.
  3. Multiuser and shared XR applications: explore the use of 5G, distributed computation and edge computing for multiuser immersive experiences.

 

It is anticipated that the output of this research be widespread and with significant outreach opportunities which could lead to improved interventions for encouraging gender equality across subjects and careers. 

 

Entry Requirements: Candidates must have, or expect to obtain, a first class or upper second-class honours degree in a computing or engineering (or equivalent). We are looking for an independent, enthusiastic, and driven candidate with an understanding of networking and/or XR development. Applicants should have some development experience in either networking, network game development, XR, or edge computing.

Candidates must work well with others and represent the university when working with key stakeholders (e.g., schools).

For applicants who are non-native speakers of English, the University requires IELTS of 6.5 (with no band less than 6.5) or an equivalent qualification accepted by the Home Office.

Applications and closing date: 23.06.2024

To find out more and apply go to Abertay Jobs. 

 

Project Title: Towards Machine Understanding of Human Languages: AI for Storytelling Across Languages.

R-LINCS2 funded. The Studentship is available for a June, October 2024, or February 2025 start.

A PhD studentship that comprises tax-free stipend of £17,668 (increasing in line with UKRI per annum) per year over 3.5 years, tuition fees paid, and a generous study package (e.g. limited research consumables, travel budget, and training when appropriate). 

The pan-University Graduate School offers an integrated training programme to the postgraduate community within a single centre, serving to inculcate interdisciplinary working in our next generation of researchers.

Interviews are likely to be online in September 2024.

Project Description: In the realm of AI and computer science, disciplines such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), and AI-centric Language Models are critical for fostering communication and collaboration between humans and machines in the future. Despite the progress made in AI and Machine Learning, existing models still struggle to achieve a deep and precise grasp of natural languages. Although there has been remarkable progress in developing more efficient models for various NLP tasks, Deep NLP models, transformers, and large-scale language models like ChatGPT still face a significant challenge in generating engaging and coherent stories. The existing storytelling models suffer from a lack of coherence and contextuality, which can be attributed to the narrow focus on horizontal sequence-based processing. Storytelling models face challenges in coherence and contextuality due to their emphasis on horizontal sequence-based processing and struggle with narrative intricacies, demanding the incorporation of innovative AI techniques for a deeper grasp of narrative components.

Enhancing modern Deep NLP techniques requires exploring and capturing the complex interactions among words, considering diverse categories of orthographic and phonological relations, as well as the relationships between words and their contextual surroundings across a broad spectrum of texts. Through meticulous scrutiny of the multifarious ways in which words are employed and their interconnectivity, a more profound comprehension of the underlying implications and concepts can be attained. Utilising these insights enables the enhancement of current approaches. The project aims to improve machine understanding of natural languages by developing novel methods for AI-driven storytelling. The work will be focused on designing and developing methods and techniques to analyse and explore large textual datasets and lexical graph databases, discover, and extract the hidden pattern and relationship between words within a language and automatically generate stories describing and explaining those relationships. The project will combine and incorporate approaches from various disciplines including NLP, Deep Neural Networks, Computational Reasoning, Computational Linguistics, Generative AI, Graph Learning and Graph Neural Networks.

 

Supervisory Team: The candidate will be supervised within the School of Design and Informatics by Dr Javad Zarrin, Dr Kean Lee Kang, and Dr Darshana Jayemanne. Queries on this project should be directed to Dr. Javad Zarrin (j.zarrin@abertay.ac.uk).

Entry Requirements: Candidates must have, or expect to obtain, a first-class or upper second-class honours degree or international equivalent (preferably with a recognised master's degree) in Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Computer Science, Mathematics, or a closely related discipline.

The successful candidates will have a solid background in AI, with experience spanning machine learning, graph learning, natural language processing, and generative AI. Experience in designing and conducting AI-driven research, coupled with a thorough grasp of research methodologies, AI-related mathematical concepts, and practical skills in Python and data analysis techniques, is highly regarded. Familiarity with storytelling and gaming is a plus but not a mandatory requirement.

For applicants who are non-native speakers of English, the University requires an IELTS of 6.5 (with no band less than 6.0) or an equivalent qualification accepted by the Home Office.

Applications closing date: 15 August 2024

To find out more and apply go to Abertay Jobs. 

Closed

  • Project Title: Bridging the gap between Virtual & Physical Film & Television Production: Virtual Production and Real-Time pipelines in the studio environment.
  • Project Title: When an Adult with Learning Disability Goes Missing: A mixed methods study to inform prevention and response
  • Privacy-Preserving Machine Learning for Next-Generation IoT (NG-IoT) Security
  • Helpful and unhelpful aspects of therapy following spiritually transformative experiences
  • Gateway to esports: Enhancing access and retention for casual audiences in competitive video games
  • Open your MIND: Leveraging the ecological validity of language control research using immersive technologies
  • Quantifying organic carbon losses in soils through natural processes and land management practises
  • Revolutionising Heritage Conservation through AI-Powered Analysis of Timber Beam-Column Connections
  • Project Title: 5G & Edge computing technologies to unlock compelling immersive multiuser experiences for mobile XR applications
  • Project Title: Towards Machine Understanding of Human Languages: AI for Storytelling Across Languages
  • Project Title: Reframing the 'social' in social return on investment: constructing more meaningful monitoring and evaluation in football, development and beyond. 
  • Project Title: Active transport of Gold-coated iron oxide superparamagnetic nanoparticles: A universal delivery vehicle.
  • PhD Research Studentship: BARIToNE Project 9 - towards climate-positive cropping: developing model-based approaches to identify pathways, and evidence benefits.
  • PhD Research Studentship: Reframing the ‘social’ in social return on investment: constructing more meaningful monitoring and evaluation in sport for development and beyond.
  • PhD Research Studentship 5G Edge- XR for unlocking compelling immersive experiences
  • PhD Research Studentship: Investigating the impact of police communications and initiatives on public perceptions of progress in enhancing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: A case of Police Scotland
  • PhD Research Studentship: How, when and where can preconception interventions be utilised in Scotland
  • PhD Research Studentship: Co-creating Performance and Play: Supporting community cohesion and well-being through mixed-media co-production
  • Masters by Research (MbR) with technical work experience.
  • PhD Studentship: Towards climate-positive barley: developing model-based approaches to identify pathways and evidence benefits
  • PhD Research Studentship: Investigating the potential of Extended Reality for alternative understandings of forced migration and devastated Middle Eastern Cultural Heritage Sites.
  • PhD Research Studentship: Using avatars in investigative interviews with children.
  • PhD Research Studentship: How do we best teach our children to be cyber secure?
  • PhD Research Studentship: Machine learning to determine soil properties: a smartphone-based solution for stakeholders
  • RLINCS PhD studentship: The effect of different types of omega-3 fatty acids on exercise capacity in the elderly
  • RLINCS PhD studentship: Using Affective Computing to Create an Emotional Bond between Users and Virtual Agents for Enhanced Social Interaction
  • R-LINCS PhD Studentship: Using VR to Investigate the Visual Features that Determine the Effectiveness of Disruptive Camouflage
  • R-LINCS PhD Studentship: Eco-grief and community experiences of changing water practices in Malawi
  • PhD Studentship: Seals as sentinels of antimicrobial resistance: mapping antimicrobial resistance genes in UK waters
  • PhD Studentships: A 4D Virtual Tumour for Cancer Ecology.
  • RLINCS PhD Research Studentships: Investigating the Chemistry of a Cold Smoking Process and its Impacts on Food Safety and Quality; Deep Learning Intrusion Detection System for the Internet of Things; Characterising fat tissue structure and function in grey seals, an animal model of extreme fat deposition and mobilisation, using novel in vivo and in vitro approaches; Applying the self-reference effect to improve children’s mathematical problem solving; Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury in female athletes.
  • Master by Research Studentships in Mental Health Nursing: Various areas of research focus will be considered. 
  • Master by Research Studentship: Developing a successful food new product development tool linking effective testing (using facial electromyography) with sensory attribute selection
  • PhD Research Studentship: Exploiting yeast diversity in whisky fermentations for biocatalysis of desirable flavour compounds. 
  • PhD Research Studentship: Evaluating the effect of plant species on soil carbonation flux
  • PhD Research Studentship: Fluid-aerosol modelling of cloud evolution in substellar atmospheres (R-LINCS)
  • Master by Research Studentship: Developing a successful food new product development tool linking effective testing (using facial electromyography) with sensory attribute selection
  • MSc Research Studentship: Utilising crushed dolerite columns to stabilise unstable substrates using microbial-induced calcite precipitation (MICP): coupling ground improvement and climate mitigation - laboratory approach 
  • Games and Media Facilitated e-Learning 
  • Developing a successful new food product development, tool linking effective testing (using facial electromyography) with sensory attribute selection
  • A generic framework for atmospheric fluid-aerosol modelling with applications in astrophysics, computer games and environment
  • Utilising crushed dolerite columns to stabilise unstable substrates using microbial-induced calcite precipitation (MICP): coupling ground improvement and climate mitigation – numerical modelling approach
  •  Exploring self-reference effects in children with ADHD
  • Application of focused 'omics' approaches to the study of biological phenomena implicated in musculoskeletal ageing. (R-LINCS)
  • CLOSED - Modelling of multiphase flow in deformable agricultural soils (Hosted at Abertay University for Tayside Centre for Geotechnical Engineering in Natural Environments)
  • Development of Effective Guidelines and Communication Tools for the Protection of Rural Private Water Supplies from Sources of Pollution 
  • Detection, analysis and clinical application of spermatozoa biochemical profile using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). (R-LINCS)
  • Multiple missing: an exploration of behavioural consistency in repeat missing adults. (R-LINCS)
  • Application of focused 'omics' approaches to the study of biological phenomena implicated in musculoskeletal ageing. (R-LINCS)
  • Connecting Performance and Play: interdisciplinary design methods for the development of games and performance – ARCS/ SGSAH  studentship (Abertay University, National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland)
  • Investigation into and Development of Processes for the Enhancement of Safety and Shelf Life of Fresh Produce. (R-LINCS and James Hutton Institute)
  • Ecology at play: An exploration of natural data through game design. (IW Stewart PhD Studentship) 
  • Developing of 4D Imaging Methods to Quantify Soil Structural Dynamics with applications to Soil Science and Environmental Engineering. (R-LINCS)
  • Addressing the Fundamental Problems of Cyber-Security through Anti-Patterns. (R-LINCS)
  • Interaction between emotion and communication. (R-LINCS)
  • Investigating structural synaptic plasticity as a novel therapeutic target for functional recovery from spinal cord injury. (R-LINCS)
  • Securing cyberspace: Development and validation of a novel research and evaluation toolset. (R-LINCS)
  • The Social and Organisational Construction of Ethical Hacking. (R-LINCS)
  • A systematic study of the effect of ultrasound on food enzymes and bioaccessibility of bioactive compounds (model and real food systems). (R-LINCS)
  • Assisting Digital Forensic Reconstruction via Exploratory Information Visualisation. (SICSCA)
  • Exploring the Role of Monitoring Agents and Affective Feedback in Enhancing Cyber Security for Average Users. (SICSCA)
  • Games Design, a new Approach for a New Industry. (ESRC)
  • Design and Action. (AHRC)
  • Exploring Interactive Design Engineering Methodologies. (AHRC)
  • Investigation of the performance of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) on the Scottish Trunk Road Network (STRN). (BEAR)
  • Factors controlling root growth in heterogeneous substrates: physical structures and root behaviour. (R-LINCS in partnership with James Hutton Institute)
  • When do dialects become languages? (Leverhulme)
  • Computer and Web Enabled Food Product Evaluation. (MacPhie of Glenbervie Ltd)
  • Customer Honesty in Self-Service Interactions. (R-LINCS)
  • Nano-and bio-technologies for food science and technology. (SORSAS)
  • Role of Second Generation Phosphodiesterase Inhibitor(s) and Adenosine-Triphosphate on Human Sperm Motility. (SORSAS)
  • Influence of soil structure on the spatial and temporal distribution of bacteria in soil. (SORSAS)
  • Ecosystem service goods and benefits accruing from sustainable approaches to urban water management (SORSAS)
  • Understanding Early Intervention: A Case Study of Dundee (SIPR)
  • MPhil Research Studentship, 2 years: Project Title: Games and Media Facilitated e-Learning
  • PhD Research Studentship: Mapping for Social Innovation
  • MPhil Studentship: Development and validation of sequencing and bioinformatics methodologies to identify pathogenic mutations in candidate male infertility genes.
  • PhD Studentship: Parental Involvement in Sport: Improving the Quality of Children’s Sport Experiences and Wellbeing
  • PhD Studentship: Co-Design Mapping for Social Innovation Project.
  • PhD Studentship: Enhancing Scotland’s resilience to climate change.
  • PhD Studentship: Active transport of Gold-coated iron oxide superparamagnetic nanoparticles: A universal delivery vehicle.
  • PhD Studentship: BARIToNE CTP - Towards climate-Positive barley: developing model-based approaches to identify pathways and evidence benefits (PROTECT)

 

Further information

Eligibility

A related Masters-level qualification is desirable, but not essential. Otherwise you must have, or expect to obtain, a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours degree in a discipline relevant to the studentship you are applying for. 

English language requirements

We accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

For candidates whose first language is not English or your undergraduate/Master’s degree was not awarded from a University from a UKVI designated English Speaking country, you are required to show evidence of one of the following qualifications:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL “My Best Score” to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: 62 overall with at least 59 in each component.
  • NECO English at B (4)
  • WAEC English at B (4)

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

To identify whether or not you need to apply for a student visa, please see here or visit the UKVI website.

How to apply

All available studentships are listed on the Abertay Jobs page, as well as FindAPhD.com. The individual listings will specify the steps you need to follow. We only accept online applications submitted via the Abertay Jobs portal.

Every single studentship will have its own specific requirements. Make sure you read them carefully.

Please note: all Research Proposals are checked for evidence of academic deceit including the inappropriate use of Generative AI. Research Proposals evidencing academic deceit will be automatically rejected on such grounds, applications will be cancelled, and applicants will be disqualified from reapplying.

More to Explore

Learn more about our Postgraduate Research application process, and explore the available funding options.

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Postgraduate Research Funding

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