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PhD in Safe and explainable AI

PhD in Safe and Explainable AI


Project Overview

We have a fully funded exciting PhD opportunity in Safe AI within our Intelligent Vehicles team which has received the prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship. The position will be looking at Safe AI from a perspective of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) along with wider applications in other sectors.

Connected autonomous vehicle technology prototypes have existed for some time, however questions around the safety of this technology from the public and industry who want to commercialise these technologies have blocked it from developing. AI technologies are at the heart of the CAVs especially in the perception sub-systems and are inherently non-deterministic in nature. Arguing for their safety and verifying AI-based systems requires the development of novel techniques. As the use of AI proliferates in our daily lives, such research questions will impact other sectors too, e.g. healthcare, Industry 4.0 and vehicle electrification.

The PhD student will work with the UKRI Future Leader Fellow – Dr Siddartha Khastgir, and other leading academics, alongside the Fellowship’s partners which include Aurrigo Driverless Technology, AVL UK, TATA consultancies Services, Waymo, Department for Transport, HM Govt., Southwest Research Institute – USA, Zenzic UK, Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), Reed Mobility, High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult and Techworks, offering excellent career opportunities following graduation.

Through the strong cohort experience of the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship programme and WMG’s diverse range of industrial partners, the student will be exposed to discussions and challenges being dealt by regulators, large manufacturers and start-ups. Once completion, students will graduate as experts in “Safe AI” with opportunities in diverse fields from connected and autonomous vehicles to healthcare to manufacturing automation. They will be able to consider and argue for the need for trust in AI, especially in safety-critical applications.


Desired Student Background

Prospective candidates are expected to have strong (distinction) Masters in computer science, mathematics, statistics or related disciplines. During their PhD journey, students will have an opportunity to undertake a variety of training activities including interdisciplinary training on responsible research, public engagement, developing an entrepreneurial mindset, in addition to regular seminars and workshops held at Warwick.

We encourage applications from candidates with non-standard backgrounds (e.g. returning from career breaks or candidates from industry). We also encourage applications from women, disabled and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, who are currently under-represented in the sector. All applicants should be self-motivated and capable of working independently. They should also have good communication skills for regular interaction with other stakeholders.

To learn more about the PhD experience, here are Five key reasons for doing a PhD.


About the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship

The UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships is a £900 million fund that is helping to establish the careers of world-class research and innovation leaders across UK business and academia, supporting 550 fellows.
Dr Siddartha Khastgir has been awarded the prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship programme. Siddartha’s fellowship programme will develop pioneering testing methodologies and standards to enable robust and safe use of CAV with a focus on creating both fundamental knowledge and applied research methods and tools.


Funding and Eligibility

Standard Research Council Maintenance Award - £15,285/year for 3.5 years

This PhD is available for a UK/EU applicant only. To be eligible for this project the successful applicant should have indefinite leave to remain in the UK and have been ordinarily resident here for 3 years prior to the project start-date, apart from occasional or temporary absences. Additional details of these criteria are available on the EPSRC website. 


To apply

To apply please complete our online enquiry form and upload your CV.

Please ensure you meet the minimum requirements before filling in the online form.

Key Information:

Funding source: Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP)

Stipend: Standard Research Council Maintenance Award - £15,285/year for 3.5 years

Supervisor: Dr Siddartha Khastgir and Professor Paul Jennings

Available to UK/EU nationals

Start date: We would ideally like someone to start as soon as possible, but we can offer some flexibility on this - please contact us to discuss.