An opportunity to apply for a funded full-time PhD in the College of Arts, Technology and Environment at UWE Bristol. The studentship will be funded by the research project entitled "Socially assistive walker to promote health and wellbeing in older adults" (SAW-Health) and UWE Bristol internal funds. The SAW-Health project is driven by the goal of revolutionizing assistive technology for older adults. Our research focuses on developing a robotic system that empowers users by assisting in daily activities, promoting physical activity, and fostering social interaction. This position is based within our dynamic department at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory.

By joining our team, you will be at the forefront of research that directly impacts the quality of life of older adults. You will collaborate with a multidisciplinary team driving software and hardware development to obtain a functional prototype of a robotic system for physical and cognitive assistance in older adults, conduct usability tests, and lead medium-term studies to assess user experience and acceptance.

Ref: 2425-OCT-CATE-02.

The expected start date of these studentships is 1 October 2024.

The closing date for applications has been extended to 14 April 2024.

Studentship details

About you

You are an innovative and motivated researcher with an unwavering passion for pioneering advancements in the realm of robotics and assistive technology. Driven by a deep commitment to enhancing the lives of older adults, you possess a unique blend of technical acumen, collaborative prowess, and an unyielding dedication to impactful research.

Desirable skills

  • Familiarity with machine learning and AI algorithms for data analysis.
  • Familiarity with web-development frameworks and production like applications.
  • Previous involvement in projects related to assistive technology for older adults.
  • Track record of academic publications in relevant conferences or journals.
  • Prior experience in collaborative research environments.

You should provide a cover letter indicating your motivation to be considered for this studentship.

Your PhD proposal should be aligned with the objectives of the SAW-Health Project. There is no need to submit a proposal as part of the application process.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Professor Carlos Cifuentes (


The studentship is available from 1 October 2024 for a period of 3.5 years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax-exempt stipend, which is currently £18,622 (2024/25) per annum.

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years for Home, EU and International students. 


The PhD studentship is open to UK, EU and International applicants. 

Applicants must have:

  • Masters in Robotics, Human-Computer Interaction, Software/Electronic Engineering, or related
  • a background in co-design, robotic technology, and Human-Robot Interaction
  • experience in sensing and actuator architectures
  • proficiency in programming languages such as Python, C++, MATLAB, and ROS
  • excellent interpersonal, communication, and collaboration skills for teamwork
  • solid analytical and problem-solving capabilities, involving statistical analysis skills
  • an understanding of ethical considerations in research
  • effective communication skills.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted use the reference number 2425-OCT-CATE-02.

Supporting documentation: You will need to upload your cover letter, all your degree certificates and transcripts and a recognised English language qualification is required.

References: You will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Your referee will be asked for a reference at the time you submit your application, so please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references within 14 days of your application being submitted.

Closing date

The closing date for applications has been extended to 14 April 2024.

Further information

It is expected that interviews will take place on weeks commencing 22 April 2024. If you have not heard from us by 10 May 2024, we thank you for your application but on this occasion you have not been successful.

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