For the academic year of 2022-2023, The University of Groningen in the Netherlands offers an opportunity for the local and international students to apply for the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Scholarship. If you are one of the students who are interested in taking research and investigating the experience of Human and robot interactions then this scholarship is just right for you!
It all begins on September 1, 2016, the University of Groningen launched the Ph.D. Scholarship Program. The scholarship programs offered by the university were issued by the Dutch Ministry of Education and Science s part of a pilot national doctoral scholarship program.
In the UG doctoral scholarship program, selected doctoral students are invited to write their own doctoral thesis in collaboration with an expert advisor, a doctorate from the University of Groningen, who wishes to work with them. In this way, as a doctoral student, your research is driven by curiosity, which allows you to work at the boundaries of knowledge!
Scholarship Project Description
Recent developments in artificial intelligence and language technology have led to important steps in the development of (social) robots. The current generation of robots has the ability to interact with their user on a social level and to participate in voice interactions. One of the important advantages of robots is the versatility of the language, which allows them to adapt to the language of the user.
It may be a foreign language – the French robot that guides passengers at Frankfurt Airport speaks 44 languages – but it’s also a regional language. Mastery of a regional language can be of great advantage in areas such as health and elderly care, as multilingual seniors often revert to their first mother tongue, usually the language spoken in the family context. Multilingual robots can be an asset for language education in schools or as a modern interactive tool to capture the attention of students in local languages.
The Ph.D. project goal is to investigate wether the interactions of the human-robot can be improved if the regional language is used. In addition, this project aims to investigate whether the use of regional languages in human-robot interactions helps in learning conditions, for example enabling parents to practice or motivating children to learn aspects of regional languages.
This project is based on the introduction of language texts in the localized version of Lower Saxon (“Gronings”), which is currently being developed and implemented in the commercial robot “Pepper”. The Ph.D. students will conduct field research at institutions and schools for parents to investigate the benefits of using regional languages for human-robot interactions. Depending on the experience and interests of the candidate, it is possible to design, implement and integrate a speech recognition system for regional languages into the robot.
Scholarship Provider: The University of Groningen
About the Provider
The University of Groningen is a public research university in the city of Groningen, ranked 79th in the Times Higher Education ranking. Its mission is to empower and connect the students, academics, and professionals to make a positive and collaborative impact on regional, national, and to address global economic and business challenges.
As one of the second oldest universities, the University of Groningen in the Netherlands has proven its reputation for excellence, conducting pioneering and socially relevant research that bridges disciplines and bridges the gap between science and society.
Since its founding in 1614, the University of Groningen has received an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education offering quality education and research. Balanced learning and career paths in multiple disciplines encourage approximately 36,000 students and researchers to develop their individual skills and knowledge. The University of Groningen is one of the best research universities in Europe and working with renowned universities and a network of partners makes the University of Groningen a truly international place of learning and development.
- Academic year: 2022-2023
- Applicant’s Nationality: Local and International
- Degree Level: Ph.D. Degree
- Field Department: Faculty of Economics and Business
- Duration: 4 Years
- Number of Awards: NA
- Scholarship Award: €2,249 Monthly Stipend
- Renewable: Yes
- Offered Annually: Yes
- Scholarship Country: Netherlands
Before proceeding with the application process, the university is searching for the Ph.D. students who will meet the following eligibility:
- Has a relevant background in Master’s degree in computer science, artificial intelligence, speech tech, human-machine interactions, and other related fields with a strong interest in social science degree.
- Has excellent program skills in Phyton and a strong interest in speech technologies, and experience with the robot program is a plus.
- Willing to participate in the engagement activities in public or in the Province of Groningen.
- Must be able and willing to work in Groningen in an international and interdisciplinary environment.
- Must have good communication skills in oral and written English.
- Knowledge of the Dutch language at a conversational level, or willingness to learn the language.
Candidates who meet the eligibility criteria of the scholarship can start their application for the academic year of 2022-2023. Applicants can start their application in an online portal provided by the university, and must be able to submit supporting documents.
The University of Groningen aims to be one of the universities where students and staff respect and feel right at home, regardless of differences in experience and background, views, and identity. The university believes working on core values of inclusion and equality is a shared responsibility, and they work constructively to create a socially safe environment. That’s why the university invites candidates from underrepresented groups to apply.
As part of the application process, the students are required to submit the following:
- Motivation Letter
- Curriculum Vitae
- Three references
- research Proposal maximum of two pages
- Transcript of records
- Proof of English Language proficiency
- Other relevant documents to support the application.
The deadline to complete and submit the application is until June 7, 2022. As part of the evaluation procedure, an assessment will be conducted, it will be consist of an interview and psychological test.
The Univesity of Groningen will be awarding the successful students €2,249 as a monthly stipend in 4 years, but it will be under assessment at the end of the first year of the beneficiary to continue to the scholarship award.