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PhD Studetnship - Decision making in human-machine teaming

School of Engineering

Location:  Boldrewood Campus
Closing Date:  Tuesday 30 June 2020
Reference:  1222119DA

Supervisor:                 Prof Neville Stanton

Co-supervisor             Dr. Jon Downes

Project description

Here is an opportunity to join a very successful team of award winning Psychologists, Computer Scientists and Engineers conducting research into Human Factors Engineering (learn more out us here:

This research studentship will suit someone with interests in developing their research skills in Human Factors Engineering.You are most likely to be from the psychological or cognitive science domain with an interest in engineering or vice versa.

The research project will explore accountable human decision making in human-human teams to provide an analogy for human-machine teaming.  In human-machine teams there is a concern that humans could adopt a position of ‘social loafing’ (leaving the machine to do all the work).  Alternatively they might do all the work, taking over from the machines at every possibility due to lack of appropriate trust.  In an ideal situation, human-machine teams would lead to social facilitation, whereby the performance of both humans and machines is optimized.  In this instance, human operators will only take control from machines when it is beneficial to do so.

The template of accountable decision making will be used to derive principles for the design of human-machine teams and will include considerations such as task type, trust, workload, and situation awareness.An experimental environment will be constructed to enable exploration of accountable decision making, in which the factors such as number of machine agents, task allocation and workload can be manipulated to discover the effects on decision making.  It is anticipated that the experimental programme will involve around six experiments to find a ‘sweet spot’ for accountable decision making, which will be turned into a set of design principles and guidelines for Thales.

More about our research team in Human Factors Engineering may be found here:

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Prof Neville Stanton, Transportation Research Group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 599065

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 30 June 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £20,000 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online here selecting “PhD Engineering and the Environment (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Neville Stanton under the proposed supervisor.

Applications should include

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: 

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