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Multimodal dialogue systems

Duration: 4 years, full-time

Funding: Fully funded, see below for details (open to both international and UK students)

Location: The Open University, Milton Keynes and Cambridge Research Laboratory, Toshiba Europe, Cambridge

Closing Date for applications:  30 September 2021

Studentship start: February 2022

If you consider applying, contact Paul.Piwek at asap for detailed information and application pack.


Project information

The dialogue group of the Cambridge Research Laboratory at Toshiba and the Open University's AI/NLP and Software Engineering teams are expanding their ongoing collaboration (in the EPSRC Opening Up Minds project) with the current PhD project, which is co-funded by the Open University's EPSRC doctoral training partnership grant and Toshiba Europe.

The project will investigate multimodal dialogue interaction in the context of human - AI/chatbot collaborative task-oriented communication. The project will have two main aspects: collection of a multimodal dialogue corpus and development of a multimodal chatbot. Depending on the candidate’s strengths and interests, the project may concentrate on the corpus collection and analysis, chatbot development or both. The project budget includes significant separate funding for data collection and annotation (i.e. remuneration of participants and annotators).

Keywords:  dialogue modelling, question generation, multimodality, multimodal corpus

Key skills:  1st class computer science degree, knowledge of Artificial Intelligence techniques, ideally including NLP and multimodality

Practical information

This prestigious 4-year EPSRC CASE studentship comes with a stipend to cover living costs. The stipend is tax-free and at UKRI EPSRC rate (see ). Additionally, the stipend is topped up with a further allowance of £1500 per annum. The studentship also covers fees (so students are *not* charged for fees).

You will be based at the Open University's campus (, which is located in Milton Keynes, between Oxford, Cambridge and London (with the fastest train connection to London: 30 minutes). For more on being a research student at the OU, see

Additionally, this studentship includes accommodation and travel for a 3-month placement at Toshiba Europe in Cambridge.



Dr Paul Piwek (

Dr Svetlana Stoyanchev (

Dr Michel Wermelinger (

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