Research Associate in Human Robot Interaction (FEATHER)

Deadline for Applications is midnight on the 29th of June 2023.

Salary: Grade 7 (£35,308 - £43,155)

Contract: Full-time (35 hours per week), 2 years.

Interviews will be held online. Start dates will be agreed from July 2023 or as soon after.

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options.

Detailed Description

The National Robotarium, located at Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh campus, is a world-renowned hub for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. It is home to cutting-edge research and innovation labs across three core areas: Robotics & Autonomous Systems (RAS), Human Robot Interaction (HRI), and High Precision Manufacturing. Our uniquely flexible facilities allow industry partners in healthcare, agriculture, construction, and other economic sectors to collaborate with experts in Robotics and AI to develop technologies and carry out challenge-based innovations that can move rapidly from laboratory to market.

As a Research Associate, you will be joining the Interactive and Trustworthy Technologies ( research group at the National Robotarium, where you will have the opportunity to work on exciting HRI projects. You will be part of a team that is at the forefront of developing innovative HRI technologies that can revolutionize the way humans interact with robots in a wide array of application areas, alongside interdisciplinary teams that include experts in engineering, and computer science, among many others. By joining our team, you will have the chance to work on projects that have a real-world impact and contribute to shaping the future of HRI.

This position will in the first instance work on the EPSRC project titled “FEATHER”. You will focus on how to design the regular interaction with a social robot with conversational skills to facilitate the recognition of a UTI, which otherwise cannot be extracted by other means.

Duties & Responsibilities

In general, to support the project leader at HWU of the Feather project in achieving the goals of that project, under her direction.

• Undertaking a specific role in the research project under supervision

• Taking responsibility for some elements of the planned research

• Planning and carrying out a work programme appropriate to the research activity

• Developing own research portfolio in related areas

• Contributing to the writing of research grants

• Contributing to dissemination and publication of research teams findings as appropriate.

• Contribute to learning and teaching through activities such as project supervision, tutoring and marking (limited to no more than 10% on an annualised basis).

Please note that this job description is not exhaustive, and the role holder may be required to undertake other relevant duties commensurate with the grading of the post. Activities may be subject to amendment over time as the role develops and/or priorities and requirements evolve.

Person Specification



• A PhD in Human Robot Interaction or closely related subject e.g. Computer Science or Engineering.

Key technical skills (candidates will ideally display several of the following attributes):

• Experience of one of the following: software engineering and software testing

• Very good programming skills in some of the following: Python, Java, C# or C++, functional programming.

• Experience with ROS within a research context.

• Skills in some of the following: user centred design, co-design and development.

• Strong analytical and problem solving skills.

• Strong communication skills (verbal, written and presentation).

• Reasonable statistical skills


• A developing track record of publishing research findings.

• Good team player with good interpersonal skills.

• Tenacity and confidence in engaging stakeholders in collaborative design and data collection.

• Highly motivated to initiate, plan and pursue research and aspire to excellence in all professional activities.

• Adaptability, willingness to learn new fields and develop new skill sets.


• Ability to travel Internationally.


Deadline for Applications is midnight on the 29th of June 2023.

Applications should include a Curriculum Vitae (detailing qualifications, work experience, projects worked on), a publications list, and transcripts of their degree results. To apply: follow this link.

For an informal discussion of the role, please contact at Heriot-Watt University: Professor Lynne Baillie at Heriot Watt University (