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The University of Southampton
Web Science Institute

Human-Centred AI

There is a global need to develop a large and highly skilled workforce that will drive an increasingly innovative economy, while understanding the adaptations necessary for working and living with Artificial Intelligence (AI), mitigating the risks it poses and shaping a future AI society.

The Web Science Institute (WSI) aims to train multidisciplinary doctoral researchers in developing cutting-edge AI techniques, in deploying AI in innovative solutions to complex social problems, and in managing the disruptive effects of AI on social infrastructure. 

Human-Centred AI

Our expertise in Human-Centred AI builds on our long-standing experience in Web Science and Data Science. We are committed to training doctoral researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, combining and enhancing their knowledge across computational and social sciences.  Our cohort of current students are working on a wide range of AI-related research projects with a focus on future societal benefits.

Find out more about our available studentships.

Research Themes

Our key research interests include:


We welcome collaboration with external organisations, particularly co-funded PhD opportunities, and we work closely with a number of industry partners. If you are interested, please take a look at the range of collaborative opportunities we offer or contact Alison Tebbutt at

PhD Opportunities

We welcome applications from potential candidates for PhD programmes in Web Science or Computer Science who have a strong interest in interdisciplinary Human-Centred AI research.  You should normally have, or expect to gain, a first or upper second-class degree in a relevant subject (e.g. Computer Science, Software Engineering or any other computational discipline) but you do not need advanced AI experience. For applicants with a non-computational first degree, some programming experience would be desirable.

Please include a research proposal outlining your research interests in relation to the themes above or the advertised project. If you would like to discuss your proposed research area before making an application, please contact us at

Studentships typically cover UK fees and a stipend for living costs. All funding opportunities are advertised on the University of Southampton’s PhD Studentships page. Current opportunities are listed below. Early application is advised if you wish to be considered for funding. Applications will be considered until the studentship has been awarded.

We also welcome applications from candidates who are in receipt of funding or scholarships from other sources.

Current PhD opportunities

All our PhD studentships are advertised on the University's Funded PhD Studentships webpage.

PhD StudentshipEligibilityDeadline

Human Centred AI PhD Studentship

Applications for research projects in any topic relevant to our Human-Centred AI themes above.

Supervisory Team: to be determined by the research topic.

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Mark Weal ( or Alison Tebbutt (

Applicants eligible for UK fees

30 June 22

Later applications may be considered.

Please contact us for further information.

Human Centred AI: Teaching Machines to Think Like Humans

Supervisory Team: Professor Jie Tang, Professor Dame Wendy Hall

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Mark Weal ( or Alison Tebbutt (

Applicants eligible for UK fees

30 June 2022

Later applications may be considered.

Please contact us for further information.

How to apply

All PhD applications should be made online. Find out more about how to apply for a PhD programme in the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS).   See also our general University guidance about applying for a postgraduate research degree and writing a research proposal here.

When making your online application:

Apply online

Contact Us

For further information about doctoral training or collaborating with the Web Science Institute, please get in touch with us at

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