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Improving Human-Agent Interaction Using EEG, Virtual Reality and the Interactive Brain Hypothesis

Applications are invited for our EPSRC funded Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) PhD studentships that will support six (6) research projects starting 1 October 2022. One of these projects is Improving Human-Agent Interaction Using EEG, Virtual Reality and the Interactive Brain Hypothesis” led by Dr Monica Pereira in the Department of Computer Science

Successful applicants will receive an annual stipend of £18,062 including outer London allowance plus payment of their full-time tuition fees for a period of 42 months (3.5 years).

You should be eligible for home (UK) tuition fees but there is a limited number of studentships (no more than two) available to overseas applicants, including EU nationals, who meet the entry criteria.

The Project

Social interactions are complex, and researchers are yet to fully understand how to model naturalistic dyadic social interactions to develop emotionally intelligent computers. In this project, we will attempt to investigate whether the Interactive Brain Hypothesis (IBH) and electroencephalogram (EEG) can contribute to the development of a more naturalistic interaction between humans and embodied conversational agents by better understanding the underlying neural processes involved in social interactions.

Please contact Dr Monica Pereira at monica.pereira@brunel.ac.uk to find out more.


You will have or will receive an undergraduate degree classified at 1st class or 2:1 (honours) in computer science, Psychology or Social-Neuroscience. A postgraduate masters degree may be an advantage. Where appropriate, applicants must have English language proficiency to an overall score of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Skills and Experience

You should have an interest in social neuroscience and demonstrate a willingness to learn programming and electroencephalography (EEG). You should be a highly motivated individual and possess a strong sense of curiosity. The ability to study independently, think critically and collaborate with others is essential.

How to apply

Email the documents below as a single PDF file to cedps-studentships@brunel.ac.uk by 16:00 on Friday 3 June 2022.Please state the name of the project supervisor in your email.

  • Your up-to-date CV;
  • Your 300-word personal statement setting out why you are suitable for this position;
  • Your Undergraduate/Postgraduate Masters degree certificate(s) and transcript(s);
  • Your English Language qualification of IELTS 6.5 overall or equivalent, if applicable;
  • Two references, one of which can be provided by a member of Brunel University academic staff.

Interviews will take place in June 2022.

Meet the Supervisor(s)

Monica Pereira - Monica completed her undergraduate degree at London Metropolitan University and was awarded the British Psychology Society Undergraduate Award. Monica then went on to study clinical neuroscience at University College London and had a particular interest in brain injury and electrical brain stimulation. Her journey to becoming a chartered psychologist was finalised when she went on to complete a PhD at Brunel University London in Affective Computing. Monica has received a travel award from Brunel University and the best PhD presentation with the British Computer Society. Monica began her academic career in the Psychology Department at London Metropolitan University for 2 years. Now, Monica is a full-time lecturer at Brunel University London. Monica is also involved in several external academic service activities.

Related Research Group(s)

Human Computer Interaction

Human Computer Interaction - Investigating ways in which humans and computers can interact through intuitive interface design, understanding of human factors and multimedia.