Application Form
PhD Studentship in Personality for Conversational Agents [PhD_PCA_RR]

JobRef: 10645
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PhD Studentship in Personality for Conversational Agents [PhD_PCA_RR]

POSTED:October 28, 2021
CLOSES:November 19, 2021
Duration:4 Years
Reports to:Dr Robert Ross
Salary:€18,500 (stipend per annum - non taxed)
Closing Date:November 19, 2021

Anticipated Start Date: Spring 2022

Closing Date: November 19th 2021


  • Contribute to the ADAPT research agenda that pioneers and combines research in AI driven technologies: Natural Language Processing, Video/Text/Image/Speech processing, digital engagement & HCI, semantic modeling, personalisation, privacy & data governance. 
  • Work with our interdisciplinary team of  leading experts from the complementary fields of, Social Sciences,  Communications, Commerce/Fintech, Ethics, Law,  Health, Environment and Sustainability.
  • Leverage our success.  ADAPT’s researchers have signed 43 collaborative research projects, 52 licence agreements and oversee 16 active commercialisation funds and 52 commercialisation awards.  ADAPT has won 40 competitive EU research projects and obtained €18.5 million in non-exchequer non-commercial funding. Additionally, six spinout companies have been formed. ADAPT’s researchers have produced over 1,500 journal and conference publications and nearly 100 PhD students have been trained. 

As an ADAPT funded PhD researcher you will have access to a network of 85 global experts and over 250 staff as well as a wide multi-disciplinary ecosystem across 8 leading Irish universities. We can influence and inform your work, share our networks and collaborate with you to increase your impact, and accelerate your career opportunities. Specifically we offer: 

  1. Opportunity to build your profile at international conferences and global events.
  2. A solid career pathway through formalised training & development, expert one-on-one supervision and exposure to top specialists.
  3. A Fully funded, 4 year PhD postgraduate studentship which includes  a stipend of (€18,500 per annum – non taxed), along with equipment, annual travel funding 
  4. Funding for annual student fees 



In natural human-human interactions personality traits play a unique role in facilitating relationships, but to this point the issue of personality, and in particular the personalisation of personality, has been underdeveloped in interactive systems and conversational systems in particular.

This research will focus on the investigation of personality alignment in maintaining strong engagement between users and personalised assistants. This PhD research will focus in particular on the verbal communication channel and will build a framework for defining the manifestation of personality in an interactive systems context, and mechanisms for selecting and fine-tuning system responses to users based on personality variations. This research will also seek not simply to estimate a user’s own personality traits, but instead identify the user’s beliefs regarding the personality traits of the agent. By understanding the user’s attitudes towards the personalised agent, we can seek to modify these mental states to enhance user engagement in a way that increases the user’s assumptions of alignment between the agent and themselves.

The project will feed into ongoing human-robot and human-avatars ongoing within the research group. Upon completion of the PhD the candidate should be an independent researcher in machine learning driven conversational systems with strong skills across Deep Learning, experiment design, and human-computer interaction. 

Informal inquires should be directed to Robert Ross

Minimum qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science (or related field) with training in Natural Language Processing and or Deep Learning

Preferred qualifications

  • Master’s Degree in Machine Learning, Data Analytics or related field

Application Process

Each application should only consist of

  1. Detailed curriculum vitae, including – if applicable – relevant publications;
  2. Transcripts of degrees,
  3. The name and email contacts of two academic referees,
  4. A cover letter/letter of introduction (max 600 words). In the letter, applicants should include the following details:
    • An explanation of your interest in the research to be conducted and why you believe they are suitable for the position.
    • Details of your final year undergraduate project (if applicable)
    • Details of your MSc project (if applicable)
    • Details of any relevant modules previously taken, at undergraduate and/or Master level.
    • Details of any relevant work experience (if applicable).



ADAPT is committed to achieving better diversity and gender representation at all levels of the organisation, across leadership, academic, operations, research staff and studentship levels. ADAPT is committed to the continued development of employment policies, procedures and practices that promote gender equality. On that basis we encourage and welcome talented people from all backgrounds to join ADAPT.

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