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4 PhD Positions Available

Up to 4 PhD positions are available starting in 2012 onwards under Dr Michael Milford. All positions are part of two funded Australian Research Council Grants. The work will occur within the QUT CyPhy laboratory, a rapidly growing robotics laboratory in Brisbane, Australia. The laboratory is led by Professors Peter Corke and Gordon Wyeth.

If you are a domestic undergraduate student or recent domestic graduate, I also welcome enquiries about doing shorter term research assistant positions on these projects. I cannot take international internships at this time.

Note - acceptance into the PhD program and funding approval is very competitive so the following are important. Please do not waste your time applying unless you meet all or almost all of these criteria:

  • A superb undergraduate GPA at an internationally recognized university (preferably one ranked in the top 300 internationally). There is a list of the top-ranked universities here: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-2013. Grade requirements vary but an example would be scores of 19+ out of 20 or 9+ out of 10 and first class honours.
  • A high score on the standard international English tests - see the QUT website for guidelines.
  • A completed research masters degree can be a help
  • Peer reviewed RELEVANT journal and conference papers, especially journal papers that have a recognized impact factor and top conferences such as:** Journals: (Robotics / computer vision) IEEETRO, IJRR, JFR, AURO, RAS, IJCV, PAMI (Neuroscience/biol) JNEURO, PLOSCB, HIPPOCAMPUS, NATURENEURO
    • Conferences: (Robotics / computer vision) ICRA, IROS, RSS, FSR, ICCV, (Neuroscience/biol) COSYNE, NIPS, SFN

As I receive a large number of applications, many of which have very little chance of being accepted into the PhD program here, I can only read and respond to applications that meet these criteria.

Visual navigation for sunny summer days and stormy winter nights

This project will develop innovative techniques for camera-based navigation that recognize locations under a wide range of environmental conditions caused by day-night cycles, weather and seasonal change. These techniques will enable the widespread use of cheap and lightweight cameras in robot and personal navigation systems.

An ideal student will be proficient in coding in C/C++ and Matlab, have experience with robot, sensor (cameras, GPS) and computer vision hardware, strong writing and oral communication skills, and a background in both robot navigation and computer vision.

Two PhD Positions Available

Brain-based sensor fusion for navigating robots

This project uses new findings in neuroscience to create robots that can self-determine which of their sensors will best help them learn to navigate in an environment. This technology enables robot systems to be flexibly deployed without prior calibration for wide ranging applications in environments from office buildings to outdoor ecosystems.

Two PhD Positions Available

An ideal student will be proficient in coding in C/C++ and Matlab, have experience with robot, sensor (cameras and range sensors) and computer vision hardware, strong writing and oral communication skills, and a background in robot navigation, neural networks and computational neuroscience. Candidates who are both experienced and interested in pursuing truly interdisciplinary research are desirable.

Application Process

Step 1: Read the full application process available here:

Step 2: Consider whether you think you have a realistic chance at getting scholarship funding based on your record to date. There are some notes on how competitive scholarship funding is down below. Re-read the criteria in red text above.

Step 3: If you are interested and think you will be competitive for funding, send a full resume, including publications, degrees (undergraduate, postgraduate) and relevant research / work experience to michael DOT milford AT


QUT and the Australian Government offer a range of scholarships for excellent candidates. Further details on scholarships are available here:

For exceptional students, top-up funding may be available, up to a total of $41,524 per annum tax free. This is the maximum allowable funding for a PhD student, which is the basic Australian Postgraduate Award + 75%. Note that in the current highly competitive research climate, an exceptional PhD candidate would probably have many peer-reviewed journal and conference publications in relevant fields, a perfect GPA, and a high quality masters by research degree.

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