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PhD Studentship - Self-explanatory adaptive systems through annotated model versioning

Engineering and Applied Science - Studentships

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Basis:  Full Time
Closing Date:  23.59 hours BST on Friday 03 August 2018
Reference:  R180270

Applications are invited for a three year Postgraduate studentship, supported by the School of Engineering and Applied Science, to be undertaken within the ALICE Research Group at Aston University. The successful applicant will join an established experimental group working on self-adaptive systems and models at runtime.

The position is available to start in October 2018, January 2019, April 2019 or July 2019 (subject to negotiation)

Financial Support

This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the Home/EU fees rate, plus a maintenance allowance of £14,553 in 2017/18. 

Overseas Applicants

Applicants from outside the EU may apply for this studentship but will need to pay the difference between the ‘Home/EU’ and the ‘Overseas’ tuition fees, currently this is £12,005 in 2017/18. 

As part of the application you will be required to confirm that you have applied for, or secured this additional funding.

Background of the Project

In recent years, there has been an increasing demand for self-adaptation capabilities, i.e. systems that can modify their own behaviour and/or structure in response to their perception of the environment, the system itself, and their goals. One important challenge for any automated system is to gain the trust of its users, who may need understandable explanations for its behaviour. In the context of self-adaptive systems, providing self-explanation capabilities is currently a difficult task that has to be solved individually for each problem domain. This thesis aims to provide a more standardized approach for self-explanation of self-adaptive systems with well-defined internal representations, such as those grounded on the models@run.time approach, by leveraging existing research on scalable modelling and model versioning.

Person Specification

The successful applicant should have a first class or upper second class honours degree or equivalent qualification in Computer Science. Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience of software engineering topics, self-adaptive systems, and model-driven engineering. 

We would particularly like to encourage applications from women seeking to progress their academic careers. Aston University is committed to the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter, recognised recently by a prestigious Silver Award to EAS, and we pride ourselves on our vibrant, friendly and supportive working environment and family atmosphere.

For informal enquiries about this project and other opportunities within the ALICE Research Group, contact Dr Antonio Garcia-Dominguez ( or Dr. Nelly Bencomo (

The online application form, reference forms and details of entry requirements, including English language are available here. Applications should also be accompanied by a brief review of relevant research literature.

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Further particulars and application forms are available in alternative formats on request i.e. large print, Braille, tape or CD Rom.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact HR via






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