Postgraduate Research Opportunity

Engineering Living Biological System Towards Artificial Embodied Intelligence


Title: Engineering living biological system towards artificial embodied intelligence

Funding: Full time Home or overseas fee waiver, and a stipend at the UK Research and Innovation recommended level per year (stipend amount for 2024-25 is £19,237).

Application deadline: 23rd May 2024

Start date: October 2024

Duration: 3 years (full time)

Location: Colchester Campus

Based in: School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering


In a world facing escalating environmental concerns, it is imperative that we explore alternative computing solutions to mitigate the pressing issues associated with silicon-based technology.

We envision a future where biological organisms with human-designed functions serve as the foundation for computing, offering a compelling solution to the material, energy and environmental burden posed by silicon technology.

The projects

We offer two PhD projects that aim to advance biological embodied biocomputing systems that merge artificial intelligence with the innate adaptability and self-repair capabilities of biological entities, further promoting sustainability while running under at target carbon-neutral operation levels.

Our research will explore bioprinting as a sustainable scaling approach for biocomputers, revolutionizing the way we design and implement computing systems. Additionally, we will focus on creating seamless interfaces between biological systems and computational frameworks, ensuring smooth integration and optimal functionality.

Research on embodied biological computing artificial intelligence offers a promising avenue to address the environmental challenges associated with traditional silicon-based technology.

By leveraging renewable biological resources and minimizing resource-intensive processes, such as chip production, this research promotes resource efficiency and reduces electronic waste accumulation. Additionally, energy consumption can be minimized, contributing to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

Candidates will be working in a unique and exciting team at Essex with a revolutionary vision about computing.


The funding for this studentship consists of:

  • Home or Overseas tuition fee waiver.
  • Living costs stipend at the UK Research and Innovation recommended level per year. The stipend amount for 2024-25 is £19,237.

In addition you will receive a training bursary via Proficio funding, which may be used to cover the cost of advanced skills training including conference attendance and travel.

How to apply

You can apply for this postgraduate research opportunity online.

Applicants should select full-time ‘PhD in Computer Science Oct 24’ when applying and (when asked for your ‘proposed research topic or area of research’) state the studentship title at the top of this advert.

Applications MUST include the following documents to be uploaded:

  • Research proposal of no more than 2 pages (Font 11, Single line spacing), outlining suggested research focus(es), approach(es) and/or studies that applicants would be interested to include within this PhD.
  • CV including research experience, skills, and publications (if any).
  • Link to a repository (e.g. Github) that evidences your coding project experience.
  • Covering letter outlining how you meet the criteria for the studentship.
  • Transcripts of any undergraduate or masters’ programmes.

Application closing date: 23rd May 2024.

Full Details

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