PhD-position Musical Robot for People with Dementia

PhD-position Musical Robot for People with Dementia

Published Deadline Location
24 Apr 2 Jul Delft

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Collaborating with main stakeholders to enhance the quality of life of people with dementia, you co-create a musical social robot that guides and enriches people's daily activities.

Job description

Imagine being able to enhance the quality of life of 55 million people with dementia worldwide. With nearly 10 million new cases every year, dementia is a leading cause of disability and dependency among the elderly. Considering the ageing population and ongoing shortage of caregivers, dementia patients need all the support they can get. In this PhD position, you will co-create a prototype musical social robot that guides the daily activities of dementia patients  through games, physical activities, and more. You’ll gain valuable experience in music cognition and human-robot interaction at TU Delft, a leading university in the field, with great prospects for a professional future career.

Based in Delft, you’ll join the QoLEAD project, a unique interdisciplinary collaborative network for the co-creation of intelligent personalised support for people with dementia. You’ll work at the Interactive Intelligence group of TU Delft in close collaboration with the University of Leiden’s Music, Brain, Health & Technology lab. Your PhD-research will be part of a collab between TU Delft and Radboud University to create robot frameworks with a social function. And, because music stimulates beneficial social, cognitive and affective processes, you will pay specific attention to selecting and providing music during robot-guided activities.

You’ll also build on the results and insights of the ReJAM-project focused on music and robots. Through your PhD-research, you’ll help patients to have fulfilling conversations and experiences with robots, involving people with dementia and their caregivers from the outset. Initiating, managing and executing a systematic iterative process of (co)designing, prototyping and evaluation also falls within your remit.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


You have a technical background with an affinity for the social sciences and an interest in human-robot interaction and the cognitive effects of music. You have the social skills to deal with many stakeholders, from fellow academics to caregivers and patients. While Dutch would be useful to get input from Dutch-speaking end-users, it’s not essential. You do, however, need a certain level of English proficiency. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements

You also have:

  • A Master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Cognitive Science, Human-Computer Interaction, or a related area.
  • Strong computational skills.
  • An affinity with human-centred design, conversational agents, and empirical studies.
  • Experience with cognitive (memory, conversational) modelling and statistical data analysis.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Adviceto assist you with your relocation.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core valuesand we actively engageto be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) brings together three disciplines - electrical engineering, mathematics and computer science. Combined, they reinforce each other and are the driving force behind the technology we use in our daily lives. Technology such as the electricity grid, which our faculty is helping to make future-proof. We are also working on a world in which humans and computers reinforce each other. We are mapping out disease processes using single cell data, and using mathematics to simulate gigantic ash plumes after a volcanic eruption. There is plenty of room here for ground-breaking research. We educate innovative engineers and have excellent labs and facilities that underline our strong international position. In total, more than 1,100 employees and 4,000 students work and study in this innovative environment.

Click hereto go to the website of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD02646


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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