PhD student in assistive robotics for patients with neurodegenerative diseases W/M

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  • Subsidiary :  Human-centered Robotics and AI

  • Contract type:  Fixed-Term contract

  • Work time:  Full time

  • Localization Martigny

About Idiap

Idiap is an independent, not-for-profit, research institute accredited and funded by the Swiss Federal Government, the State of Valais, and the City of Martigny.

Idiap offers competitive salaries and working conditions at all levels in a dynamic, multicultural environment. Idiap is an equal opportunity employer. We specifically encourage women and minorities to apply.

Idiap is located in the town of Martigny in Valais, Switzerland, offering exceptional quality of life, exciting recreational activities, including hiking, climbing and skiing, as well as varied cultural activities. It is within close proximity to Lausanne and Geneva. Although Idiap is located in the French part of Switzerland, English is the official working language.

For frequently asked questions (FAQs) about living in Switzerland, please go to

Job description

The Human-centered Robotics and AI Group at Idiap is seeking a creative doctoral student for an open position to design and develop robots for patients with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), a neurodegenerative disease where patients progressively lose motor neurons that control voluntary muscles.

This PhD will look into the science and technology of designing robot architectures and interactions for helping patients with neurodegenerative disease. The first step will consist of interacting with patients and their family to understand the disease and their needs, and the second step will explore how robots could support them using human-in-the-loop design and automation methods. This research will be conducted mostly with the Lio robot from F&P robotics (

The positions offer the opportunity to make meaningful research contributions in the domains of human-robot interaction, artificial intelligence and assistive robotics, collaborating with Dr. Emmanuel Senft, Prof. Jean-Marc Odobez, and a diverse group of researchers.

Sought profile

The ideal Ph.D student should have a master (or equivalent) degree in computer science, artificial intelligence, robotics, human-robot interaction, interaction design, or cognitive sciences. S/he should have a good background in programming (e.g., C++, Python) as s/he will spend a considerable amount of time programming and hacking robots and their artificial intelligence.

Candidates will become PhD students at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), contingent upon admission by its competitive Doctoral School, and will be co-supervised by Dr. Emmanuel Senft and Prof. Jean-Marc Odobez. Candidates will be located at Idiap. Annual gross salary starts at 52,400 CHF (first year).

Interested candidates are invited to submit a cover letter explaining the suitability of their profile and describing their interest in the project, a detailed CV, and the names of three references. Starting date is immediate. Interviews will start upon reception of applications until the positions are filled.

Idiap offers competitive salaries and conditions at all levels in a young, high-quality, dynamic, and multicultural environment. Idiap is an equal opportunity employer and is actively involved in the "Advancement of Women in Science" European initiative. The Institute seeks to maintain a principle of open competition (on the basis of merit) to appoint the best candidate, provide equal opportunity for all candidates, and equally encourage both genders to apply. Employment at Idiap is thus based solely on a person's merit and qualifications directly related to professional competence. Idiap does not discriminate against any employee or applicant because of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin, disability, age, marital status, pregnancy, or any other basis protected by law.

In order to avoid discrimination, please do not mention your gender, age and marital status on your CV.

Required languages

  • English English - Level advanced

Réf: d5f3c6c9-6112-4a8a-9728-5c1603504c68

This position has been filled.

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