MyWorld Postdoctoral Research Associate Posts – UKRI Strength in Places Programme

The Role

The newly established MyWorld research programme, led by the University of Bristol, is a flagship five-year, £46m R&D programme collaborating with numerous industrial and academic organisations. The MyWorld Creative Technologies Hub is now expanding in line with its mission to grow the West of England’s Creative Industries Cluster with major investments in new facilities and staff at all levels.

We are now offering unique opportunities for four Post-Doctoral Research Associates in

  1. AI methods for Video Post-Production
  2. Robot Vision for Creative Technologies
  3. Perceptually Optimised Video Compression (sponsored by our collaborator, Netflix, in Los Gatos, USA).
  4. Visual Communications

Contract and Salary

All these four posts are based in the Faculty of Engineering, University of Bristol, and the salary range is Grade I = £34,304 – £38,587 per annum or Grade J = £38,587 – £43,434 per annum.

Application Information

We anticipate that candidates will possess a good honours degree along with a PhD in related disciplines, or extensive relevant industrial/commercial experience. We expect a high standard of spoken and written English and the ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team.

Please following the link provided for each post to access detailed job description and the application system.

Chair in Creative Media Technologies

For further particulars, please visit here.

The University of Bristol is offering the opportunity for outstanding candidates to apply for a strategically important role linked to the newly established £46m MyWorld Strength in Places programme. The Professor in Creative Media Technologies will be expected to contribute to leadership and development of the MyWorld programme, to carry out internationally-leading research and to take an active role in providing high quality and innovative teaching in related areas. 

The research focus of this post is linked to the strategic objectives of MyWorld including:  the development and delivery of new immersive experiences and services, new acquisition formats, mixed and extended realities, advanced production technologies (e.g. Virtual Production), AI based workflows, intelligent post-production / VFX techniques, data driven visual analytics and interactivity, metaverse-related  technologies, user experience evaluation, enhanced remote access to live experiences and energy efficient media delivery solutions for future (e.g.volumetric) formats. The appointee will be affiliated to the Visual Information Laboratory (VI-Lab) in Bristol Vision Institute (BVI). 

Suitable candidates will be recognised internationally for their contributions in the field of science or technology relevant to the creative industries, with an outstanding research track record including but not limited to the areas listed above. They will have excellent project management and research leadership skills, a strong track record of attracting significant research income and experience of delivering major research projects. They will be innovative and collaborative with experience of working with partners in the creative sector and across disciplines in academia and industry.  We anticipate that candidates will possess a good honours degree in Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Computer Science or a related discipline along with a relevant PhD, or extensive relevant industrial experience. 

Deadline 20 April 2022

MyWorld PhD Scholarships 2022 – UKRI Strength in Places Programme

Introduction

MyWorld is a £46m R&D programme, awarded to the University of Bristol, under the leadership of Professor David Bull, with £30m from the UKRI Strength in Places Fund (SIPF) and a further £16m committed from an alliance of more than 30 industry and academic organisations. SIPF is a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) flagship competitive funding scheme that takes a place-based approach to research and innovation funding with the aim of creating significant local economic growth. It is a major intervention by UK Government to explore the potential of devolved R&D funding.

There are now a number of opportunities for outstanding candidates to join the MyWorld team as PhD students, who are expected to start from Sept 2022. Opportunities for innovation and investigation exist across the MyWorld portfolio, including content acquisition and post-production, content delivery and interactivity, and audience understanding.

Role Description

All posts will cover student stipend at a basic rate of £15,609 per annum (2022 rates) with possibility of enhancement by up by £3,000 in some cases. Fees for home (UK-based) students are covered in all cases. Several awards cover fees for EU students and some cover overseas students.

Appointees will be expected to integrate within the MyWorld team, to conduct internationally-leading research, and to contribute to the wider objectives and activities of the programme.  Many of the awards will involve collaboration with our industry partners and would offer the potential of career development through internships as part of the PhD.

Research Focus

The Visual Information Laboratory in Bristol Vision Institute (BVI) and the MyWorld Programme combine to make the University of Bristol a powerhouse for the development of visual media communications. The work of these groups in this area has been supported by world-leading organisations such as Netflix, BBC, BT, NTT and YouTube. The research focus of these PhD studentships will be linked to the strategic objectives of MyWorld, promoting new technology research that underpins the delivery of future experiences and services. Applications are invited in the following areas:

  • Content Acquisition and Post-Production (up to 3 posts): AI methods in post-production – video denoising, colorisation and enhancement; low light fusion and autofocus (BBC iCASE sponsored); virtual production technologies; intelligent and automated cinematographies (including drone cinematography); camera tracking and SLAM methods in virtual production; Building interactive worlds – enabling the metaverse; creating re-useable assets for virtual production.
  • Content Delivery and Interactivity (up to 3 posts): perceptually optimised video compression; dynamic optimisation of streamed video; energy-efficient video coding; new architectures and tools for emerging AoM standards (Netflix sponsored); machine learning methods for video delivery; perceptual video quality metrics; transcoding methods for user generated content; volumetric video coding (BT iCASE sponsored); coding beyond compression, media network optimisation.
  • Audience Understanding (2 posts): Methods for assessing quality of experience and immersion; biometrics, and fusion of these, for audience understanding; motion magnification for user engagement; creation and exploitation of visual field maps.
  • Experimental Productions (1 post): Enabling the metaverse; building environments for virtual rehearsal; building and evaluating immersive natural history experiences.

Application Procedure and Selection Process

  • All candidates should submit a full CV and covering letter to myworldrecruitment@myworld-creates.com (FAO: the contact of the research topic that you are applying for) by the deadline.
  • Formal applications for PhD are not essential at this stage, but can be submitted via the University of Bristol homepage (clearly marked as MyWorld funded):
  • A Selection Panel will be established to review all applications and to conduct interviews of short-listed candidates.
  • Candidates will be invited to give a presentation prior to their formal interview, as part of the final selection process. It is expected that the shortlisting selection process will be held in week commencing April 4th 2022, with interviews to follow.
  • The initial closing date for applications is Friday April 1st 2022. The positions will however remain available until all scholarships are awarded.

Contact

For an informal discussion about the scholarships, please contact:

Job Description Document

Detailed role description and research topics can be found in the [JD document] and at

MyWorld set to make SouthWest a Digital Media Leader on Global Stage

Image credit: Nick Smith Photography

We are pleased to advise that a University of Bristol initiative, led by VI Lab’s Professor David Bull, has been awarded £30 million by the UK Research and Innovation Strength in Places fund.

The South West is on track to become an international trailblazer in screen-based media thanks to £30 million funding from UKRI, with a further £16m coming from an alliance of more than 30 industry and academic partners joining forces in the five-year scheme due to start by the end of the year. This will launch a creative media powerhouse called MyWorld and supercharge economic growth, generating more than 700 jobs.

It will forge dynamic collaborations between world-leading academic institutions and creative industries to progress research and innovation, creative excellence, inclusive cultures, and knowledge sharing.

Professor David Bull commented, “The South West is already a creative capital in the UK and MyWorld aims to position the region amongst the best in the world, driving inward investment, increasing productivity and delivering important employment and training opportunities.

“This is the beginning of an exciting journey, which will align research and development endeavours across technology and the creative arts, to help businesses realise their innovation potential, raise their international profile, and maximise the advantages of new technologies.”

The MyWorld Bristol team of investigators has representation from across Engineering, Psychology, Arts and Management and includes:  Professor Andrew Calway, Professor Dimitra Simeonidou, Professor Mary Luckhurst, Professor Iain Gilchrist, Professor Martin Parker and Professor Kirsten Cater.

The full press release is available on the University of Bristol news page.

And for an insight into MyWorld, Strength in Places, watch this video.

BRISTOL DRONE CINEMATOGRAPHY WORKSHOP

The MultiDrone Consortium organized the first Drone Cinematography Workshop at the University of Bristol on 6 December 2017. The aim of the workshop was to bring together experts in drone cinematography – users, producers, and technologists – to explore the future potential for this exciting and growing area. The workshop included invited talks from specialist operators and producers, alongside research presentations on the rules, requirements, tools, potential and constraints of shooting with drones.

The workshop commenced with an overview of the EU Multidrone project by Professor David Bull of the University of Bristol and Professor Ioannis Pitas of the University of Thessaloniki, who presented the aims, challenges and preliminary results of the project, focusing on cinematography aspects. This was followed by an illuminating talk by Colin Jackson from the BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol presented ‘Natural Highs – the use of drones in wildlife filmmaking’. Colin explained how drones have transformed wildlife filmmaking in terms of their ease of deployment, flexibility and potential to achieve shots previously not possible. He used examples from BBC’s recent Blue Planet 2 series and outlined a number of operational constraints as well as opportunities for future use. The third talk was given by Ioannis Mademlis and Ioannis Pitas from the University of Thessaloniki. entitled ‘UAV shot type taxonomy’. They explained the importance of a taxonomy for shot types and for appropriate mathematical representations of these. A lively discussion chaired by Nicolaus Heise of Deutsche Welle ended the morning session. This further explored the potential of drone and multi-drone-based cinematography.

      

After lunch Dr Andrew Calway of the University of Bristol introduced the audience to his work on ‘Model based drone odometry for object centric filming’. He drew parallels between drones being used for visual inspection of wind turbines and drone cinematography, particularly in connection with pose estimation and target localization. This was followed by a talk by Ben Keene, Chief Development Officer of Consortiq, who spoke on ‘Visual Innovation in the air: from Kitkat to Transformers 5’. Ben shared his experiences of shooting for major commercial partners, highlighting the potential of drones for creating high impact shots, alongside the importance of regulatory compliance and managing client expectations in terms of deployment timescales. The third talk in the afternoon was given by Aaron Zhang, Stephen Boyle and David Bull of the University of Bristol, on ‘Simulation engines and subjective quality testing in MultiDrone. They explained the need for defining an operating envelope for drone shots and explained how simulation tools such as Unreal Engine can provide a powerful platform for rapid simulation and testing of shot types. They presented results from a pilot study that showed viewer preferences for 6 shot types.

The final talk in the afternoon was given by Professor Iain Gilchrist and Dr Stephen Hinde of the University of Bristol, who described their methodology for ‘Measuring visual immersion’ using a dual task approach. They presented results of recent work with BBC R&D comparing viewer immersion for Planet Earth 2 in High and Standard Dynamic Range Formats – demonstrating the discriminative power of their approach. The workshop closed with a second extended discussion, chaired by David Bull exploring how we can assess the quality and immersive properties of drone video content.

This highly successful workshop was attended by 46 people, many of whom expressed their appreciation for the event that they fund interesting, insightful and informative. It was agreed that this would form the basis for a series of similar future events, culminating with an open call workshop in 2019.

For further information on the Multidrone project please visit https://multidrone.eu/