PhD position in computer science and affective computing (II)

The Computer Science department of the University of Geneva invites applications for a PhD position in computer science and affective computing. The proposed position is part of a collaborative project between the CVML (Computer Vision and Multimedia Laboratory) in Geneva/Switzerland ( and the LTCI (Laboratoire de Traitement et Communication de l’Information) at TELECOM ParisTech in France ( The accepted candidate will be located in Geneva but she/he is expected to strongly collaborate with the French team with at least one research stay in Paris planned over a period of 3 years. The position offers the opportunity to work in a diverse environment consisting of members of the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences ( and the CVML spanning diverse topics such as affective computing, stochastic signal processing, machine learning and psycho-physiology.

The project is entitled "Seconds that matter: Managing First Impressions for a more Engaging Virtual Agent". The goal of this project is to build an anthropomorphic virtual character able to make the best possible first impression on a user, thus effectively engaging him or her in an interaction. This goal will be realized by building an affective loop which ties the behavior of the virtual character to the actual emotional reactions of the user facing it in real-time. The accepted candidate will work on the:

  • definition of the most relevant first-impressions dimensions (e.g. warmth, competence, trust, attractiveness, etc.);

  • measurement of non-intrusive physiological signals by mining “hidden” information in video recordings;

  • assessment of first impressions and emotions by developing pattern recognition methods which can tackle multimodal inputs (e.g. facial expressions, emotional behaviors, physiological signals, etc.);

  • definition of adaptation strategies which can align the virtual character behaviors to the user impressions.


Required qualifications:

  • An MSc in a field related to one or more of the following: electrical engineering, computer science, applied mathematics (we also consider applicants who are about completing their MSc).

  • Experience with image processing and signal processing.

  • Experience with pattern recognition and statistics.

  • Strong programming skills.

  • Interest in performing experiments with humans including recording multimodal sensorial data from volunteer participants.

  • Ability to write scientific reports and communicate research results at conferences in English.


Desired qualifications:

  • Experience with emotion recognition from videos.

  • Experience with physiological signals processing.

  • Experience with data collection and experimental design.

  • Ability to communicate in French.

  • Teaching experience.


Information and application:

The position is starting as soon as possible with a competitive Swiss salary starting from ~48500 CHF gross.

Starting date: as soon as possible.

Deadline for application: 1st of February.

Application package should include the following documents in electronic format, all compressed in a one file named “”:

  • A short motivation letter stating why you are interested in this project (max 1 page).

  • A detailed CV emphasizing your previous research background related to the position.

  • The transcripts for bachelor and master degrees.

  • The contact information for three references; please do not include the reference letters with your applications. We will only ask for the reference letters from the short-listed candidates;

  • Optional: one previous publication with the motivation for its choice.

The CV and motivation letter should be written in English; the other documents can be submitted in English or French. In the case you meet the requirement and are interested, please send your application package to Guillaume Chanel:

Geneva is a very enjoyable city taking place between the Leman lake, the Jura and the Alps. The city is highly international and English speaking is common although it remains a French speaking place. The main language spoken in the laboratory is English.