GAIG Game AI Research Group @ QMUL

[Call for Applications] EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (IGGI) 2023


Could you join our team of ambitious, smart, and diverse humans in the world’s largest doctoral training programme in games?

The application window for studentships starting September 2023 is now open and closes on Thursday, 26 January 2023 @ midday GMT. For more information visit the iGGi website: You can also follow us on Twitter where related events and deadlines will be announced.

Who should apply?

We are seeking individuals who feel they will benefit from the iGGi community (currently comprising over 70 PhD Researchers, 60 supervisors) with its close links to games industry/related academia, and who wish to conduct interdisciplinary research in areas such as:

  • Understanding player experience, games user research, and game analytics
  • Game audio and music
  • Using games and gamification to support wellbeing, learning, or social change
  • Using esports and other game data to study human behaviour and psychology
  • Interaction, user experience and learning design for games
  • Using machine learning (ML) and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) to create interesting, fun, believable game agents
  • Augmented creativity tools that support game designers and developers, e.g. procedural content generation, AI-assisted game design and testing
  • Using ideas from game AI to improve real-world decision making beyond games

​​iGGi Researchers are a diverse group, and admission decisions are made on the basis of your potential to successfully complete the programme and make a positive impact through games research as a member of an active research community with strong links to the games industry. We especially welcome applications from candidates belonging to groups that are currently under-represented in games research and the games industry; these include (but are not limited to) females, individuals from ethnic minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people from low-income backgrounds, and people with physical disabilities.

​We place high value on team spirit. While traditionally, working on a PhD can be an isolating experience, iGGi’s key attraction points include the peer-to-peer knowledge exchange and social support that the iGGi community affords. iGGi is more than the sum of its parts. This, however, requires each individual’s personal commitment: Your active engagement with fellow researchers, supervisors and industry, as well as your help in the organisation of iGGi-run events such as the annual iGGi Conference and the iGGi Game Jam is expected, not just because it forms part of the training funded by the iGGi grant: it is also integral to the Centre for Doctoral Training as a thriving community.

Why apply to iGGi?

iGGi brings together over 60 senior researchers in games and related fields working on creating positive impact on and through games; that’s 60 outstanding researchers who you can draw on as supervisors.

The iGGi PhD programme is a 4-year programme. In the first year there are mandatory taught modules at QMUL and UoY where you will receive focused skills training in game design, games research methods, game development, game AI, responsible innovation, and engaging users and the public with your work. In addition, you will have access to training in a wide range of topics such as AI, HCI, graphics, audio, and psychology.

You will have opportunities to collaborate with other researchers, make games, and share your work with other researchers and games companies through events such as:

  • the annual iGGi Game Jam, a 48 hour game development challenge (in previous years run either independently or as part of the Global Game Jam or Ludum Dare), enhancing your skills in game design, development, and teamwork
  • the annual iGGi Conference, showcasing iGGi research alongside industry and academic speakers
  • research seminars
  • social and game-playing events
  • research and writing workshops

Through interaction with your fellow iGGi researchers, you will naturally become part of a support network and meet people who share your interests and experience.

The iGGi programme requires you to work directly with industry and social partner organisations for a minimum of 8 weeks (but typically for longer) and will encourage you to establish contacts with companies/studios/academia relevant to your research interests. Placements, research exchanges, and other forms of knowledge exchange will give you the possibility to make a direct and positive impact, experience the games industry first hand, and collaborate with researchers and practitioners. Previous and current iGGi researchers have worked with partner organisations such as Sony Interactive Entertainment, Bossa Studios, Google, Bloomberg,, Media Molecule, BT, Splash Damage, Microsoft Research, and Sue Ryder, to name but a few. iGGi will create opportunities for you to establish contacts in the games industry via internal and external events and training. The iGGi industry liaison representatives will also support you in arranging a placement or knowledge exchange.

Years 2 and 3 will be mostly self-directed study on your research question and year 4 is the write-up year. Additionally, it is possible to have an unfunded continuation period (up to 1 year depending on the length of your placement(s)) should this be required.

You will also have the opportunity and an allowance to enable you to attend conferences, workshops or other events relevant to your research nationally and internationally.


For general applications: Even though your application for an iGGi studentship will be handled centrally by iGGi-admin in the first instance; you will apply for a place based at either iGGi University of York (UoY) or iGGi Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) (depending on the home university of your chosen primary supervisor). As UoY and QMUL are the sole grant holders of iGGi’s second funding round - places at Essex or Goldsmiths will no longer be offered. However, with the agreement of your primary supervisor, it is possible to have secondary supervisors from these as well as other universities. The iGGi selection process takes just under 3 months. Candidates who are offered a studentship with iGGi will be informed in March 2023. Successful candidates, will at that time, be invited to submit an application through the Central Admissions platforms of either the UoY or QMUL.