Postgraduate research opportunities

Using Chatbot Technology to Assure Quality Knowledge Capture From Space

Exploring the capabilities of conversational AI assistance in improving knowledge capture and expertise across the space domain; this project addresses a highly relevant research topic within the space sector with knowledge transfer being sought by both space agencies and industry.

Number of places



Home fee, Stipend


19 August 2020


21 September 2020


36 months


This opportunity is open to Home and EU applicants, holding a first class Honours degree from a UK university or equivalent in a relevant discipline

 If your first language is not English, you'll require to demonstrate an appropriate level of competence in the English language.


Project Details

Can Conversational AI Assistance (AI Chatbots) aid and improve in the capturing of knowledge and expertise in the space domain? Can AI chatbots learn from the experience of experts in the space domain and transfer knowledge to other experts? Can the interaction with AI chatbots be made human-like? Does Contextual Suggestions through entity linking and extraction provide Conversational AI Assistance (for AI Chatbots) that aids and improves in the capturing of knowledge and expertise in the space domain? 

Conversational Assistants (e.g. Chatbot) are used in the most advanced way in e-environments to help a user follow a logical path to finding an outcome or solution - such as in customer services support on a website. This is based on the proposed solution by the solution developer or provider (such as an on-line insurance company helping a user to locate the right insurance). This Chatbot intelligence guides a user to a predefined outcome - so the Chatbot enables the user to pass down a set of decision or logic gates.

Novel applications of Chatbot,  to assist the user to explore their knowledge, capture needs, identify the scope of what they know, and to then help capture this knowledge, do not yet exist.  Such applications, should make use of a domain, specific taxonomy and ontology (as is being developed for the space domain), as well as some prior input from the expert, to be analysed to support the chatbot's "intelligence". This is highly relevant to the space sector, a highly unique and niche arena, where the availability of experts is limited, driving the need for a more rapid knowledge capturing capability, enabled by novel means for learning and subsequent knowledge transfer are highly sought after by both space agencies and industries alike.


Funding Details

The project will be funded jointly by the University of Strathclyde and the European Space Agency. The scholarship will cover Home/EU tuition fees, and provide a stipend for the full 3 year period of research study.

The EPSRC level stipend for 2020/21, is £15,285, and will be subject to increase each academic year