Artificial intelligence for air pollution

Fully-funded PhD in the area of AI for air pollution.

Start date

1 April 2024


3.5 years

Application deadline

Funding information

A stipend of £18,622 per annum, which will increase each year in line with the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) rate, plus Home rate fee allowance of £4,712 (with automatic increase to UKRI rate each year). For exceptional international candidates, there is the possibility of obtaining a scholarship to cover overseas fees.


Air pollution is one of the major environmental causes of human illnesses, premature deaths, and the climate change phenomenon worldwide. WHO estimates that 99% of the global population is exposed to high levels of air pollutants, being a major threat to climate and health. Thus, more efforts are needed to improve the air quality for a cleaner and healthier air for people and the environment yet enabling a more sustainable development of the industry and the society. The recent advances in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), big data and internet of things (IoT) have increased our capability to better predict how air pollution influences human well-being and the environment.

Thus, this research project aims to research, develop and build AI-based clean air systems and solutions that can help to:

  • Mitigating exposure to traffic pollution in and around schools
  • Putting green infrastructure into action to lower air pollutants concentrations
  • Developing clean air engineering for smart cities
  • Using IoT and low-cost air pollution sensors for better air quality forecasting.

We seek for exceptional candidates that are willing to develop AI-based clean air solutions by researching and building cutting-edge approaches and techniques in the fields of deep learning, physics-informed and graph neural networks, spatial-temporal modelling, model explainability and interpretability, time series foundation models, physical modelling and data-driven approaches, among others, applied to the challenges related to the field of air pollution.

The applicant will be directly involved with research activities in the Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) and the Surrey Institute for People-Centred AI (, both in the University of Surrey, having access to an amazing set of resources, infrastructure and people engaged to deliver world-class researches and technologies with a focus on the well-being of people and on the scientific and technological development of the academia, industry and society.

Later start dates may be possible.

Related links

Surrey Institute for People-Centred Artificial Intelligence Global Centre for Clean Air Research

Eligibility criteria

This studentship is open to UK and international candidates.

All applicants should have (or expect to obtain) a first-class degree in a numerate discipline (mathematics, science or engineering) or MSc with Distinction (or 70% average) and a strong interest in pursuing research in this field. Additional experience which is relevant to the area of research is also advantageous. IELTS minimum 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing, or equivalent. We are looking for candidates that have the following skills: 

  • Good knowledge in AI, especially for time series processing
  • Previous experience in atmospheric sciences applications, especially in air pollution
  • Good programming in Python
  • Expertise in data processing and analysis
  • Good track record in AI and air pollution.

You will need to meet the minimum entry requirements for our PhD programme.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the PhD Vision, Speech and Signal Processing programme page.

In place of a research proposal you should upload a document stating the title of the project that you wish to apply for and the name of the relevant supervisor.

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Application deadline

Contact details

Erick Giovani Sperandio Nascimento

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