Artificial intelligence and visual document analysis

The project will investigate the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision, specifically targeting the automated visual analysis of scanned physical documents using deep neural networks.

Start date

1 April 2019


3.5 years

Application deadline

Funding source

The University of Surrey

Funding information

Funding will provide an annual tax-free stipend of approximately £14,777 and coverage of the home/EU tuition fees for 3.5 years. Funding for this project is available to citizens of EU/UK students only.


The PhD will develop new tools to summarise the content of documents in natural language, including characteristics of document layout, text, graphics on the page as well as any hand-made annotations on the physical document. The aim of the PhD is to develop artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to assist in summarising documents, their layout and changes made during a document’s lifecycle.

The applications of this technology could include high volume document processing solutions (e.g. in finance) where anomalous changes to printed contracts (e.g. cross-throughs and corrections) need to be succinctly summarised in natural language, or in the improvement of accessible documents e.g. for visually impaired individuals who would benefit from the automated summarisation of text, graphics and charts in a physical document.

The PhD is co-supervised between the Centre for Vision Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP) and Xceptor a commercial company based on Surrey’s Research Park.

Eligibility criteria

A first class or 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent overseas qualification) in an appropriate discipline (e.g. engineering, computer science, signal processing, applied mathematics, and physics) or MSc with Distinction (or 70% in average).

UK/EU students only.

How to apply

You can apply for this by applying to study the Vision, Speech and Signal Processing PhD and mentioning this studentship in your application.

Vision, Speech and Signal Processing PhD

Studentship FAQs

Read our studentship FAQs to find out more about applying and funding.

Application deadline

Contact details

For enquiries contact Prof John Collomosse ( indicating your areas of interest and including your CV with qualification details (copies of transcripts and certificates).

John Collomosse
23 BA 00
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 686035

Studentships at Surrey

We have a wide range of studentship opportunities available.