Sustainable foundation models for time series processing applied to sustainability

Start date

1 October 2024


3.5 years

Application deadline

Funding information

A stipend of £18,622 for 2023/24, 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).


Foundation models are a special class of large AI models that are trained with huge amounts of data to learn general underlying patterns to be further specialised to downstream tasks via transfer learning. They are the engine behind the success of state-of-the-art AI solutions, such as ChatGPT and Midjourney applied to natural language processing and computer vision applications, respectively. Nevertheless, their potential to other areas, such as sustainability, is underexplored. Thus, this project aims to research and develop sustainable AI foundation models for time series processing applied to sustainability problems, with a focus on weather, clean air, renewable energies, and climate change. Leveraging their potential to deeply learn patterns from multimodal datasets, this project aims to provide the steppingstones to create new solutions that can be further used in different areas of sustainability applications, unlocking the power of foundation models to develop novel solutions to support achieving the UN’s SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).

The PhD candidate will be joining the Surrey Institute for People-Centred AI. We offer a unique environment where visionary researchers are shaping the future of AI as part of a collaborative community of co-creators. We pioneer the future of trustworthy, responsible, and inclusive AI for education, healthcare, wellbeing, social interaction, entertainment, work, and sustainability, to create a brighter future for everyone.

Our Institute brings together Surrey’s core AI-related expertise in vision, speech and signal processing, computer science, and mathematics, with its domain expertise across engineering and the physical sciences, human and animal health, law and regulation, business, finance and the arts and social sciences. With this distinctive approach, we are building on Surrey’s track record of collaboration with industry, the public sector, government, and other relevant institutions to develop innovative people-centred solutions to shared challenges. 

Related links

Surrey Institute for People-Centred Artificial Intelligence

Eligibility criteria

This studentship is open to UK and international candidates.

We are looking for candidates that have the following skills: 

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

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.

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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