Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Dr Vitomir Kovanovic

Main Campus
City West

Applications Close
27 Sep 2023

Study Level

Applications Open To
Domestic Candidate

Tuition Fees:

All domestic students are eligible for a fee waiver. Find out more about fees and conditions.

Project Stipend:
$32,500 p.a. (Domestic only)

About this project

Revolutionise assessment methods in education 

If you are passionate about advancing your career in the education industry and interested in harnessing the potential of AI in this field, the University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a hands-on project-based PhD within the Centre for Change and Complexity in Learning (C3L), in partnership with OpenLearning Limited. 

This exciting project will leverage generative AI and Large Language Models (LLMs) to revolutionise personalised assessments within higher education. It will focus on developing the complex capabilities that students will require to thrive in the modern workplace post-graduation.  

You will help create these dynamic, personalised learning experiences that will help reduce social, cultural, economic, and physical barriers to education, and foster equal opportunities for all learners.  

By adopting these technologies, universities will be able to, for the first time, develop dynamic and tailored learning experiences in a scalable way. The project has the potential to shift higher education policy towards capabilities-based learning and assessment models. Our research findings have the potential to serve as a benchmark for modern assessment practices in higher education institutions.    

You will be located in C3L which is an internationally prominent research centre in learning analytics and artificial intelligence in education. Its high-quality research culture, infrastructure and output provides you with a supportive research-rich environment. You will be exposed to and benefit from a mix of interdisciplinary researchers with expertise in computer science, education, psychology, data science and engineering.  

This project is part of an ongoing research partnership between C3L and OpenLearning Ltd, which is dedicated to revolutionising assessment practices in higher education. 

What you’ll do 

In this project-based research degree, you will develop a multidisciplinary methodology, intersecting learning analytics and measurement theory, to enhance assessment practices using generative AI.  

This project gives you a unique opportunity to pilot a study for a course in an Australian context and develop personalised assessments that effectively measure the acquisition of complex capabilities.  

You also have a valuable opportunity to collaborate closely with our project partners from OpenLearning Ltd to develop AI-based assessment techniques. Working directly with leading industry professionals, you’ll broaden your professional network and enhance your industry understanding.  

We will support and encourage you to travel both nationally and internationally to attend and present at renowned academic conferences. This will allow you to interact with a global network of scholars in AI, learning analytics, and education, share your innovative research, and receive feedback from international experts. 

Where you’ll be based 

You will be based in the Centre for Change and Complexity in Learning (C3L), which focuses on the complex relationship between human and artificial cognition, how it changes society, knowledge processes, and teaching and learning.  

The C3L uses complexity science methodologies, promotes the uptake of applied research and engages with the community, government agencies (healthcare, education, defence, cultural) and industry to research the lifespan of learning and the role of UniSA in serving all stages of knowledge and learning processes. 

We focus on four key research streams: change in complex systems, infrastructures for AI, human and artificial cognition, and learning analytics.

Supervisory team

Financial Support 

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses.  Additionally, a living allowance scholarship of $32,500 per annum is available to Australian and New Zealand citizens, and permanent residents of Australia, including permanent humanitarian visa holders.  Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants will be eligible to receive an increased stipend rate of $46,653 per annum (2023 rates). A fee-offset or waiver for the standard term of the program is also included.  For full terms and benefits of the scholarship please refer to our scholarship information.
International applicants are not invited to apply at this time.

Eligibility and Selection 

This project is open to applications from Australian or New Zealand citizens, and Australian permanent residents or permanent humanitarian visa holders. International applicants are not invited to apply at this time.

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for entrance into a PhD. Additionally, applicants must meet the projects selection criteria:  
  • Strong knowledge of data mining techniques, including data cleaning and data pre-processing.
  • Knowledge of R or Python programming languages.
  • Experience with psychometric and assessment models.

All applications that meet the eligibility and selection criteria will be considered for this project. A merit selection process will be used to determine the successful candidate. 

The successful applicant is expected to study full-time and to be based at our City West Campus  in the heart of Adelaide.

Essential Dates 

Applicants are expected to start in a timely fashion upon receipt of an offer.  Extended deferral periods are not available. Applications close on Wednesday, 27 September, 2023

How to apply:

Applications must be lodged online, please note UniSA does not accept applications via email.

For further support see our step-by-step guide on how to apply , or contact the Graduate Research team on +61 8 8302 5880, option 1 or email us at You will receive a response within one working day.

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