Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Associate Professor Wolfgang Mayer

Main Campus
Mawson Lakes

Applications Close
30 Jan 2023

Study Level

Applications Open To
Domestic Candidate or International Candidate

Tuition Fees:
All domestic students are eligible for a fee waiver. International students who receive a stipend are eligible for a fee waiver. Find out more about fees and conditions.

Project Stipend:
$29,863 p.a. available to domestic and international applicants

About This Project

Improve natural language summarisation using artificial intelligence

Seeking to make a difference in the field of artificial intelligence and interested in addressing challenges in natural language summary? The University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a unique project-based PhD within the Industrial AI Research Centre

Distilling concise and relevant summaries from natural language text documents remains a challenging task despite the considerable advances in machine learning technology for natural language processing in recent years. 

Modern text processing models are based predominantly on correlations of text passages so they lack the understanding that humans who possess prior knowledge would attain. Leading text summarisation technologies cannot yet identify which events and their causal relationships in a set of documents are relevant for a given summarisation objective. 

A challenge in natural language summarisation has been to isolate a “story” comprising relevant events and their (often implicit) causal relationships that may be mentioned in a set of documents. 

This project will create novel machine learning methods for document summarisation that incorporate domain-specific knowledge bases in a deep learning framework and investigate the effectiveness of infusing deep learning with prior knowledge on the generated summary. 

We will demonstrate the technology by developing a concrete application for extracting summaries of events and their relationships from natural language text. This task has broad applicability in many industries, as it facilitates intelligence gathering and analysis tasks in law enforcement, defence, financial industries, manufacturing and supply chains.

Join a dynamic research environment of world-class researchers and a strong PhD cohort in the Industrial AI Research Centre (IAI). Liaising collaboratively with our industry partners, we offer end-to-end holistic solutions that include artificial intelligence, mathematics, domain expert knowledge, and supporting software systems as integral components.

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will develop cutting-edge machine learning technology for information extraction and natural language processing, test the algorithms on case studies, and publish papers in premier research outlets. There will be opportunities for you to present your research at national and international conferences. 

You will design machine learning technologies that make effective use of prior knowledge, build data pipelines for training the models, and compare them with other state-of-the-art approaches.

AI and machine learning skills are highly sought after. On completion of your studies, you will be prepared to advance your career in many industry sectors. This project is an ideal vehicle to develop your AI skills and achieve demonstrable outcomes and experience in machine learning technologies.

You will also have the unique opportunity to work on Gadi, one of Australia’s leading high performance computing clusters. 

Where you’ll be based

You will be based in the Industrial AI Research Centre. The Centre brings together experts from across computer sciences to develop solutions for autonomous and augmented intelligence systems. We are a part of the global revolution in artificial intelligence, machine learning, Industry 4.0 and Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies. 

Our researchers work with organisations around the world to develop solutions that cater to their specific needs. We have worked with Siemens, BP Australia, Yokogawa Electric and more, growing these partnerships over time to continually design sophisticated AI-driven solutions.

Supervisory Team

Financial Support 

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses.  Additionally, a living allowance scholarship of $29,863 per annum is available to eligible applicants. 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 for domestic students or international students.

Eligibility and Selection 

This project is open to application from both domestic and international applicants.

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for entrance into a PhD. Additionally applicants must meet the projects selection criteria: 

  • Experience with machine learning tools such as Tensorflow and Pytorch
Applicant who can also demonstrate the following will be highly regarded:

  • Experience with machine learning and natural language processing
  • Excellent spoken and written English
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 Mawson Lakes Campus in the north of Adelaide. Note that international students on a student visa will need to study full-time.

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 Monday, 30th January 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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