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Post-graduate (PhD) opportunities with Mark Johnson's group at Macquarie University

A word about terminology: Australia uses British names for its programs. If you've finished your Bachelors degree (usually a four-year degree with Honours) or your Masters degree, you can apply to enter a post-graduate or higher degree research (HDR) program to get a PhD. Once you've got a PhD you'd want a post-doctoral research position.

We have opportunities for bright, motivated PhD students and researchers. This page lists current openings. In addition to the opportunities listed below, if you're very good (i.e., have a strong computational and mathematical background, and have published in a reputable journal or conference) we can often find funding in addition to the opportunities described below.

Post-graduate (PhD) student research positions

We're recruiting PhD students to work on computational linguistics and machine learning. We're looking for strong candidates with good mathematical and computational skills interested in applying their expertise to understand human language comprehension, acquisition and its instantiation in the brain, as well as applying it to a variety of information extraction and retrieval tasks.

A strong background in mathematical analysis (especially multivariate calculus), linear algebra and computer science (algorithms and data structures, as well as programming experience) is essential, as is native or near-native English proficiency. Prior experience in machine learning and/or statistics is very desirable but not essential.

Various funding sources are available for both Australian and overseas candidates. I especially encourage overseas applicants to apply for an scholarships targetted specifically for international students. The International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) is particularly valuable; applications for these are due at the end of August each year. The IPRS are very competitive; you'll need a good honours or masters degree as well as one or more publications to be in the running for one of these.

Macquarie University is currently strongly encouraging joint PhDs and cotutelles with a large number of non-Australian universities. You need to find a co-supervisor at a partner university and agree on a research topic, and you'll spend at least a year of your PhD at each of the universities. Currently cotutelles are much less competitive than the IPRS.

We regularly have other opportunities available; closing dates for specific projects are listed below.

The areas we are currently targeting are:

Contact me for more information (my contact information is available on my web site). Please tell me whether you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, as this determines which scholarships you are eligible for.


Post-graduate reseach degrees at Macquarie University is administered by the Higher Degree Research Office (go to their web site for information on the application process). They run a web site listing scholarships for Australian and International students.

There's a lot of research in computational linguistics, natural language processing, psycholinguistics, language acquisition, etc., going on at Macquarie University besides my projects, of course. Unfortunately we don't have a central location listing all of them (although I'm working on it). Until then, you should look at the web sites for the Centre for Language Sciences (CLaS), the Centre for Language Technology (CLT) and the Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science (MACCS) for other opportunities.

Last updated on the 2nd June, 2014.