Recruiting: PhD

Work with me on NLP at the University of Sydney!

How to apply

At Australian universities, you apply directly to individual faculty (rather than the central process used in US universities), and can do so at any time.

To apply for my research group, do the following:

(1) Complete this form.

(2) Email with:

  • Subject line “PhD application: [your name]”
  • Statement of Purpose (PDF, 2-4 pages), covering your academic background, research interests, and reasons for pursuing a PhD.
  • Transcript(s) (PDF or images)
  • CV / Resume (PDF)

(3) Tell your letter writers to email with the subject “PhD Recommendation for [Your Name]” and the letter either in the body of the email or attached as a pdf. The email must come from their professional email address or an administrator in their department.

If you have any questions, email

Offer Process

  1. I will contact you for a phone interview.
  2. I will tell you I want you to join my group.
  3. You complete the university application form with my help.
  4. You receive a formal offer about 3-5 weeks later.

If I have a grant that can fund your PhD I will tell you in step (2). Otherwise, the university application form also includes an application for university fellowships (the RTP) that fund your entire PhD.

My Group

I am looking for multiple students to work on Natural Language Processing. Projects will also cross over into Crowdsourcing / Human Computation, Data Science, and Machine Learning.

I am towards the hands-on end as an advisor and aim to build a collaborative, socially connected group. My group will have weekly group meetings and visits by researchers from around the world (virtual for now).


All Applicants: You do not need a master’s degree or published papers. That kind of experience is certainly a plus, but so are other activities, such as internships, personal projects, and extra background in non-CS subjects.

Non-Australians: You must be on-track to complete a Bachelor’s degree that includes significant experience in Computer Science. If you are not completing a senior thesis as part of your degree then you may need to start in a Masters of Philosophy degree and transfer to the PhD program after your first year.

Australians: You need to be on track to complete an Honours year with first class honours, or a Master’s degree with an independent research component.

Degree Structure

Details here. Key points:

  • 3-4 years
  • Two classes total (ie, half a semester of time)
  • No teaching, but you will have opportunities to teach if desired
  • I encourage interested students to do internships in industry research labs


Every student in my group is funded to do just research for the length of their PhD (if you choose to get experience teaching you will be paid extra). The standard stipend is 35,000 AUD / year. Where possible, I will work with you to get a top-up scholarhip of 10,000 / year (either through a fellowship or a research grant).

How does Sydney compare to US universities?

I recognise that some applicants may not be familiar with Australian universities. Evaluating universities is hard, but here are a few points of comparison: