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Fully Funded PhD Studentship - Harnessing Big Data to Accelerate Evaluation of Infection Outbreak

Social media and local news hold huge untapped potential as indicators of infectious disease outbreaks and resistance threats, yet the automatic processing and sense-making of vast amount of natural language unstructured data is still an enormous challenge. The project will combine two innovative and emerging AI technologies – Argument Mining (Lawrence et al. 2017) and Ethos Analytics (Duthie et al. 2016) – for which the Centre is a world leader and is working with IBM and the BBC. By building techniques to assess the content and credibility of such data at very large scale, we will deliver an early warning system for infection outbreaks. We will partner with Health Protection Scotland to align with the MRC’s Infections Priority Challenge (MRC Delivery Plan 2016-2020).

Duthie, R., Budzynska, K & Reed, C. (2016) “Mining Ethos in Political Debate” in Baroni, P., Stede, M. & Gordon, T. (eds) Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Computational Models of Argument (COMMA 2016), IOS Press, Potsdam, pp299-310

Lawrence, J., Snaith, M., Konat, B., Budzynska, K. & Reed, C. (2017) “Debating Technology for Dialogical Argument: Sensemaking, Engagement and Analytics”, ACM Transactions on Internet Technology, 17 (3)

Contact Dr Kasia Budzynska or apply online. Open to applicants from the EU only.

Closing date: 20 April 2018.

Candidates should have, or be expected to achieve, a degree preferably in artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, linguistics, cognitive science, computer science or related areas. Programming experience is an advantage. The starting date of the project will be 1st Sept 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter and will run for 4 years.

Stipendary payments are at UKRI levels (£14,777 for academic year 2018/19; tax-free). Applicants should meet MRC's eligibility requirements (see

The positions will be held in the Centre for Argument Technology in Computing at the University of Dundee (

At the most recent RAE, the School's research was rated third in Scotland, with two thirds of its research rated world leading or internationally excellent (4* or 3*). Dundee has been ranked amongst the top places in the world for scientists to work (The Scientist), and has one of the lowest costs of living in the UK.