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Adaptive Natural Language Generation

   Department of Computing Science

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  Dr Arabella Sinclair, Prof E Reiter  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Are you interested in the intersection of natural language processing and cognitive science, specifically large language models (LLMs) and natural language generation (NLG)? We are looking for a PhD student to work on using LLMs to generate more human-like texts that are adaptive, context-specific and audience-aware. Taking inspiration from the fields of psycholinguistics and cognitive science, this project aims to explore, evaluate and extend the potential of LLMs to generate language that is appropriate for an interactive setting such as dialogue. Adaptive NLG can lead to more inclusive, personalised, and appealing language, essential components of a number of downstream applications. Target applications for evaluating such adaptive language will involve language produced by humans and models in collaborative communicative settings. The output of this PhD project should advance the state of the art in NLG systems, in terms of techniques for evaluation, understanding of LLMs, or improved generation - thus allowing systems to adaptively interact in a manner that is sensitive to linguistic contextual cues. Applicants will be expected to work on a topic within the area outlined above, aligned with the research interests of Dr Arabella Sinclair.

Candidate Requirements: Selection will be on the basis of academic merit. The successful candidate should have, or expect to obtain, a UK Honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) artificial intelligence, computer science, machine learning, computational cognitive science, or a related discipline along with demonstrable evidence of strong programming skills and previous experience in natural language processing. Lastly, the candidate should have a keen interest in the area and enjoy working collaboratively.

Applications from candidates belonging to demographics typically underrepresented in AI are particularly encouraged to apply. 


  • Formal applications can be completed online:
  • You should apply for Computing Science (PhD) to ensure your application is passed to the correct team.
  • Please clearly note the name of the supervisor and project title on the application form. If you do not mention the project title and the supervisor on your application, it will not be considered for the studentship.
  • Please include a cover letter (why you are a good fit and excited to research this project - Max 2 A4 pages)
  • BSc/MSc Degree Certificates
  • BSc/MSc Academic Transcripts and official grading systems used
  • An up-to-date copy of your academic CV.
  • Please note: you DO NOT need to provide a research proposal with this application.
  • General application enquiries can be made to [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

Funding: This is a studentship open to both home and overseas students funded by the School of Natural and Computing Sciences. Funding will cover tuition fees for 36 months and a stipend of £17,668 paid monthly, in arrears. The start date is to be agreed with the supervisor and we reserve the right to remove the advert if a suitable candidate is found before the advertised closing date.
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