Overview

pplications are invited for a 3-year PhD studentship at the crossroads of NLP, big data and disease alerting.

Panda Alert: understanding the significance of adverse health event reports using distributed semantic models

*****Important Dates*****
– Deadline for student applications at DREAM CDT: 19th June 2015
– Short listed applicant interviews: week of 22nd June 2015
– Notification of successful applicants by DREAM CDT: 3rd July 2015
– Doctoral course start: October 2015
– Further information about DREAM: http://www.dream-cdt.ac.uk/studying/application/
– Further information about Graduate Admissions at the University of Cambridge: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/mmalpdlng
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With concerns about the rapid spread of new and re-emerging diseases such as Ebola and A(H1N1) influenza there has been increasing attention on human language technologies which can complement traditional information sources by trawling through news and social media data on a Web-scale to find ‘the needle in the haystack’ that indicates a first adverse health event report.
Potential PhD students with a strong background in Computer Science, Computational Linguistics or Artificial Intelligence are encouraged to apply for this full-time three-year studentship funded by the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Data, Risk and Environmental Analytical Methods (DREAM). The studentship is expected to start in the academic year 2015/16. The student will work within an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Computer Science, Computational Linguistics and Public Health in the Panda Alert project which investigates novel methods for health risk alerting using natural language processing, machine learning and distributed semantic representations.

Motivated by the challenges outlined above the student will examine natural language understanding technology within a high performance computing environment. The exact scope of the project is open to discussion and will be shaped by the student’s strengths but we anticipate that the successful candidate will develop a novel approach for early health risk alerting that combines the state of the art in natural language processing with aberration detection to achieve high throughput real-time alerting of novel health threats.

The PhD research will be undertaken at the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics (DTAL) at the University of Cambridge. The successful candidate will be integrated into a friendly research-led team that conducts weekly meetings, publishes in top conferences and journals and with extensive inter-disciplinary collaborations. This is a unique opportunity to work at the cutting edge of computational linguistics.

Company:

University of Cambridge

Qualifications:

Applicants should hold a 1st class UK Honours Degree or equivalent in subjects such as Computer Science, Artificial intelligence or Computational Linguistics. Good knowledge of English and communication skills are important, as well as a willingness to work in an interdisciplinary environment and with the open-source community to upstream project outputs.

Specific requirements:

Funding: UK nationals and EU nationals who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years will receive tuition fees and a maintenance grant from the NERC CDT fund. Other EU nationals will have fees paid. See: http://www.nerc.ac.uk/funding/application/howtoapply/forms/dtg-faq-students/

Educational level:

Master Degree

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