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Human-Centred Artificial Intelligence for Democracy at the University of Queensland, Australia 2023

Application is now open for the Human-Centred Artificial Intelligence for Democracy at the University of Queensland. Interested applicants are encouraged to send their applications in before the deadline date.

About the University of Queensland and Scholarship

The public research institution known as the University of Queensland (UQ, or Queensland University) is principally situated in Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, Australia.

Supervisor: Gianluca Demartini, associate professor


The project “Large-Scale Political Participation: Issue Identification, Deliberation, and Co-creation” is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and takes place in the framework of an international partnership. The entire project will look into ways to improve the capabilities of the consultation and popular initiative procedures using technology-supported, large-scale crowd-computing methodologies. These two processes are undoubtedly the most effective direct democracy participatory tools since they provide the populace the ability to not only significantly influence the political process’s result but also to set the agenda (via popular initiatives). 

They have striking structural similarities despite having varied outward appearances: Both mechanisms are complicated because they call for the following steps: (1) identifying the contentious issues; (2) deliberating on a suitable solution; and (3) refining the deliberation’s outcome into a submission document.

This PhD project aims to quantify the impact of the contextual information given to contributors and human annotators. This will entail conducting controlled trials where the kind and quantity of contextual information are changed, then evaluating the effect on the standard and variety of content given to the annotation and discussion process.

The outputs will include knowledge on how to optimize for certain desired outcomes, such as a variety of perspectives or making judgments based on analogous prior deliberations. To do this, the project will also look at task assignment techniques that will select the best contributor from a group of contributors given a certain deliberation job. Then, to maximize the desired characteristics of the crowdsourced text, the project will study various group composition tactics, such as maximizing the variety of trains of thought using groups created by like-minded individuals.

Research environment

Australia’s University of Queensland is ranked among the top 50 universities in the world (QS World University Rankings, 2022). You will be a member of an internationally renowned research group in data science at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. This group receives funding for its research from both the private and public sectors, including companies like Facebook and Google.

Brisbane, the Olympic Games’ host city in 2032, is one of Australia’s major cities with one of the nation’s highest rates of population and employment growth. The population of Brisbane is youthful, talented, well-educated, and culturally diverse. Brisbane’s climate is ideal for year-round outdoor activities, with sunny days and clear skies throughout the year.

You will long to play in the parks and eat outside even during a Brisbane winter. Brisbane is a green city with clean, healthy air and a strong dedication to the environment. It is also the capital of Australia with the greatest biological diversity. 2017 was the year when the Brisbane City Council’s activities became carbon-neutral. With the use of a go card, commuters in Brisbane may effortlessly switch between the city’s integrated rail, ferry (CityCats), and bus networks thanks to the system’s clean and ecological design. The nightlife of Brisbane is diverse and abundant, spanning both sides of the river.

Details about Human-Centred Artificial Intelligence for Democracy at the University of Queensland:

Scholarship Sponsor: University of Queensland, Australia

Scholarship Value: $32,192 per annum (2023 rate), indexed annually

Number of awards: Varies

Study level: Postgraduate

Host Institution(s): University of Queensland, Australia

Enrolment Status: Future UQ student

Eligibility Criteria for Human-Centred Artificial Intelligence for Democracy

You’re qualified if you meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

Selection Standards

Your application will be evaluated based on competition.

The school will consider:

  • honors and awards
  • employment history
  • previous academic record
  • publication record

The person working on this project might benefit from having some working understanding of machine learning libraries. You will exhibit academic excellence in the areas of information retrieval, artificial intelligence, machine learning, human-computer interaction, and/or recommender systems, as well as the potential for academic success. It is extremely beneficial to have experience with or knowledge of machine learning.

Note: On a case-by-case basis, scholarships may be available to domestic part-time students who have caregiving obligations, a medical condition, or a handicap that prohibits them from attending school full-time.

Application Process for Human-Centred Artificial Intelligence for Democracy

Before you submit an application you should:

When you apply for a PhD, you also apply for this award. No further scholarship application is required. Please make sure the following is included in the section on scholarships and group study when you apply:

  1. Choose ‘My higher degree is not collaborative’
  2. Choose ‘I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship’.
  3. Choose ‘Other’, then ‘Research Project Scholarship’, and type in ‘HUMAN CENTRED AI-DEMARTINI’ in the ‘Name of scholarship’ field.


UQ Research Scholarships terms and conditions

The Submission Deadline is: 22 September 2023

Not interested in this particular scholarship? See other Australia scholarships here.