Interested in doing a PhD?

First of all, you have to read the webpage on application advice. If you don't do so, chances are at least close to 100% that I am going to ignore your application and won't even reply.

Availability of Scholarships/Funding

I do not have any open positions at the moment and most likely also not the time to supervise anybody further. (I am the chair of five PhD students (though one will finish in about half a year) and co-supervise two more.) However, if you are an extremely strong applicant (both mark-wise and with fitting expertise), then I might re-consider. Note that although I don't have a scholarship to hand out, if you are as strong as you had to be for me to accept you despite not having any open positions, then you would likely also win a scholarship in our competitive rounds. Topic-wise, we would have a discussion; I have many topics I am interested in, so no need to find your own (all topics are on Hierarchical Task Network (HTN) planning). Again, I am only considering if you have a close to perfect transcript.

Note that I mention other opportunities on how to find a PhD supervisor (both at the ANU and anywhere in the world) that you could check out as well.

Who can apply?

Pretty much everyone who is excited about learning something new and doing so in a team of other passionate and helpful people. But make sure this research area (AI Planning) is what you are looking for. AI Planning literally has nothing to do with Machine Learning (ML), so don't apply unless you know what you would spend your next few years with.

If you believe that you might not have what it takes to apply, then maybe that's why you should! :) As long as you are willing to learn and convince me that you are hard-working and devoted enough. (That said, I will always have some sort of examination about AI Planning, and will only accept who scores perfectly. But I will inform about the details once you approached me.)

Please note however that this is assuming that you are eligible to apply! You will require the respective degree and need to be sufficiently strong (GPA-wise), as this is a requirement by the ANU and independent of my individual preferences. In a nutshell, any degree equivalent to a first-class Honours with a significant research component is required. But please read the official requirements, which you find online; links are provided, but if in doubt, please reach out.

Lastly, note that you do not have to have a topic in mind. I will usually find a topic for you, though you will still have the freedom to interpret and execute it according to your own ideas and interests.

Why to apply?

Where to start? :)

There are many "soft reasons", like learning how to become a strong independent scientist or just having fun doing cool stuff for a few years :) with me, colleagues from the ANU, my collaborators from various parts of the world, and of course the super-friendly ICAPS community. (ICAPS is the premier conference on planning, the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling, ranked A* by CORE.) ICAPS folk sometimes call themselves "the ICAPS family", and not without a reason! :)

Note that being a PhD student in Australia also means that you will not have any responsibilities other than working on your PhD. In particular this means that you have no teaching duties unless you voluntarily decide to do so (and also get paid for this on top of the PhD scholarship).

Scholarship Amount and Duration

A PhD at the ANU has to be finished after at most 4 years. The scholarship that the ANU offers is 3.5 years with the option to extend by 1/2 year depending on circumstances. At the moment, the annual funding amounts to 36,652 AUD (tax-free, since it's a scholarship). On top of this, the ANU pays for business trips (e.g., for conference visits) until some additional funding lasts.

Additional information and details are available here: