Interested in doing a PhD?


I have a fully funded scholarship available! Please apply!

Who can apply?

Pretty much everyone, but I assume that you are are worth my time, so please don't let me down. Obviously, having attended courses like Artificial Intelligence (search, heuristics, planning etc.) would be invaluable, but also general computer science courses like Complexity Theory / Theory of Computation, or even Graph Theory could suffice. Just convince me that you have what it takes to be successful! I have high expectations from anybody I supervise, but in exchange I offer an for-me-unhealthy amount of supervision and guidance as payback. Also, my field is super-interesting, and there is a lot to explore, so take the opportunity!

How to apply?

First of all, write your email with care, I do not want to see obvious mistakes and carelessness. Don't worry if you are not perfect in writing (or speaking) English, I do not care about this! But I care about the effort you put in. I will let you decide what to put into your application, but clearly I require a transcript and a few sentences about your background and why you would like to pursue a PhD under my supervision at ANU in the field of planning. I might then give you a very few papers to read so we can have an interview about it. Pass that and we see further.

I receive applications from all over the world thus with all different kinds of traditions regarding the usage if titles. To create a common ground, let me explain a few rules:

  • If you wish to use a title (such as "Dr." or "Prof. Dr.") then do this in combination with the last (i.e., family) name. In my case that would be "Dear Dr. Bercher". In Australia it is common to use the title "Prof." only after somebody literally acquired this title, i.e., once he or she has the rank "Associate Professor" or "Professor". My rank is currently Lecturer. Although this is equivalent to the Assistant Professor in US/Europe, it is still unusual to use that title -- since technically it's not the right one (in Australia). However, "Lecturer" is only used as a rank, not as title, so if you prefer using a title for a Lecturer (like me), using only "Dr." would be most appropriate.
  • If you wish to skip the title(s) but still like to remain formal, then use the last mame. In my case "Dear Mr. Bercher".
  • If you wish to communicate on a first-name basis, then only use the first name while skipping all titles. In my case "Dear Pascal". Feel free approaching me on a first-name basis only, I am totally fine with that. Otherwise we can switch to a first name basis after we exchanged a few emails. (Note that scientists are all on a first-name basis among each other. Only with students it's sometime difference because of the age gap. I am however still very happy with a first-name basis; it's all about content, not rank!)

I add all this info since I get so many variants like "Dr. Pascal", which is just wrong. :)

Further information?

Read the ANU PhD scholarship info page and some more information on ANU MPhil and PhD scholarships and applications. Some lessons about pursuing a PhD can also be learned here. :)

PhD in planning at another University?

If you are a great student, then of course I would love to supervise you! Sadly, there is always limited funding, so I cannot accept everybody. PhD positions in planning from everywhere around the world are regularly posted over the following two mailing lists, so you might consider subscribing them - only if your application with me is isn't successful! ;)

  • -- This is a general mailing list for planning.
  • -- This belongs to the ICAPS conference series, the premier conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling.