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Scholarship for Machine Learning and Statistical Analysis in Teacher Education at the Australian Catholic University

  • 27 Mar 2023 11:16 AM
    Message # 13145853

    Undertake research in the area of learning sciences and teacher education.

    Australian Catholic University is offering one (1) domestic full-time, 3-year PhD scholarship to support the work of Professor You-Gan Wang in the areas of statistical modelling and machine learning. Statistical modelling and machine learning can establish a framework for capturing performance trajectories before candidates separate from teacher education programs. In the longitudinal profiles, a number of factors – e.g., professional experience, literacy and numeracy test for initial teacher education, academic program assessments reported as grade point average (GPA) and graduate teacher performance assessment (GTPA) – can be investigated to identify separation in teacher education. Modern statistical approaches such as nonparametric methods (tree-based regression and kernel-based regression) and variable selection methods (penalised regression) should also be explored in analysing such profiles. In this project, you will improve your skills in statistical modelling and data analysis, and have a great opportunity to work with our partners (education departments and other universities in Australia). The scholarship is provided to develop the modern algorithms pertaining to Australian pedagogy studies and progression in teacher preparation.

    Study mode and location
    Commencement date 

    Domestic applicants: this scholarship is available for commencement in the second half of 2023.

    Value and duration

    The successful applicant will be awarded:

    • An Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) stipend scholarship of A$29,863 per annum (tax-free, indexed) for domestic candidates. The stipend duration is for three (3) years, subject to satisfactory progress and full-time study mode; plus
    • A Research Training Program Fees Offset Scholarship; that is, a tuition fee waiver for three (3) years for domestic candidates.
    About Australian Catholic University

    ACU is a world-leading research university in our priority areas of education, health, and theology and philosophy. Research excellence at ACU is founded on the principles of social justice and attracts leading experts, students and collaborators from across the globe. This PhD scholarship is offered in the fields of 3903 (Education System), 4611 (Machine Learning) and 4905 (Statistics). According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, ACU is ranked in the top 100 Young Universities worldwide. In the 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment, research at ACU was ranked above or well-above world-average for 10 fields of research in Australia, including specialist studies in education.

    About the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

    The Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education (ILSTE) is a national research institute hosting a team of eminent researchers and international scholars undertaking nationally-funded research studies with a range of industry-funded partners. Our research draws on both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and includes large-scale, longitudinal studies and meta-analyses. A priority focus is on research relating to policy and practice.

    ILSTE's research focuses on 21st century learning, student diversity, innovation and engagement across eight areas of research concentration:

    • assessment, evaluation and student learning
    • STEM in education
    • early childhood futures
    • educational semiotics in English and literacy pedagogy
    • teachers' work and workforce studies
    • data analytics and learning interventions.

    ILSTE also has a growing team with expertise in data analytics including data design, statistical methods for modelling complex data (including longitudinal survey, administrative and linked datasets) and data science. Our researchers are experienced with generating and disseminating new knowledge to improve the learning outcomes of children and young people, especially those experiencing disadvantage, on the margins or at risk.

    ILSTE provides a forum for researchers, scholars, policy makers and practitioners to collaborate and share evidence-based knowledge to address barriers to achievement and learning engagement faced by young people.

    ILSTE is aligned with the ACU Research Centre for Digital Data and Assessment in Education, whose researchers will examine digital disruption, assessment and data analytics as subjects of research, policy and practice in schooling reform and teacher education. The transformations occurring due to new and emerging technologies and their impact is largely under-researched. The Centre will address this gap by generating new knowledge through research collaborations and other partnerships across researchers and with national, state-based and global education agencies (e.g., UNESCO). The Centre's three programs are: data/digital practices at system and school level; data innovation for learning progressions and life course in teacher education; and digital foundations in the early years.

    Learn more


    This opportunity is only open to domestic applicants, that is, Australian Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents and New Zealand Citizens.

    The scholarship is available for high-performing candidates, with prior experience in statistical analysis. We welcome applications from individuals with a background in:

    • statistics
    • computing sciences
    • data science with basic skills in programming and data analytics.

    The successful applicant should also have:

    • demonstrated scientific writing skills
    • strong skills in programming (R, Python)
    • skills in statistical analysis including regression and inferences.

    The eligibility criteria for the PhD program at ACU can be found in the Higher Degree Research Regulations.


    Application closes

    11:59pm Friday 28 April 2023 (AEST) 

    Before you apply - Expression of Interest

    Applicants must submit to Professor You-Gan Wang a 1 to 2-page cover letter and a brief Curriculum Vitae detailing how they meet the scholarship eligibility criteria as listed above.


    Application process

    Applicants who are successful in their Expression of Interest may be invited to interview. Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to submit a formal application for the PhD program and the stipend scholarship.

    Instructions for submitting a formal application to the PhD program can be found on the How to Apply page.


    For general candidature enquiries, email Candidature Services on, with the subject line “SRA PhD Stipend: Novel Statistical Frameworks for identifying failures in teacher education”.

    Last modified: 27 Mar 2023 11:39 AM | Jinran Wu
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