Scholarship details

Student type

Future students

Study area

Science, technology and engineering and mathematics

Eligibility criteria

Academic performance

Application dates

Applications close
31 July 2022

What you'll receive

You'll receive a scholarship, tax exempt and indexed annually of $28,854 per annum for a period of three years, with a possible 6 month extension, subject to satisfactory progress.

If you're an international student, you will also receive either:

  • an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) fees offset (International), or,
  • a QUT research degree (HDR) tuition fee scholarship.

As the scholarship recipient, you will have the opportunity to work with a team of leading researchers, to undertake your own innovative research in and across the fields of Artificial Intelligence and urban services.

There are three scholarships available.

Eligibility

To apply for this scholarship, you must meet the entry requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at QUT, including any English language requirements for international students.

Please note the following essential selection criteria:

  • applicants must must demonstrate a capacity to carry out independent research and have adequate training and ability to pursue the proposed course of study/research
  • applicants must have completed a Bachelor degree with First Class Honours or a Masters by Research in urban and regional planning, urban studies, local government studies, public policy, urban policy, human geography, sociology, information and technology management, and computer science or other related disciplines
  • the PhD study must be conducted in Thesis by Publication mode that requires producing and publishing PhD research outputs in high impact international journals.

Please note the following desirable selection criteria:

  • previous research experience on the given topic
  • publications relevant to the study in high impact journals
  • professional experience with AI systems or urban technologies and organisations using them.

How to apply

You must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for consideration prior to applying for this scholarship.

How to apply for a research degree.

The EOI must indicate that you are applying for this scholarship at question two in the financial details section of the application form, and must have Prof Tan Yigitcanlar nominated as your potential supervisor. An appropriate supervisory team will be discussed with the successful applicant.

Your application must also include:

  • Faculty of Engineering PhD research proposal form (including Thesis by Publication mode publication plan)
  • full CV (including GPAs of all degrees, all publication lists, names and contact details of 3 references)
  • motivation statement (in max 2 pages: why do you want to undertake PhD on this research topic, what are your research and professional experiences with urban innovation, AI or urban technologies, and local government, and what are your post-PhD research/career goals/plans concerning this research topic).

Potential applicants are encouraged to discuss their application with Prof Tan Yigitcanlar in the first instance.

What happens next?

If successful you will be contacted directly. Ideally, you will be able to commence around 30 September 2022 or later.

About the scholarship

Artificial intelligence (AI) is not only becoming an integral part of urban services, but also impacting and shaping the future of cities and societies. However, the current AI practice has shown that urban innovation without responsibility generates more problems than it solves. Especially, the absence of a deep understanding of the costs, benefits, risks, and impacts of deploying government AI systems creates negative externalities and serious concerns in the society.

The three PhD scholarships are part of an Australian Research Council Discovery project that aims to:

  • generate a consolidated understanding of the most appropriate approaches for local governments to engage with AI to achieve responsible urban innovation
  • advance knowledge regarding the methods used to balance costs, benefits, risks and impacts of developing, adopting, deploying and managing local government AI systems targeting responsible urban innovation
  • consolidate urban and innovation theories by integrating technology, policy and community perspectives in a framework concerning responsible local government AI systems.

The main objectives of the Discovery project include to:

  • investigate (from the perspective of responsible urban innovation) the evolution, costs and benefits of local government AI systems, as well as the resulting risks and socio-spatial impacts
  • assemble a framework for the conceptualisation and assessment of local government AI systems from the perspective of responsible urban innovation
  • identify local government AI capabilities and implementation challenges by considering responsible urban innovation principles
  • capture the public perception of AI (including explainable and trustworthy AI), and understand community knowledge, expectations, attitudes, acceptance and affordances concerning responsible urban innovation
  • determine appropriate AI adoption and implementation pathways for local governments to achieve responsible urban innovation.

The main research questions of the Discovery project include:

  • why do some local governments experiment with and adopt AI systems when the risks are not clearly known while others refrain and examine the approach?
  • how can local governments make trade-offs between costs, risks, benefits, and impacts, and utilise AI systems in their municipal operations and services?
  • how can the costs, risks, benefits, and impacts be distributed across the local government service users and communities, and how can equity concerns be addressed?
  • how can local governments align the public’s perceptions and expectations regarding AI, and mitigate the consequential negative externalities of AI systems on the environment and society?
  • how can local governments adopt, deploy, and manage AI systems to generate responsible urban innovation in their cities?

The target AI systems of the Discovery project in the context of local governments are as follows:

  • AI for carbon footprint reduction.
  • AI for personalised services.
  • AI for predictive maintenance.
  • AI for resource optimisation.
  • AI for virtual agents or chatbots.

The responsible urban innovation with local government AI conceptual framework developed for the Discovery project concerning is available from the following open access journal article:

  • Yigitcanlar, T., Corchado, J., Mehmood, R., Li, R., Mossberger, K., & Desouza, K. (2021). Responsible urban innovation with local government artificial intelligence (AI): a conceptual framework and research agenda. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 7(1), 71, https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc7010071.

All three PhD research will be conducted in an international setting and will involve the main case study area of Brisbane (Australia), and comparison case studies of Phoenix, AZ (USA), Salamanca (Spain), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), and Hong Kong.

All three PhD theses will be prepared in ‘Thesis by Publication’ mode that consists of number of articles (published in high impact international journals) and framing text that links these papers together into the report of a unified body of original work.

Successful applicants will be based in the QUT City 4.0 Lab of the School of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Engineering, and will work under the supervision of the following scholars with international eminence in the fields of urban and local government studies, public policy, information and technology management, and computer science including AI.

Professor Tan Yigitcanlar (Principal supervisor)

Professor Kevin Desouza (Associate supervisor)

Professor Karen Mossberger (External supervisor)

Professor Juan Corchado (External supervisor)

Professor Rashid Mehmood (External supervisor)

A/Professor Rita Li (External supervisor)

The PhD projects would suit candidates with a study/research background in urban and regional planning, urban studies, local government studies, public policy, urban policy, human geography, sociology, information and technology management, and computer science or other related disciplines.

Depending on the performance, PhD students may be hired as casual research assistants for the Discovery project.

Scholarship Project One - Responsible urban innovation with local government artificial intelligence (with a special focus on the technology domain)

The first PhD project will explore the responsible local government AI systems from the lens of ‘technology’ of the abovementioned conceptual framework (see https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc7010071) in the case study cities of Brisbane, Phoenix, Salamanca Jeddah, and Hong Kong.

Scholarship Project Two - Responsible urban innovation with local government artificial intelligence (with a special focus on the policy domain)

The second PhD project will explore the responsible local government AI systems from the lens of ‘policy’ of the abovementioned conceptual framework (see https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc7010071) in the case study cities of Brisbane, Phoenix, Salamanca Jeddah, and Hong Kong.

Scholarship Project Three - Responsible urban innovation with local government artificial intelligence (with a special focus on the community domain)

The third PhD project will explore the responsible local government AI systems from the lens of ‘community’ of the abovementioned conceptual framework (see https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc7010071) in the case study cities of Brisbane, Phoenix, Salamanca Jeddah, and Hong Kong.

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