Summer Scholars Program (ANU)

The Australian National University in partnership with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language intends to offer regular Summer scholarships to several students.

What is the Summer Scholars Program?

A Summer Research Scholarship or Summer Internship at The Australian National University is an exceptional research opportunity for undergraduate and masters coursework students, providing insight into what studying for a graduate research degree is all about. The scholarship or internship package gives you the opportunity to stretch your boundaries by undertaking research projects and activities during the summer.


Applications for this year's program will open 1 August 2018 and close 7 September 2018.

The eight-week program will run between Monday  26 November 2017 and Friday 18 January 2018.

To apply, please go to: 

Please include in your application a one- to two-page proposal, outlining how you plan to contribute to the project you wish to work on. Include the research questions or focus you might like to take, with some contextualisation in the relevant literature, and an indication of the skills and knowledge you would bring to the project. If accepted, your supervisor will work with you to finalise a research plan for your work over the period of the scholarship, based on this proposal. Please contact the director of the relevant project if you require more information.


CoEDL Summer Scholar position focussing on automated natural language processing

We are looking for a summer scholar to help us apply computational methods to recordings of speech between parents and in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. The main task will be the development and application of methods for automating utterance-level time alignment which can be applied to the 200 hours of speech recorded. Other possible tasks include applying methods of speech recognition to distinguish automatically between the speech of children and adults and tag them accordingly, filtering out background noise, and data conversion across different formats. You will have the opportunity to work with a dynamic group of scholars working to develop and advance computational tools for linguistic analysis,includingonminoritylanguages. Essential qualifications for the position include advanced algorithm development and computational skills, and an interest in applying them to speech data. The project will be supervised by Alan Rumsey, a Chief Investigator in the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language.

Central Australian text and language work

Supervisor: Jane Simpson ( We are seeking an enthusiastic student to assist with language data analysis and data organisation of Central Australian languages. Depending on the student's skills and research interests, other linguists may be involved in supervision. Tasks may include:

  • Becoming familiar with the basic morphological and syntactic features of Central Australian languages.
  • Modifying and updating a workflow for creating digital dictionaries.
  • Organising the structure and building of a multidimensional corpus (dimensions of time, genre, mode and speaker)
  • Assisting with voice and video transcriptions in ELAN 

The student will gain knowledge of Aboriginal languages, and skills in language data management, and develop a potential research area for development in postgraduate study. This project would suit a student with a strong background in linguistics. A background in computer science and Indigenous Australian languages would be helpful.

Investigating a century of variation and change in Sydney English

A central question in sociolinguistics is how varieties have changed over time. Much work has been done exploring changein apparent time (comparing speakers of different ages); however, additional insights can be obtained from real timecomparisons (with recordings made at different time periods). The Sydney Speaks project combines both apparent and real-time data to examine change over a century of Australian English, using a large corpus of spontaneous speech from Sydneysiders, born between the 1890s and the 1990s.

The summer scholar will work as a member of the Sydney Speaks team and gain experience in quantitative sociolinguistic research by contributing to the constitution of the corpus, in particular, working with the oldest speech sample. The scholar will develop research questions, prepare and analyze data to answer those questions, and present results. Other training opportunities will be available through the CoEDL Summer School, to be held at ANU (26-30 Nov). There exists the possibility for the research done to be further developed in Honours, Masters or PhD work. 

Applicants with a background in any subfield of linguistics will be considered, but special consideration will be given to those applicants with a working knowledge of sociolinguistics and/or experience working with corpora of spontaneous speech.

Contact if you have any questions.

Acquisition and Documentation of Warlpiri and Light Warlpiri

Supervisor: Carmel O’Shannessy  <>

I am looking for an enthusiastic scholar to work on aspects of Acquisition and Documentation of Warlpiri and Light Warlpiri, spoken in the Northern Territory. The projects involve working with a corpus at The Language Archive <> as well as materials not yet archived. The projects may involve use of video, audio or text data. Potential projects include:

  • Analysis of acquisition data in Light Warlpiri: sign and gesture / adult speech input / children’s early productions
  • Analysis of child language data in Warlpiri
  • Analysis of morphosyntax and/or phonetics in Light Warlpiri 

The student will need to learn a relevant software program. Depending on the student’s skills and research interests, other linguists may be involved with supervision. The student will increase their understandings of Australian languages, language acquisition research methodologies, and skills using linguistic software.

Contact Carmel.O’ if you have any questions.

Watch this space, as other projects may be advertised

  • Australian Government
  • The University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Western Sydney University