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 close 31 August 2021.

The nine-week program will run between 22 November 2021 to 21 January 2022.

To apply, please go to:

Please include in your application a 250 words expression of interest, 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. Also attach a copy of your CV and academic transcript.


Australian language work

Supervisor: Jane Simpson (

We are seeking an enthusiastic student to assist with language data analysis and data organisation of 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 an Australian language.
  • 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.

Language histories in southeastern Papua New Guinea

Supervisor: Bethwyn Evans (

The histories of languages in southeastern Papua New Guinea appear to reflect the region’s sociocultural histories of migration and complex networks of social interaction and contact. Can more detailed reconstructions of the language histories contribute to broader multidisciplinary understandings of the region’s past?

This project aims to respond to this question by exploring contact-induced change in the Austronesian and Papuan languages spoken across the region, and by investigating connections between the language histories and reconstructions of the past from other perspectives, such as archaeological, anthropological and genetic.

If you have an interest in historical linguistics and language contact, and multidisciplinary approaches to understanding the human past, then you would enjoy this project.

Sound systems of central Vanuatu

Supervisor: Rosey Billington (

Vanuatu is known for its linguistic diversity, both in terms of the number of spoken languages and their varied linguistic structures. The sound systems of Oceanic languages of Vanuatu are a topic of particular interest, and inform the understanding of typological and historical relationships in the region. For many of these languages there has not yet been detailed phonetic or phonological research, but for some there are rich archival corpora available which offer opportunities for new insights. This project will focus on developing speech databases using audio-recorded material for languages of Vanuatu. Depending on the interests and skills of the student, tasks may include:

  • Transcribing data, or time-aligning existing transcriptions, e.g. using ELAN
  • Adding to lexical databases, e.g. using FLEx
  • Preparing and processing data to create speech databases, e.g. using Praat
  • Contributing to descriptive and quantitative analyses of central Vanuatu languages

The student will extend their knowledge of Oceanic languages and phonetics and phonology, and develop skills in data management, research methods, and analytical approaches. This project would suit a student with a linguistics background including some knowledge of phonetics and/or phonology, and some experience with, or willingness to learn, some of the software tools mentioned above.

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