The University of Sydney


Fulbright scholar
"Communication is vitally important – if you can’t explain your work, people won’t understand its potential. You could miss opportunities to collaborate with and inspire people in and out of your field."

Dominick is part-way through his PhD on ways to improve parsers, software tools that automatically identify syntactic structure in human language. These tools are widely used in speech recognition systems, machine translators, question answering, and document summarisers, and have become increasingly important as the amount of information in our lives grows. Dom just returned from the US, where as a Fulbright scholar he spent eight months studying at UC Berkeley.

  • University of California, Berkeley

    In 2012 I was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, funding a year-long exchange to the University of California, Berkeley. Choosing Sydney University just six years ago has ultimately granted me a year to live in another country and attendance at one of the world's greatest universities. I'm learning from the top academics in my field, and seeing the incredible environment of Silicon Valley and San Francisco up close. My Sydney journey is not yet complete, but it has already taken me from a small country town to places I could hardly imagine visiting while growing up. While I don't know where I'll end up in the future, I'm excited to see where my work will take me next.

    The quantum future is crystal clear

    Computing technology has taken a huge leap forward thanks to a tiny crystal of trapped ions used in experiments by Dr Michael Biercuk, from the University of Sydney's School of Physics.

    Tag Cloud

    Tag Cloud

    Dom's 'tag cloud' of his PhD.

  • PhD

    I turned down a job offer as a programmer to enrol in a PhD. I think that a doctorate degree gives you an unparalleled experience, working individually and collaboratively to redefine the state of the art. I've also had the opportunity to travel extensively – much more so than if I had gone straight into work. So far, I've visited 11 different countries during my PhD, and had the chance to meet and work with some of the smartest people in the world. There are hundreds of generous scholarships available, and I've also been able to teach, giving back to new students what was given to me. There's no better way to open yourself up to the world than through such higher education. My research is on natural language processing – trying to teach computers how to understand human languages. Today we live in a world overloaded with information – we have more data than we know what to do with, and it's getting more difficult to find useful results amongst the noise. I hope that my work (which focuses on syntax analysis – trying to identify the structure of language) will lead to smarter tools for managing and using information.

  • Bachelor of IT

    During my Bachelor of IT degree, I was able to spend time on summer internships and research projects. I published a paper in just my second year, and got a taste for what life in academia and industry was like. I completed an honours year to round out my undergraduate degree, learning more about the research world, and the giddying, exhilarating, terrifying, and fulfilling feeling of holding a finished thesis in my hands. Nothing else in your undergraduate degree will teach you more about yourself and the way you work than honours. And working through internships will help you decide exactly what it is you want to do.

  • From Country NSW to Sydney

    By far the best decision I've ever made was to come to Sydney University. I grew up in country NSW, so there were many choices when deciding where to go. In the end, the amazing atmosphere of Sydney sealed the deal. Besides the academic pedigree, one of the greatest benefits of studying at a university like Sydney is the people that you meet – people who will go on to change the world. I have been fortunate to meet many passionate, brilliant minds, each of whom has helped make me a better person and inspired me to strive for my best.


How to Apply

  • How to apply for a research degree

    Applying for entry to a research degree requires some time and preparation.

  • Step 1. Identify and establish an academic contact/potential supervisor

    Contact a member of academic staff to send your initial research proposal to. Use our Research Supervisor Connect tool to find them.

  • Step 2. Develop and submit an initial research proposal

    Once you have initiated discussions with an academic contact, you should prepare your initial research proposal of around 500 words.

  • Step 3. Revise and finalise your research proposal

    In conjunction with your academic contact, refine your research proposal ready for submission of your formal application.

  • Step 4. Identify and contact two academic referees

    Once you have completed the proposal and had it reviewed by your academic contact, you’re ready to submit your application.

  • Step 6. Submit your application

    All research applications are made online through the Find a course database. For PhD applications, go to Find a Course, search for 'Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)' and pick your faculty. Click 'apply now' and follow the instructions.

  • Please note

    You may be required to provide supporting documentation. All documents submitted need to be either original or certified according to the University's Certification of Documents Guidelines (PDF 40KB).

  • Note for International students

    The University of Sydney has many scholarships available for international students.

  • Note for local students

    Domestic research students are exempt from paying fees for the duration of their course.

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Entry requirements

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