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AISB opportunities Bulletin Item

PhD and Research Assistant positions, School of Computing, Dundee


Applications are invited for two research assistants and one PhD student
to work on an EPSRC-funded project in computational models of argument.
The Dialectical Argumentation Machines project aims to deploy
argumentation technologies in real world settings and involves working
with providers of some of the world's largest and most popular websites.

The posts will be held in the Argumentation Research Group in the School
of Computing at the University of Dundee. At the most recent RAE, the
School's research was rated fourth in Scotland, with two thirds of its
research rated world leading or internationally excellent (4* or 3*).
Dundee has been ranked amongst the top places in the world for
scientists to work (by The Scientist magazine), and has one of the
lowest costs of living in the UK.


The theoretical side of the project involves working to tie together
abstract, mathematical models of argument, with concrete, linguistic
representations. The foundation that results will then put the applied
side of the project on a sound footing that is both flexible and

Developing this theory will demand an exceptionally high calibre
individual who can balance and integrate not only the mathematical and
linguistic aspects of argumentation, but also the competing demands of
rigorous theory with practical system-building. A PhD in an appropriate
area is essential, as is experience with abstract argumentation
frameworks in a computational setting. Exposure to linguistic or
rhetorical models of argument, to discourse analysis or theories of
structural linguistics, or to the theory and practice of multi-agent
systems would be a distinct advantage. Finally, practical experience of
argumentation or debate would also be desirable.

Remuneration for this post will be at Grade 7 or 8, depending on
experience (28,839 to 43,622).

Please quote Reference number AAE/2803 Closing date: 31 July 2009 


The practical side of the project involves building a platform to enable
an ambitious vision of the "World Wide Argument Web", bringing together
semantically rich representations of data with large-scale
infrastructure into a coherent and open platform for online debate.
Applications and tools that make use of this platform must then be easy
to use and immediately appealing.

Developing this infrastructure and application suite will demand a
highly talented individual who can rapidly evaluate and make use of new
technology to develop both reliable infrastructure and appealing online
applications.  A first (or, in exceptional circumstances, 2i) in
computer science or a closely related area is essential, as is
significant experience of web development, including a demonstrable
track record with AJAX, Ruby or Flash. Experience of academic research
(including, perhaps, PhD research) in argumentation, philosophy of
language, computational linguistics, multi-agent systems or, ideally,
computational models of argument would be a distinct advantage.
Finally, practical experience of argumentation or debate would also be

Remuneration for this post will be at Grade 6 or 7, depending on
qualifications and experience (23,449 to 35,469). 

Please quote Reference number AAE/2804 Closing date: 31 July 2009 


The PhD student appointed to the project will have the freedom to
explore related issues that contribute to the team's overall goals.
Initial starting points for research will include the topic of strategy
in dialogic argumentation.

Stipendary payments are at EPSRC levels (12, 940 tax-free for academic
year 2008/9).  Applicants should meet the EPSRC's eligibility
requirements (see, and should typically have a first
class degree in an appropriate subject. Interest in, or exposure to,
argumentation and debate in either computational or philosophical
settings would be a distinct advantage.

Closing Date: 31 July 2009


The proposed starting date for the project is 1 October 2009, with all
three posts commencing on that date. The project, and the three posts,
will run for three years.  More information is available from the
research group web page at

For the research assistant posts, further details and an application
pack are available from our website:  
Alternatively, contact Personnel Services, University of Dundee, Dundee,
DD1 4HN, tel: (01382) 384817 (answering machine). 

For the PhD studentship, applicants, should send their applications
directly to the project lead, Chris Reed,

Applicants will only be contacted if invited for interview. 

The University of Dundee is committed to equal opportunities and
welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

The University of Dundee is a Scottish Registered Charity, No. SC015096