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CSEE PhD Scholarship


The details
Postgraduate research
School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

The School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE) at the University of Essex is offering one PhD research Scholarship to work on the project Teaching LLMs to Use Customer Service Tools with Algomo.

Algomo is a London-based Deep-tech startup working on multilingual customer service automation. Founded in early 2022, has been working on Large Language Models (LLMs) to help companies of any size fully automate their customer service in 100+ languages, easily and affordably. Their mission and award-winning technology have been recognised by and sponsored by innovation grants from the UK and EU.

Language models (LLMs) have shown exceptional prowess in solving novel tasks through few-shot learning and textual instructions. However, they still grapple with basic functionalities, such as arithmetic and factual lookup, where smaller models outperform them. This hinders their adoption in conversational AI (cAI) applications, especially in commercial setup, where cAIs are expected to follow a specific set of instructions. This thesis aims to develop methods for teaching large language models (LLMs) to utilize a diverse range of customer service tools through simple APIs, thereby improving their performance in operational environments.

The successful applicant will receive a full PhD scholarship, including full tuition fee discount for three years of study, a stipend payment towards your living costs and Proficio funding towards training, conferences, and travel.

How to apply

The key first step is to contact Dr Serafeim Perdikis by emailing serafeim.perdikis@essex.ac.uk who will be the supervisor for the successful applicant, for an informal discussion before applying.

You will need to apply for a PhD place in the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at the University of Essex, and specify that your application is to work on the project Teaching LLMs to Use Customer Service Tools. You can read about the application process and learn about postgraduate research at the University of Essex more generally and search for departmental research on our website.

You should apply for PhD scholarship funding separately from your online PhD study application. Please email your Research Proposal and CV to serafeim.perdikis@essex.ac.uk by the deadline of Friday 1 December 2023 at 11:59 GMT.

Full details

Please read the full terms and conditions before applying for or accepting a scholarship or bursary. They contain important information about eligibility, if you need to complete an application form and how you'll receive your funding.

If you're a current student looking for information about an award you received, see our terms and conditions for previous years.