School of Informatics

PhD studentship in Knowledge Graph and Argument Mining for Argumentation-based Decision Making

Deadline: 11 July 2021


One fully funded PhD position to work with Dr Nadin Kokciyan in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, on a project titled Knowledge Graph and Argument Mining for Argumentation-based Decision Making.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has great potential to assist people in making well-informed decisions. However, there are some challenges to consider: (i) humans deal with huge amount of heterogeneous data before making a decision, (ii) humans may be willing to use an AI-based system as a decision-support tool, when AI provides rationales underlying the recommendations. This calls for new techniques that could analyse data automatically, compute the possible outcomes and provide explanations to make the reasoning process transparent. 

In this project, the goal is to propose a new methodology that will extract data from different information sources (such as social media, reviews, news), transform them into structured arguments based on knowledge graphs, for and against particular opinions, then present arguments together with explanations. For this, a neuro-symbolic approach will be used. One can combine logic-based approaches (e.g. Computational Argumentation and Knowledge Graph), together with machine learning approaches (e.g. Argument Mining). Our claim is that the combination of both approaches could help us to develop a robust decision-support framework to assist humans in their decision-making. 

It is expected that the candidate working on the project will work on both the theoretical foundations and the development of practical tools.

Candidate’s profile

  • A good Bachelors degree (2.1 or above or international equivalent) and/or Masters degree in a relevant subject (computer science, artificial intelligence, engineering, mathematics or related subject)
  • Strong analytical and programming skills 
  • Proficiency in English (both oral and written)
  • Good understanding/knowledge/experience in the following areas: multi-agent systems, knowledge representation and reasoning, knowledge graphs, machine learning, natural language processing. 

Studentship and eligibility

The studentship starting in the academic year 2021/22 covers:

  • Full time PhD tuition fees for a student with a confirmed Home fee status (£4500 per annum).
  • A tax free stipend of GBP £15,609 per year for 3.5 years.
  • Additional programme costs of £1000 per year.

Application Information

Applicants should apply via the University’s admissions portal (EUCLID) and apply for apply for the following Informatics PGR programme: Informatics: AIAI: Foundations and Applications of Artificial Intelligence, Automated Reasoning, Agents, Data Intensive Research with a start date of 01 September 2021.

Applicants should state Knowledge Graph and Argument Mining for Argumentation-based Decision Making and the research supervisor (Dr Nadin Kokciyan) in their application and Research Proposal document.

Complete applications submitted by 11 July 2021 will receive full consideration; after that date applications will be considered until the position is filled. The anticipated start date is 01 October 2021 (an earlier start date of 01 September may be considered, depending on the speed of the selection process and the circumstances of the successful applicant)

Applicants must submit:

  • All degree transcripts and certificates (and certified translations if applicable)
  • Evidence of English Language capability (where applicable).
  • A short research proposal (max 2 pages)
  • A full CV and cover letter describing your background, suitability for the PhD, and research interests (max 2 pages).
  • Two references (note that it the applicant’s responsibility to ensure reference letters are received before the deadline).

Only complete applications (i.e. those that are not missing the above documentation) will progress forward to Academic Selectors for further consideration.


The School of Informatics is one of the largest in Europe and currently the top Informatics institute in the UK for research power, with 40% of its research outputs considered world-leading (top grade), and almost 50% considered top grade for societal impact. The University of Edinburgh is constantly ranked among the world’s top universities and is a highly international environment with several centres of excellence.


Dr Nadin Kokciyan