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Korea-Tübingen PhD Program: Project 6/2024: PhD Project Title: Explainable Natural Language Processing

Topic Description: Explainability is a critical aspect of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems, particularly in the context of Large Language Models (LLMs). As these models grow in complexity and scale, understanding their inner workings becomes increasingly challenging. The need for explainability arises from the desire to interpret and trust the decisions made by these models and ensure the factual correctness of the outputs. In this research, we focus on developing methods and techniques to enhance the explainability of LLMs.

Faculty: Faculty of Medicine + Faculty of Science
Institute/Section/Subject: Natural Language Processing

Supervising Professor(s): Dr. Ali Bahreinian + Prof. Dr. Carsten Eickhoff

About the Supervisor(s): Ali Bahreinian is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Tübingen. He received a PhD from the University of Lugano, Switzerland in 2019 and held postdoctoral positions at EPFL, Switzerland and Brown University, USA. His research focus is on Natural Language Processing, and generative models in particular. More specifically, his current research focuses on integrating common-sense knowledge and semantic concepts into large language models and introducing controlability mechanisms to satisfy pre-defined requirements. He has served as a PC member at various international conferences such as ACL, SIGIR, and IJCAI.
Carsten Eickhoff is a Full Professor of Medical Data Science and Computer Science at the University of Tübingen, where his lab specializes in the development of machine learning and natural language processing techniques with the goal of improving patient safety, individual health and quality of medical care. Prior to joining Tübingen, he was the Manning Assistant Professor of Medical and Computer Science at Brown University. He received degrees from the University of Edinburgh and TU Delft, and was a postdoctoral fellow at ETH Zurich and Harvard University. Carsten has authored more than 100 articles in computer science conferences (e.g., ICLR, ACL, SIGIR, WWW, KDD) and clinical journals (e.g., Nature Digital Medicine, The Lancet - Respiratory Medicine, Radiology, European Heart Journal). His research has been supported by the NSF, NIH, DARPA, IARPA, Swiss National Science Foundation, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and others.

Requirements for the application:
Required Degrees: M.Sc. (Computer Science, Math, Electrical Engineering, Cognitive Science)
Language Requirements: English (IELTS 6,5 or TOEFL equivalent)
Notes: none

For further instructions on how to apply, more information on the program and contact details please see below.
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Korea-Tübingen PhD Program
The University of Tübingen have established a PhD Program which supports Korean nationals from partner Universities wishing to carry out all or part of their PhD study in Tübingen.

  • Cheju National University
  • Chonbuk National University
  • Chungnam National University
  • Ewha Womans University
  • Hanyang University
  • Korea University
  • Pusan National University
  • Seoul National University
  • Sogang University
  • Sookmyung Women's University
  • Sungkyunkwan University
  • Yonsei University


  • Aims:
    • providing high quality research training to qualified students from Korean universities
    • developing education and research collaborations between the University of Tübingen and Korean universities and research institutions

    Target group:
    Excellent postgraduate and doctoral students from Korean partner universities who are citizens and permanent residents of the Republic of Korea at the time of application

    Application Process:
    • June 30: Application deadline. Applications must be handed in through the online application system of the University of Tübingen
    • between July 4 and 7: round of interviews in English
    • by July 30: Successful applicants will be officially informed and provided letters of admission.
    • by Oct 1: Program participants arrive in Tübingen

    • How to Apply:
      In order to apply you need to upload the following documents combined in 1 PDF
      • Cover/Motivation letter with the description of academic characteristics that qualify you to complete the PhD project successfully
      • CV
      • Academic transcripts*
      • Proof of proficient English language skills - TOEFL iBT 95 or IELTS 6.5 or equivalent

      *List of required Academic transcripts (including official translation into German or English for documents issued in Korean)
      1) Bachelor’s Degree Award Certificate / Bachelor Gradverleihungsurkunde
      2) Transcript of the subjects and marks / Fächer- und Notenübersicht for your Bachelor’s degree/ für das Bachelorstudium
      3) Master’s Degree Award Certificate / Master-Gradverleihungsurkunde
      4) Transcript of the subjects and marks for your Master’s Degree / Fächer- und Notenübersicht für das Masterstudium


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