Architect Job: PhD Studentship – Automated Detection of Contractual Risk Clauses in Construction Projects by Using Natural Language Processing

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Project Description: Procurement and contracts are essential in managing construction projects, especially risk management. However, previous manual review processes and early AI-based are known to be time-consuming and error-prone and do not address the vast data generated during the contract or procurement processes. Also, construction projects have suffered long from contractual risk, which will cause disputes in the future. The typical contract document reviewing process to reduce risk has long been labour-intensive and can cause errors. An AI-automated detection method that addresses contractual risk and incorporates scope three emissions requirements is needed to address our current challenges in procurement and contracts. The proposed project aims to develop an AI-powered contract specification classification model to automatically detect the contractual risks and the risk-taking party from each contract clause to help review the contract and reduce potential disputes in the future. The methodology adopted in this research will combine behavioural and design science. Behavioural science will be used to explore the challenges, and the design will be used to develop system development of AI-powered Natural Language Processing.

Applicants are invited for a full-time three-year PhD studentship (UK Students Only) in the School of the Built Environment and Architecture at London South Bank University (LSBU) to begin no later than 5th January 2024. We seek an exceptional and enthusiastic person to join our Construction Project Management research team in the School of the Built Environment and Architecture to create an automatic contract review system for proactive risk management and dispute avoidance.

Duration of Scholarship: 3 years full-time in the School of Built Environment and Architecture at London South Bank University. The successful candidate must be ready to enrol in January 2024 and is expected to attend full-time for three years with thesis submission in January 2027 and viva, corrections and awards completed before Dec 2027.

Supervision Team: The student will be supervised by Dr. Yuting Chen (

and Prof. Chika Udeaja (

Eligibility: The successful candidate will have a BSc and, ideally, an MSc in Construction Project Management or related discipline with strong research methods skills. Candidates with a programming background, especially with LLM experience, are preferred. Candidates should be interested in contract and procurement management in construction projects and able to work independently and with initiative at a high level of self-motivation.

Application Process: Please send your CV and personal statement (including motivations for studying at the doctoral level, interest and experience in this subject area, research skills and experience, programming and coding experience and suggestions for how an element of the proposed PhD could be explored) via email to Dr Yuting Chen: [email protected].

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted with an invitation to attend an interview during the week commencing 4th December 2023. The successful candidate will be selected for the award following the University’s postgraduate admissions requirements and must be eligible under the Education (Fees and Awards) Regulations 1997.

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