Li'An Chen

PhD Researcher
BA (Translation), MA (Applied Linguistics)

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Li’An is currently a PhD candidate with CPAS. She holds a bachelor’s degree in translation (Xiamen University, China), and a master’s degree in applied linguistics (The University of Melbourne, Australia).

Li’An has research interests in teaching, professional conventions, and skill development. Her minor thesis during her master’s program contextualised pragmatics/polite strategies used by professionals in different industries in email communication. 

Li’An’s doctoral thesis is a machine learning assisted analysis of high-research-skill intensive job ads. Li’An previously had no background in computing or programming before she started her PhD at ANU. She self-studied machine learning techniques under the guidance of her supervisor Hanna Suominen in computer science. Her doctoral thesis aims to investigate the industry employers’ expectations of PhD graduates who work outside of academia. The thesis also contextualises skills, attributes, conventions, and habitus mentioned by industry employers in the computing-domain and health-domain job ads, respectively. In her doctoral thesis, Li’An contends that current add-on courses in PhD programs for employability training are insufficient. Industry-focused components with contextualised understanding of professional habitus should be included in employability training.

Besides her research interests, Li’An also has a great passion for teaching. Li’An had spent 18 months working as a tutor in the course Professional Practice at ANU. Li’An had a lot of contacts with computing/engineering students and industry partners during her teaching experience. At the end of every semester, Li’An always received positive comments on her tutorials from her students.  The teaching experience allows her to effectively reflect on how working as professionals in various industry domains is like. The reflection from the actual teaching experience further convinces Li’An that understanding of contextualised professional practices is needed for making improvement in employability training. 

Li’An believes in empathy, patience, courage, persistence, and dreams. She likes to be friend with people whose dream is to drive positive changes in human society with influence and capabilities. Li’An has a wide range of hobbies. She loves singing and playing instruments (violin, guitar, piano). She also loves having wild imagination.


Teaching information

Li’An had spent 18 months working as a tutor in the course Professional Practice at ANU from 2019-2020.


Chen, L. A., Mewburn, I., & Suonimen, H. (2020, December). A machine-learning based model to identify PhD-level skills in job ads. In Proceedings of the The 18th Annual Workshop of the Australasian Language Technology Association (pp. 72-80).

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