Uncovering the secret formula to winning bid submissions

Location: Adelaide, SA or Canberra, ACT

Duration: 5 months

Project Background

Shoal dedicates a considerable amount of internal resources to analysing and assessing the likelihood of winning commercial bids against published requests for tenders. To optimise resources, Shoal aims to better predict bid outcomes and specifically understand:

  • likely ‘win themes’;
  • when a bid should have been submitted but wasn’t;
  • when a bid that was submitted should not have been; and
  • an indication of likely win percentage based on the ‘face value’ of the Request for Quote.

This research aims to inform the process of assessing likely win/loss results of bid submission to improve company efficiency.

Research to be Conducted

The proposed research is to determine the viability of Natural Language Processing (NLP) to solve the challenge of predicting bid outcomes, through understanding the unstructured bid and tender information. The project will centre on reviewing existing Shoal bid submissions that were successful and unsuccessful.
The research also aims to uncover the most appropriate NLP approach, and develop a prototype tool to trained on existing data sets.
The team would also like test the prototype NLP tool on new bids/tenders.
Additionally, this research will inform Shoal on the utility of Natural Language Processing more broadly and its likely benefits to other aspects of Shoal’s business.

Skills Required

If you’re a PhD student and meet some or all the below we want to hear from you. We strongly encourage women, indigenous and disadvantaged candidates to apply:

  • Good communication skills
  • Able to work in a multidisciplinary team
  • Knowledge of machine learning and NLP approaches
  • Programming and software skills
  • Report writing skills
  • Eager to gain industry experience with a SME
  • Knowledge of bid submissions favourable but not a requirement

Expected Outcomes

The research outcomes will be discussed and agreed upon with the selected PhD candidate and Academic Mentor. Shoal Group proposes the following outcomes from the research: :

  • A joint conference paper describing the research and the outcomes, deliverable into a mutually agreed conference
  • A working protype tool, validated using existing data sets and Shoal staff expert judgement, and installed of Shoal’s ICT system
  • Supporting tool documentation (guides and training material)
  • A final presentation to Shoal staff on the research outcomes, the application of the tool and the lessons learnt by the candidate
  • Enhance Shoal’s organisational bid submission capability

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.

It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 80% of their time on-site with the industry partner.  The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

Applications Close

22 January 2020


APR – 1282