PhD candidate in Neural Machine Translation

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 09 Oct 2022

PhD candidate in Neural Machine Translation
PhD candidate in Neural Machine Translation
Published Deadline Location
21 Sep 9 Oct Maastricht

The Department of Advanced Computing Sciences (DACS) at Maastricht University, the Netherlands, is looking for a PhD candidate in the field of Natural Language Processing and, more specifically, Neural Machine Translation. The successful candidate will conduct research and develop a multi-lingual translation model based on the latest developments in AI (Deep Learning), to be used in order to optimize user experience within extended reality applications.
Job description

The position is embedded in the Cognitive Systems group of the Department of Advanced Computing Sciences , and the candidate will work together with other PhD candidates, postdoctoral researchers, and other senior researchers. The candidate will conduct research in Natural Language Processing and, specifically, will contribute towards the development of a flexible multilingual machine translation model. The model will be adjustable to different settings and contexts (e.g. virtual assistants, online conferencing) making use of contextual information and transfer learning techniques, in eXtended Reality (XR) environments. The position is supported by a large-scale, multi-disciplinary Horizon Europe project, which brings together universities, companies, and end-users, all active in the fields of AI and XR, aiming at designing novel human-to-human and human-to-machine interactions within XR. The University of Maastricht, being the Scientific Coordinator of the project, is playing a key role in it.  

The tasks of the successful candidate include:

  • Research in machine translation and related interaction context, making use of the latest advanced in deep learning (e.g. transfer learning and zero-shot machine translation) and data science.
  • Publishing in top-tier journals and conferences.
  • Support in the integration of the produced models in eXtended Reality interfaces.
  • Participation in project meetings and contribution to reports, as well as possible travels across Europe and beyond for the implementation of the project and participation in conferences.
  • Assistance in teaching activities in the department.

  • Maastricht View on Google Maps

Maastricht University (UM)

  • A master’s degree (already completed or near completion) in NLP, deep learning, artificial intelligence, or a closely related field such as computer vision.
  • Excellent programming skills (esp. Python) are required.
  • Solid experience and interest in latest advances in AI, especially in the field of Deep Learning, with proven experience (e.g. through publications, prior projects, etc.).
  • Excellent command of English.
  • We are looking for a passionate and creative researcher, with serious interest in publishing in top venues in the field.
  • Team spirit is also very important, since a large team will work on the project, both within the department, as well as across other institutes in Europe.
  • Strong presentation, writing, communication and organization skills are required for this position.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

The full-time position is offered for a duration of four years, with yearly evaluations.

The salary will be set in PhD salary scale of the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities (€2.541 gross per month in first year to €3.247 in the fourth and final year). On top of this, there is an 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance. You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity) of Maastricht. Non-Dutch applicants could be eligible for a favorable tax treatment (30% ruling). 

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website  > About UM > Working at UM .

The preferred starting date is January 1st, 2023.

Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 22,000 students and about 5,000 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad.

The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience. For more information, visit .

Living and working in Maastricht | Situated in the heart of Europe and within 30 kilometers from the German and Belgian borders, Maastricht and its 120,000 inhabitants have a strong international character. It is a safe and family-friendly city with a history spanning more than 2,000 years. The city’s rich past is reflected everywhere in the streets: the ratio of monuments-to-inhabitants is roughly 1:73. If you are unfamiliar with the Netherlands, UM’s Knowledge Centre for International Staff will gladly assist you with practical matters such as housing.

The Faculty of Science and Engineering

Maastricht University heavily invests in the growth of its STEM research and education. The Faculty of Science and Engineering – which houses the Department of Advanced Computing Sciences – is one of the focal points of these developments. Within the Faculty of Science and Engineering, over 260 researchers and more than 2,700 students work on themes such as data science and artificial intelligence, circularity and sustainability, and fundamental physics.

Department of Advanced Computing Sciences | The Department of Advanced Computing Sciences is Maastricht University’s largest and oldest department broadly covering the fields of artificial intelligence, data science, computer science, mathematics and robotics. Over 100 researchers work and study in the Department of Advanced Computing Sciences, whose roots trace back to 1987. The department’s staff teaches approximately 800 bachelor’s and master’s students in 3 specialized study programmes in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.

Additional information

Applicants are asked to send in their application before October 10, 2022. Depending on your current location, you may be invited for an interview via MS Teams or in person. To apply for the position, submit the following documents via Academic Transfer:

  • Cover letter (1 page max), which includes a motivation of your interest in the vacancy and an explanation of why you would fit well for the PhD position;
  • A detailed curriculum vitae;
  • A course list of your Masters and Bachelor programs (including grades);
  • Results of a recent English language test, or other evidence of your English language capabilities;
  • Name and contact information of two references

(preferably in a single PDF document) via AcademicTransfer

Working at Maastricht University

Maastricht University distinguishes itself with its innovative education model, international character and multidisciplinary approach to research and education.

Read more

Apply via postal mail
Apply via postal mail

Don't forget to mention AcademicTransfer and the job number: AT2022.402 in your letter.

Back to the vacancy
Application procedure

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.

Please note, the system cannot upload the following attachments ( .htm .html).

View or Apply

Similar Positions