PhD position in Machine Learning for Natural Language Processing

Updated: 7 months ago
Deadline: ;

The Language Technology Lab  at the Informatics Institute of the University of Amsterdam invites applications for a fully-funded four-year PhD candidate position in machine learning for natural language processing.

You will work under the supervision of Dr Vlad Niculae to investigate and improve the modelling of complex natural language phenomena through the lens of machine learning. Phenomena of interest include discourse and argumentation structures, conversation modelling, coreference, syntactic and semantic structure, multilinguality. We will rely on a selection of techniques from areas like optimization, sparsity, structured prediction, probabilistic modeling and geometry, in order to explore hypotheses about language and build better fitting and more scrutable models with fewer resources required. We will always put first the social and political impact of the technology we develop.

What are you going to do?

You will:

  • innovate techniques for representing and modelling language phenomena, pushing boundaries in expressiveness and efficiency;
  • design and perform controlled experiments to gain modelling insight and answer computational linguistic research questions;
  • get comfortable and confident with optimization and ML algorithms and implementation, beyond deep learning;
  • complete and defend your PhD thesis;
  • become active in the research community and collaborate within and outside the Informatics Institute;
  • publish and present work regularly at international conferences, workshops, and journals;
  • assist in teaching activities (labs / tutorials) and in supervising bachelor and master students.

What do we require?
  • Master's degree (completed or near completion: see below) in a relevant discipline, such as computer science, computational linguistics, information science or similar;
  • serious interest in pursuing fundamental research;
  • fluency in English;
  • commitment to maintaining an inclusive, collaborative, diverse, supportive work environment.

We especially encourage candidates with an interdisciplinary background, especially linguistics and/or humanities.

If you are interested but unsure if you are qualified, please contact Dr Vlad Niculae before applying. If your Master’s degree is near completion, it must be completed before the start date. Knowledge of the Dutch language is not required for this position, knowledge of the Dutch language is also not required for general life in Amsterdam. However, the UvA provides the opportunity to attend Dutch language classes if desired.

Our offer

We offer a temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students. We respect your contractual hours and we value work-life balance.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,395 to €3,061 (scale P) gross per month, based on a full-time contract of 38 hours a week. This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities  is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here .


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:

  • Dr Vlad Niculae , Assistant professor 

About the Faculty of Science and the Informatics Institute 

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The mission of the Informatics Institute is to perform curiosity-driven and use-inspired fundamental research in Computer Science. The main research themes are Artificial Intelligence, Computational Science and Systems and Network Engineering. Our research involves complex information systems at large, with a focus on collaborative, data driven, computational and intelligent systems, all with a strong interactive component.

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

The Informatics Institute strives for a better gender balance in its staff. We therefore strongly encourage women to apply for this position.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by closing date (5 weken na publicatiedatum). You may apply online by using the link below.

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • a motivation letter and CV;
  • a link to your Master’s thesis, internship report, or similar;
  • an (unofficial) transcript or list/summary of your relevant Bachelor and Master courses, attaching any clarifying notes you see fit.

We will invite potential candidates for interviews within the first two weeks of December.

No agencies please

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