PhD/Postdoc position in Natural language processing – Conversational agents University of Antwerp, Department of Linguistics Belgium

PhD/Postdoc position, Natural language processing – Conversational agents

 

The CLiPS research group on Computational Linguistics of the Department of Linguistics of the University of Antwerp has full-time vacancies for one senior (postdoc) researcher and two PhD researchers in the area of Computational Linguistics (Natural Language Processing) for research on building Conversational Agents, funded by the Flemish Ministry of Economics, Science and Innovation.

 

Research group

The CLiPS computational linguistics group is part of the CLiPS research center (http://www.uantwerpen.be/clips) associated with the linguistics department at the University of Antwerp. It has a long tradition and strong international reputation in natural language understanding, text analytics, machine learning, computational psycholinguistics, and digital humanities. Together with other CLiPS research groups on child language acquisition, psycholinguistics, and sociolinguistics, we provide a strong interdisciplinary environment combining methodologies and insights from linguistics, psycholinguistics, computer science, artificial intelligence, corpus linguistics, and cognitive science. The group has available a state of the art computing and experimentation infrastructure and a broad range of national and international collaborations with both academic and industrial partners.

 

Project

As part of a recent initiative of the regional government to boost Artificial Intelligence in Flanders, an ambitious research program has been initiated. The CLiPS computational linguistics group will be responsible in this program for research on Natural Language Processing, more specifically on the development of Conversational Agents (chatbots, dialogue systems) that perceive their physical environment, are capable of adapting to their users (personalization), and capable of reasoning about different domains. The CLiPS team will work together closely on this topic with PhDs and senior researchers at NLP research groups in Brussels, Ghent, and Leuven.

 

Job descriptions

The postdoc researcher

  • will be responsible for developing and evaluating new conversational agent algorithms;

  • will assist the project coordinator with the management of the project at CLiPS;

  • will coordinate the CLiPS research with that of the project partners in Ghent, Brussels, and Leuven;

  • will co-supervise the two PhD researchers employed on this project;

  • will publish and present research results in international peer reviewed journals and conferences;

  • will be involved in competitive efforts to acquire additional funding.

 

Profile and requirements

  • You hold (or will obtain during the application period) a doctorate (PhD) in Artificial Intelligence, Engineering, Data Science, Computational Linguistics or other relevant areas.

  • You have expertise in Computational Linguistics (Natural Language Processing), and Machine Learning (including Deep Neural Networks).

  • Previous experience with Conversational Agents or Dialogue Systems is an advantage.

  • You have excellent programming skills (at least in Python and preferably in statistical packages like R or Matlab).

  • You have an excellent track record of publications in high-impact journals.

  • You have excellent English language skills in academic writing and presentation.

  • You are a team player, comfortable with working in a complex project involving multidisciplinary colleagues in different research groups.

 

We offer a full-time position for one year, extendible to three years (or longer), in a vibrant research environment with state-of-the-art infrastructure, and cooperation with strong research groups and industrial partners.

Your full time gross monthly salary will range between around 4000 and 6000 euro per month, depending on previous experience.  In addition there is  a holiday bonus and an end of year bonus. The start of the appointment is on September 1, 2019 at the earliest, and, with positive evaluation after 1 year, is extended until the end of a normal 3-year postdoc period.The successful candidate will be expected to relocate to (the environment of) Antwerp.

 

The PhD Researchers

  • will be responsible for developing and evaluating new algorithms for conversational agents, and implementation of these in Python;

  • will present their work at regular project meetings and will publish and present research results in international peer reviewed journals and conferences;

  • will work together with the post-doctoral researcher employed on the same project at CLiPS;

Profile and requirements

  • You hold (or will obtain during the application period) a master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence, Engineering, Computational Linguistics or another relevant area.

  • You are passionate about Computational Linguistics (Natural Language Processing) and Machine Learning.

  • You have excellent programming skills (at least Python and statistical packages such as R or Matlab).

  • You have achieved outstanding academic results, and are passionate about research

  • You have excellent English language skills in academic writing and presentation. Knowledge of Dutch is an advantage.

  • You are comfortable with working in a team on a complex project involving multidisciplinary colleagues in different research groups.

  • Previous experience with Conversational Agents (chatbots, dialogue systems), deep learning, and personalization is an advantage.

We offer full-time scholarship positions in a vibrant research environment with state-of-the-art infrastructure, and in cooperation with strong research groups and industrial partners.

 

The PhD researchers will receive a tax free monthly grant of around 2200 euro per month (exact amount depends on number of children and years of experience). In addition there is  a holiday bonus and an end of year bonus. The start of the appointment is on September 1, 2019 at the earliest, and, with positive evaluation after 1 year, is extended until the end of a normal 4-year PhD period. The successful candidate will be expected to relocate to (the environment of) Antwerp.

 

Application Instructions for both postdoc and PhD candidates

  • Please send an extended CV and motivation letter to walter.daelemans@uantwerpen.be, before the closing date of  August 15, 2019, but preferably as soon as possible.

  • For questions about the profile and the description of work, please contact walter.daelemans@uantwerpen.be

  • In all e-mail correspondence please use the tag [CA-project] in the subject line.

 

The University of Antwerp is a family friendly organization, with a focus on equal opportunities and diversity. Our HR-policy for researchers was awarded by the European Commission with the quality label HR Excellence in research.

 

We support the Science4Refugees initiative and encourage asylum-seeking, refugee scientists and researchers to apply for a job at the University of Antwerp.


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