Universiteit van Amsterdam

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Postdoctoral researcher in Neural Dialogue Modelling

Deadline: Monday 6 May 2019
Postdoctoral researcher in Neural Dialogue Modelling
Publication date 27 March 2019
Closing date 6 May 2019
Level of education PhD
Hours 38 hours per week
Salary indication €2,709 to €4,274 gross per month
Vacancy number 19-183

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) at the University of Amsterdam invites applications for a postdoctoral position in the Dialogue Modelling Group led by Raquel Fernández.

The ILLC is an interdisciplinary research institute where linguists, logicians, mathematicians, computer scientists, cognitive scientists, and philosophers collaborate. It offers an international research environment with world-class faculty in all of its areas of specialisation. The institute is located in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, renown for its historic system of canals, its laid-back cosmopolitan atmosphere, and its excellent connections to the rest of Europe and the world.

Project description

This position is part of the DREAM Project ('Distributed dynamic REpresentations for diAlogue Management'), which is funded by an ERC Consolidator Grant and will eventually employ two PhD candidates and two postdoctoral researchers.

The aim of the DREAM Project is to establish new computational models for dialogue agents that can learn from data about language use, integrating linguistic and perceptual information and leading to more human-like and effective communication. These models will be grounded in linguistic theories of dialogue, but exploit recent advances in artificial neural networks that will allow them to learn the representations that they manipulate directly from experience. Model analysis and interpretation are key aspects of the project.

You will become a member of the Dialogue Modelling Group, the mission of which is to understand dialogical interaction by developing empirically-motivated formal and computational models that can be applied to various dialogue processing tasks and to human-machine interaction. The group has a wide international network of collaborators, both in academia and in industry research labs.

You will be expected to contribute to this broad research agenda. Specifically, we will ask you to perform the following tasks:

  • to regularly present research results at international workshops and conferences, and to publish them in conference proceedings and journals;
  • to contribute to implementation efforts enabling the computational research carried out within the project and the group;
  • to contribute to the supervision of PhD candidates in the group (with the opportunity to get formally recognised as copromotor);
  • to participate in and to contribute to the organisation of research activities and events at the Institute, such as workshops and colloquia.

While this is primarily a research position, as a postdoctoral researcher at the ILLC you will be expected to also make a modest contribution to the institute’s educational mission, e.g., by supervising MSc or BSc theses or by giving guest lectures in courses related to your own area of research.


You should have completed, or expect to complete before the start of your appointment, a PhD in a relevant area of research, such as Computational Linguistics, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, or Cognitive Science. Candidates with an interdisciplinary background are particularly encouraged to apply. Furthermore, you should possess:

  • a strong publication record (relative to your career stage);
  • excellent writing and presentation skills;
  • good social and organisational skills;
  • full professional proficiency in spoken and written English.

We are looking for a candidate who has the technical skills and the scientific interest to conduct cutting-edge research in Machine Learning that is directly informed by ideas from Linguistics and Psycholinguistics.

Please note that knowledge of the Dutch language is not required for this position, nor is it required for being able to live in Amsterdam. However, members of staff at the ILLC have the opportunity to attend Dutch language classes if they wish.

Further information

For informal inquiries regarding this position or the application procedure, you are welcome to contact:


The successful candidate will be employed by the Faculty of Science on a fixed-term full-time position (38 hours per week). The appointment is intended to be for a period of (up to) three years. The initial contract will be for 12 months. This will be extended with a further 24 months after a positive assessment.

The gross monthly salary will range from €2,709 to €4,274 (scale 10), depending on experience. The annual salary will be supplemented with an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities applies.

Starting date: 1 September 2019 or shortly thereafter

Job application

The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity.

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

Your application should include the following information (in one single PDF file):

  • a cover letter, including a description of your research interests and accomplishments, as well as an explanation for why you are applying for this position (at most two pages);
  • a detailed curriculum vitae (CV), including your list of publications;
  • links to three selected publications available online, with a short motivation for the selection made (mature drafts of papers or papers currently under submission are also acceptable);
  • a link to your PhD thesis available online (if available already) or an indication of the current status of your PhD thesis;
  • the names, affiliations, and email addresses of three people we can contact for letters of reference for you.

Please quote vacancy number 19-183 in your cover letter.

Submit your application no later than 6 May 2019 via the link below and use the CV field to upload the PDF file specified above. Only applications that conform to these instructions are ensured full consideration by the search committee. In particular, please do not submit more than one file. #LI-DNP

Application form: https://ssl1.peoplexs.com/Peoplexs22/CandidatesPortalNoLogin/ApplicationForm.cfm?PortalID=16107&VacatureID=1036354

Please note that this newsitem has been archived, and may contain outdated information or links.