Universiteit van Amsterdam

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PhD candidate in Computational Linguistics and Dialogue Processing

Publication date
3 September 2015
Level of education
Salary indication
€2,146 to €2,744 gross per month
Closing date
16 November 2015
38 hours per week
Vacancy number

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) is a highly international interdisciplinary research institute at the University of Amsterdam, which aims at bringing together insights from various fields concerned with information and information processing, such as logic, mathematics, computer science, artificial intelligence, linguistics, computational linguistics, cognitive science, musicology, and philosophy. The ILLC is looking for a highly motivated, creative and talented PhD candidate to join the newly established Dialogue Modelling Group led by  Raquel Fernández. The mission of the group 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.

Project description

The PhD position is part of an NWO VIDI project focused on studying linguistic interaction in the presence of asymmetry, that is, imbalances or mismatches between dialogue participants. Looking into asymmetric settings provides a great opportunity for investigating the dynamic changes that linguistic interaction can potentially bring about: how do our choices of words and phrases contribute to language learning, to knowledge transfer, or to opinion shifts? The project has a broad scope, including first and second language learning, computational social science, and human-machine interaction. The successful candidate is expected to have a strong interest in some of these areas or generally in dialogue processing.


Ideal candidates have an excellent Master's degree in Computational Linguistics, Linguistics, Logic, Psycholinguistics, Cognitive Science, Artificial Intelligence, or Computer Science, and have shown ability for conducting original research. Candidates with an interdisciplinary background are particularly encouraged to apply. Prior work on computational semantics or pragmatics and especially on dialogue processing would be a definite plus. Good programming skills are important and a keen interest in problem solving and research is essential. You must be able to work independently and in a structured manner, and have good collaborative skills.

The successful applicant will be expected to fulfil the following tasks:

  • complete and defend a PhD thesis within the official appointment duration of four years;
  • regularly present intermediate research results at international workshops and conferences, and publish them in proceedings and journals;
  • collaborate with the researchers in the Dialogue Modelling Group and other relevant parts of the ILLC;
  • participate in the organisation of research activities and events at the ILLC, such as seminars, workshops and conferences;
  • assist in teaching activities in subjects relevant to the candidate's research activities.

Further information

For more information about the position, please contact:


The successful candidate will be employed by the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam. The full-time appointment will be on a temporary basis for a maximum period of four years. At first, a contract will be given for 18 months. If positively evaluated, the contract will be extended by a further 30 months and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis).

On the basis of a full-time appointment (38 hours per week), the gross monthly salary amounts to €2,146 during the first year, rising to €2,744 during the fourth year. PhD candidates are not considered students but employees in the Netherlands: the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities is applicable.

Preferred starting date: 1 February 2016.


Applications should include the following information (in one single PDF file, using your surname as file name):

  • a letter of motivation explaining why you are interested in this position (at most 1 page);
  • a statement of research interests, emphasising possible connections to the themes mentioned above (at most 2 pages);
  • a CV, including details of research experience and (if applicable) URLs for downloading sample publications and/or thesis manuscripts (do not send these as part of your application);
  • a list of all Master-level modules taken, with a transcript of grades;
  • contact details of two or three referees who can provide further information about you.

Completed applications should be submitted by 16 November 2015 to application-science@uva.nl and should state your name and vacancy number 15-326 in the subject field.

Please note that you may also apply if you are about to complete your Master’s degree but have not yet done so by the application date.

No agencies please

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