Institute for Logic, Language and Computation

News and Events: Postdoc and PhD position in Computational Linguistics/Humanities

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Newsitem added on 22 September 2011.

Starting in the fall of 2011, the Computational Humanities programme of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences has the following two vacancies:

(1) Postdoc High-level Pattern Recognition with U-DOP
34.2 hours a week (0.9 fte)

The Postdoc will be part of the research project The Riddle of Literary Quality, led by KNAW, Huygens ING in cooperation with the Fryske Akademy and the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) of the University of Amsterdam.

Literary quality is one of the most fascinating issues in Literary Studies. Scholars have found that social and cultural factors play an important role in the acceptance of a fictional work as literary or non-literary and as good or bad. The project The Riddle of Literary Quality will research whether formal characteristics of a text also play a role in readers' decisions to call a fictional text literary or non-literary, and good or bad. Many formal characteristics can be thought of as having a part in this, e.g. the use of difficult words, the number of adjectives and adverbs, or complex syntactic style. The project will integrate the analysis of low-level lexical-statistical features and high-level syntactic and narrative features. More information can be found at http://literaryquality.huygens.knaw.nl/.

The project will be coordinated by Dr Karina van Dalen-Oskam (Huygens ING) in close collaboration with Prof. Dr Rens Bod (ILLC) and Dr Hanno Brand (Fryske Akademy). The project team will further consist of a PhD and a Developer. The project is part of the Computational Humanities Programme funded by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and connected to the e-Humanities Group (http://ehumanities.nl/).

The Postdoc will be working on the adaptation and application of high-level pattern recognition on a selected corpus of literary texts in Dutch and will do smaller experiments on Frisian and English fictional texts. The high-level tools will be based on Probabilistic Tree-Substitution Grammars (PTSGs) within the Data-Oriented Parsing (DOP) framework as developed at the ILLC by Rens Bod c.s. The research will focus on syntactic complexity relating this to literary complexity but also plans experiments with still higher level patterns such as narrative structure.

The Postdoc will collaborate with team members in the development of new tools and in presentations and publications about the project, and will report on the higher level pattern recognition in international publications.

Position requirements

  • PhD in Computational Linguistics or a closely related field
  • Knowledge of Dutch, English, and possibly also of Frisian
  • International track record, evidenced by peer-reviewed publications
  • Excellent programming skills and affinity with Digital Humanities
  • Able to work as member of a closely collaborating team
  • Willing to reach out to and collaborate with national and international colleagues in related research disciplines
  • Willing to work at different locations (The Hague, Amsterdam, and occasionally Leeuwarden) with Amsterdam as the main location

Appointment and Salary The position involves a temporary appointment with Huygens ING for 4 years with a 2-month period of probation. Applicants should have the right to work in the Netherlands for the duration of the contract. Depending on training and work experience, the maximum gross monthly salary coming with a full-time appointment will amount to a maximum of € 3.755,-(Collective Agreement for Dutch universities), excluding 8% holiday pay and a 8,3% year-end bonus.

Applications

Please send a letter of application including
1. Letter of motivation
2. CV
3. Two selected publications
4. Names and addresses of two referees
before October 10, 2011 to Bedrijfsbureau Huygens ING, t.a.v. Hetty Labots, Personnel Department, P.O. Box 95366, 2509 CJ The Hague, The Netherlands or by e-mail to sollicitaties at huygens.knaw.nl.

(2) PhD student (Promovendus) Literary Quality
38 hours a week (1.0 fte)

The PhD will be part of the research project The Riddle of Literary Quality, led by KNAW, Huygens ING in cooperation with the Fryske Akademy and the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) of the University of Amsterdam.

Literary quality is one of the most fascinating issues in Literary Studies. Scholars have found that social and cultural factors play an important role in the acceptance of a fictional work as literary or non-literary and as good or bad. The project The Riddle of Literary Quality will research whether formal characteristics of a text also play a role in readers' decisions to call a fictional text literary or non-literary, and good or bad. Many formal characteristics can be thought of as having a part in this, e.g. the use of difficult words, the number of adjectives and adverbs, or complex syntactic style. The project will integrate the analysis of low-level lexical-statistical features and high-level syntactic and narrative features. More information can be found at http://literaryquality.huygens.knaw.nl/.

The project will be coordinated by Dr Karina van Dalen-Oskam (Huygens ING) in close collaboration with Prof. Dr Rens Bod (ILLC) and Dr Hanno Brand (Fryske Akademy). The project team will further consist of a Postdoc and a Developer. The project is part of the Computational Humanities Programme funded by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and connected to the e-Humanities Group (http://ehumanities.nl/).

The PhD will be working on the research into and the analysis of the low-level features that will be selected for analysis. The PhD will therefore combine knowledge of existing research into literary quality with new empirical approaches as developed in the area of digital/computational humanities. The PhD will collaborate with team members in the development of new tools and in presentations and publications about the project, and will report on part of the work in a dissertation to be defended at the University of Amsterdam.

Position requirements

  • Master in Literary Studies or a closely related field
  • Knowledge of Dutch, English, and possibly also of Frisian
  • Affinity with empirical research
  • Affinity with information technology and willing to learn basic programming skills
  • Able to work as member of a closely collaborating team
  • Willing to reach out to and collaborate with national and international colleagues in related research disciplines
  • Willing to work at different locations (The Hague, Amsterdam, and occasionally Leeuwarden) with The Hague as the main location

Appointment and Salary

The appointment will be for 12 months. Upon positive evaluation, it will be extended with another 36 months (full-time). Applicants should have the right to work in the Netherlands for the duration of the contract. The salary starts at € 2,042.- in the first year and increases to € 2,612.- in the fourth year, based on a full-time appointment (Collective Agreement for Dutch universities), excluding 8% holiday pay and a 8,3% year-end bonus.

Applications

Please send a letter of application including
1. a curriculum vitae;
2. a letter of recommendation;
3. a list of courses followed and a copy of the MA diploma (please provide translations of these documents in English or Dutch where appropriate);
4. a copy of the MA thesis or a writing sample of it;
5. an extended letter of motivation explaining the applicant's qualifications for this position (max. 1,000 words).
before October 10, 2011 to Bedrijfsbureau Huygens ING, t.a.v. Hetty Labots, Personnel Department, P.O. Box 95366, 2509 CJ The Hague, The Netherlands or by e-mail to sollicitaties at huygens.knaw.nl