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PhD Position in Natural Language Processing

Deadline: Tuesday 26 April 2022
Faculty/Services: Faculty of Science
Educational level: Master
Function type: PhD position
Closing date: 6 January 2022
Vacancy number: 7769

The PhD position is part of a newly established collaboration between the University of Amsterdam and Meta AI (formerly Facebook AI) Research. The project focuses on the development of natural language processing and machine learning methods for automated detection of misinformation online.

The spread of misinformation leads to undesirable consequences in many areas of societal life, e.g. in the political arena, healthcare and many others. Misleading content has the ability of manipulating public decision-making and, more generally, it decreases trust in public institutions and the media. The sheer volume of misinformation makes manual detection and analysis by experts infeasible, stressing the need for effective techniques for its automated detection. At the same time, it is crucial that the computational methods used for this purpose are transparent, unbiased and that their predictions are explainable. In this project, we will develop a new suite of machine learning methods for detection of misinformation that are inspired by research in the social sciences and are designed with explainability in mind. In particular, we will explore techniques from the areas of deep learning, multitask learning, graph neural networks and meta-learning.

We welcome applications from recent MSc graduates in relevant areas, such as Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing. An ideal candidate will have a strong technical background in natural language processing or machine learning, but also a keen interest in language and society. To apply, please submit a cover letter and CV, including the list of MSc courses taken and grades obtained.

What will you be doing

You will be expected to contribute to the project and to:

  • complete and defend a PhD thesis within the official appointment duration of four years;
  • present research results regularly at international workshops and conferences, and to publish them in conference proceedings and journals;
  • participate in and to contribute to the organisation of research activities and events at the Institute, such as workshops and colloquia.

All PhD candidates at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) are furthermore expected to make a small contribution to the institute’s educational mission, e.g., by working as teaching assistants for courses in their area of expertise and by assisting with the supervision of student research projects.

What we require of you

  • A Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, such as Natural Language Processing or Artificial Intelligence.
  • Technical skills and scientific interest to conduct cutting-edge research in natural language processing and machine learning.
  • An excellent academic track record.
  • Experience in natural language processing.
  • A serious interest in pursuing fundamental research.
  • Good writing and presentation skills.
  • Good social and organisational skills.
  • Full proficiency in spoken and written English.

Please note that knowledge of the Dutch language is not required for these positions, nor is it required to be able to live in Amsterdam. However, PhD candidates at the ILLC have the opportunity to attend Dutch language classes and if they wish and at the location where you will be working.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of four years, preferably starting on 1 February 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of four years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings.

Your salary, depending on your relevant experience on commencement of the employment contract, ranges between €2,434 to €3,111 gross per month on the basis of a full working week of 38 hours. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8.3% year-end allowance. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) is applicable.

About us

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

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 Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) is a research institute at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) in which researchers from the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Humanities. collaborate. Its central research area is the study of fundamental principles of encoding, transmission and comprehension of information. Research at ILLC is interdisciplinary, and aims at bringing together insights from various disciplines concerned with information and information processing, such as logic, mathematics, computer science, linguistics, natural language processing, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, music cognition, and philosophy.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


If you have any questions about the position, please contact (during office hours):

Job application

If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your letter and CV. We will accept applications until 6 January 2022.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize 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.

Application form:

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