News and Events: Open Positions

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Two ILLC PhD candidates in Statistical Computational Linguistics

Publication date
15 April 2014
Level of education
Salary indication
~2,083 to ~2,664 gross per month
Closing date
18 May 2014
38 hours per week
Vacancy number

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) is a research institute at the University of Amsterdam, 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, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, musicology and philosophy. Research is organized in three research groups: Logic and Computation (LoCo), Logic and Language (LoLa) and Language and Computation (LaCo). See also the personal pages of individual ILLC staff members.

The Statistical Language Processing and Learning (SLPL) Lab, part of the Language and Computation research programme, is looking for two PhD candidates in statistical machine translation with interest in meaning-preserving statistical models. The University of Amsterdam provides an excellent environment for research in this area with world-class faculty in language and computation.

Project description

Both PhD positions are part of a VICI project within the Statistical Language Processing and Learning (SLPL) Lab. lead by Dr. Khalil Sima~an. Research topics in the SLPL Lab. include statistical machine translation, paraphrasing, parsing, morphology and machine learning for language processing.

The PhD candidate will be expected to fulfill 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 other relevant parts of ILLC;
  • participate in the organisation of research activities and events at ILLC, such as conferences, workshops and joint publications;
  • assist in teaching activities at ILLC.


The PhD candidate should have:

  • a Master's degree with excellent grades in a relevant field such as computational linguistics or natural language processing with strong background in statistical modeling combined with some background in formal grammars, formal language theory, formal linguistics and/or formal semantics;
  • programming skills and passion for empirical work with big language data;
  • good academic writing and presentation skills;
  • good social and organisational skills.

Further information

For more information about the position, please contact dr Khalil Sima~an at .


Appointment (1,0 fte) is on a temporary basis for a period of four years. In the first instance, a contract will be given for 18 months. If positively evaluated, the contract will be extended for 30 months.

On the basis of a full-time appointment (38 hours per week), the gross monthly salary amounts to ~2,083 during the first year, rising to ~2,664 during the fourth year. The Collective Employment Agreement (CAO) of the Dutch Universities is applicable.

Starting date: Before 1 October 2014.

Job application

Applications should include the following information, in separate pdf files (not zipped), using surname, initials and a self-evident word as file names, e.g. , Smith J CV:

  • a curriculum vitae (including an url allowing download of pdf of M.Sc. thesis, if relevant);
  • a letter of motivation (at most 1 page) explaining why you are interested in this position;
  • a research statement (at most 2 pages), explaining your research interests and how you think they can be related to the topics mentioned in the Job Description above;
  • a list of all university courses taken, including a transcript of grades;
  • the names and contact details (with email address) of two or three academic referees, one of whom should be the main supervisor of your Master thesis.

Completed applications should be submitted by 18 May 2014 to and should state your name and vacancy number 14-137 in the subject field. The committee does not guarantee that late or incomplete applications will be considered.

No agencies please

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