News and Events: Open Positions

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PhD position in Statistical Computational Linguistics

Publication date
29 July 2014
Level of education
Salary indication
~2,083 to ~2,664 gross per month
Closing date
15 September 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). Check here for an overview of the research being carried out in the different groups. For the research carried out by the individual staff members of ILLC, see their personal pages via People at ILLC.

The Statistical Language Processing and Learning (SLPL) Lab, part of the Language and Computation research programme, is looking for a PhD candidate 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.

Job description

The PhD position is part of a VICI project within the Statistical Language Processing and Learning (SLPL) Lab led by professor 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 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 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 modelling 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; academic writing and presentation skills;
  • good social and organisational skills.

Further information

For more information about the position, please contact:


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:  as soon as possible before 1 January 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;
  • a list of all university courses taken, including a transcript of grades;
  • the name and contact details (including email address) of two ~ three referees who can provide details about your profile (one of whom should be the main supervisor of your Master thesis).

Completed applications should be submitted by 15 September 2014 to, and should state your name and vacancy number 14-264 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.