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Are you looking for a challenging position in a dynamic setting? The Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC) currently has a vacant PhD position as part of the UvA-wide project Language Sciences for Social Good, led by principal investigators Floris Roelofsen, Paul Boersma and Antal van den Bosch.

What are you going to do?

You will develop new methods for automatic speech recognition that can be applied to languages and language variants for which only small amounts of training data are available. This mainly concerns diverse regional and socio-ethnic varieties of Dutch, but also regional languages such as Frisian, Twents, Limburgian and West-Flemish.

The research will be driven by fundamental scientific questions in the realm of speech technology as well as by applied questions, predominantly from the security domain. An important subquestion will be whether speech or language models that are based on data from small numbers of speakers can lead to unintended biases or to identifiability of the speakers, and how to deal with such issues. The parties (University and TNO) intend to publish all results open access and open source, in accordance with UvA and NWO guidelines.

You will be supported by a supervising team consisting of a phonetician and a language technologist, both with extensive knowledge of the Dutch linguistic situation, as well as by researchers at TNO, where you will be work one day per week on location. For a more detailed preliminary project description, contact the chair of the selection committee.

Tasks and responsibilities:

  • submission of a PhD thesis within the period of appointment;

  • participating in meetings of the relevant research groups;

  • assembling a comprehensive database of training data from various sources;

  • publishing multiple peer-reviewed articles, of which at least one single-authored;

  • presenting intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;

  • organising knowledge dissemination activities;

  • participation in the Research School and Faculty of Humanities PhD training programmes.

What do you have to offer?

You have a strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research, and enthusiasm for communicating academic research to non-academic audiences.

Your experience and profile:

  • a completed Master's degree in artificial intelligence or speech technology, or related. You may apply if you have not yet completed your Master's degree only if you provide a signed letter from your supervisor stating that you will graduate before 1 September 2023;

  • excellent research skills demonstrated by an outstanding Master's thesis and a demonstrable capacity to develop a track record of publishing in high-ranking journals and/or with leading presses;

  • excellent command of Dutch and English.

Please note that if you already hold a doctorate/PhD or are working towards obtaining a similar degree elsewhere, you will not be admitted to a doctoral programme at the UvA.

What can we offer you?

We offer a temporary employment contract for the period of 48 months. The first contract will be for 16 months, with an extension for the following 32 months, contingent on a positive performance evaluation within the first 12 months. The employment contract is for up to 38 hours a week. The preferred starting date is 01 September 2023.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and relevant experience, ranges from € 2,541 up to a maximum of € 3,247. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8,3% year-end allowance. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

What else do we offer

  • excellent possibilities for further professional development and education;

  • an enthusiastic, inspiring and professional academic team.

Read the full vacancy text here