PhD position in Data-Driven Computational Semantics and Geographic Information Systems — Utrecht University Application deadline: September 1, 2018

Job description
The Utrecht Institute of Linguistics (UiL OTS) invites applications for a PhD position in data-driven computational semantics. The project will develop computational models of spatial meaning that are theoretically grounded in linguistic and cognitive theories of meaning. This novel combination of semantic representation, data-driven learning and evaluation against a real-life problem is expected to substantially advance the ability of users to interact with geographic databases, including question-answering interactive systems. 

The project will be supervised by Dr. Tejaswini Deoskar and Prof. Yoad Winter, in collaboration with Dr. Joost Zwarts and NLP researchers from the Language and Computation group at the ILLC, University of Amsterdam (Prof. Khalil Sima’an, Dr. Jelle Zuidema). The empirical study of elicited user data will be carried out in collaboration with Prof. James Hampton (Psychology, City, University of London). Work at the UiL OTS will be part of the ROCKY project, financed by an ERC Advanced grant to Prof. Yoad Winter.

Requirements
The successful applicant for this position should have a strong background in artificial intelligence, machine-learning and computer science as well as an interest in formal semantics. Applicants should ideally hold, or be about to complete, an excellent Master's degree in computational linguistics or a related domain (artificial intelligence, machine learning and/or computer science). Good programming skills, proficiency in spoken and written English, as well as a keen interest in problem solving and research are essential.

Tasks
Tasks for the PhD candidate will include:
- completion and defence of a PhD thesis within four years;
- regular presentation of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
- publication of peer-reviewed articles in established international journals or conference proceedings;
- help with organizational tasks connected to the project, such as the organization of conferences and workshops;
- participation in training programmes and expert meetings scheduled for the project;
- participation in selected training programmes scheduled for the Research Institute, Graduate School and the National Research School.

Qualifications
The successful applicant for this position should have a strong background in artificial intelligence, machine-learning and computer science as well as an interest in formal semantics. Applicants should ideally hold, or be about to complete, an excellent Master's degree in Computational Linguistics or a related domain (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and/or Computer Science). Good programming skills, proficiency in spoken and written English, as well as a keen interest in problem solving and research are essential.

Offer
The successful candidate will be appointed on a fixed-term full-time basis (1.0 FTE), starting 1 September 2018 or soon thereafter. The appointment is initially for a period of 18 months. Upon good performance and a positive evaluation, the contract will be extended for the remaining period of 30 months (4 years in total). The gross monthly salary starts at €2,266 in the first year, and ends at €2,897 (Scale P Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8 % and a year-end bonus of 8.3 % per year. We offer a pension scheme, (partly paid) parental leave, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information is available at: working at Utrecht University..

About the organization
A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.
The Faculty of Humanities has around 6,000 students and 900 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city center of Utrecht, where the Faculty is housed, contribute to an inspiring working environment.
The UiL OTS is part of Utrecht University, one of the largest comprehensive universities in Europe, with a rich history dating back to 1636. The institute offers a very international English-speaking research environment. Researchers at UiL OTS are distributed across 6 research groups, focusing on the following range of linguistic subdomains:  Language, Logic and Information (to which the current project belongs), Linguistic Theory and Language Acquisition, Language Processing and Language Pathology, Language Variation, Language and Education, Language and Communication. It comprises approximately 20 Full Professors, a dozen Postdocs and roughly 40 PhD students. The institute is located in the beautiful and historic city of Utrecht, with excellent connections to both Amsterdam (20 minutes by train) and to the rest of Europe and beyond.

Additional information
If you are interested, please contact the Project Director (Yoad Winter - http://www.phil.uu.nl/~yoad/) or the Research Coordinator at UiL OTS (Maaike Schoorlemmer - m.schoorlemmer@uu.nl) for more information.

Apply
Applications should consist of the following materials:
- a cover letter of maximum two A4 pages explaining the applicant’s reasons for applying for the position and how they can contribute to the project in terms of expertise;
- a cv including personal and contact details;
- a writing sample of maximum 7,000 words. This can (but need not) be a chapter of the applicant’s Master’s thesis. In this case, however, it is expected that the writing sample would still be sufficiently self-contained;
- copies of relevant diplomas and grade transcripts (these need not be certified at the time of application, but it is expected that certified copies can be provided at a later date);
- names and full contact details of two academic referees.
Please include your name and a reference to the position you are applying for in the filenames and use the application button below to apply.

Applications are only accepted through the job interface of the Utrecht University:
https://ssl1.peoplexs.com/Peoplexs22/CandidatesPortalNoLogin/Vacancy.cfm?PortalID=4124&VacatureID=976749

Interviews will be held on September 17, 2018.

The application deadline is
September 1, 2018

Об авторе Лидия Пивоварова

СПбГУ - старший преподаватель, University of Helsinki - PhD student http://philarts.spbu.ru/structure/sub-faculties/itah_phil/teachers/pivovarova
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