[Elsnet-list] PhD and Postdoc position at Tilburg University (Computational Linguistics / Psycholinguistics)

Emiel Krahmer e.j.krahmer at uvt.nl
Tue Mar 25 09:48:55 CET 2008


Within the Department of Communication and Information Sciences, we  
are looking for two new enthusiastic and competent colleagues, one at  
PhD and one at Post-doc level:

PhD RESEARCHER
Vacancy number 500.08.06, 4 years, fulltime

POST-DOC RESEARCHER
Vacancy number 500.08.07, 3 years, (parttime 80%)

These positions are part of the larger project "Bridging the gap  
between psycholinguistics and computational linguistics: The case of  
referring expressions,” funded by a Vici grant from the Netherlands  
Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), awarded to Emiel Krahmer.  
In spring 2009, a second PhD and a second Post-doc researcher will be  
hired, to complete the research team for this project.

Summary of the project

Real-life scenes contain many different objects, each of which can be  
referred to in many different ways. When a speaker wants to point out  
one of these objects to an addressee, the speaker usually has no  
problems in quickly producing a referring expression, supported with  
appropriate gestures and facial expressions, singling out the intended  
object (“Do you see the man in blue raincoat over there?”). How do  
speakers do this? Both in psycholinguistics and computational  
linguistics, researchers have addressed aspects of this question, but  
we still have a rather incomplete understanding of how the human  
production of referring expressions works. In this project, we try to  
bridge the gap between the two disciplines. Such a bridge has both  
theoretical and methodological advantages. Psycholinguistics has  
important insights to offer in the human production of referring  
expressions and a methodology involving carefully constructed and  
controlled experiments; computational linguistics offers a well- 
established approach involving corpus analysis and computational  
modeling. Together they can be harnessed to achieve new scientific  
insights in the human production of referring expressions, which in  
turn may result in a better understanding of speech production in  
general. This also has societal and technological relevance, since  
such insights are important for developing software characters with  
human-like appearances and with verbal and non-verbal communicative  
capabilities (“virtual humans”). For more information about the  
project, we refer to http://fdlwww.uvt.nl/~krahmer/Vici.pdf.

Requirements

	•	For one position, we seek a candidate with a background in  
psycholinguistics, communication & information sciences, social  
sciences or some related area, with experience in doing experiments,  
and preferably with a proven interest in either speech production, non- 
verbal communication, scene perception or adaptation.

	•	For the other position we are looking for a researcher with a  
background in computational linguistics, computer science or some  
related area, with programming experience and preferably with a proven  
interest in natural language generation or modeling human language  
production.

	•	Both positions can be filled at the PhD and at the Post-doc level.

	•	The PhD candidate has a (research) master degree in one of the  
mentioned area's, a strong interest in doing research, excellent  
writing skills and a good command of English.

	•	The Post-doc candidate has a PhD in one of the mentioned areas,  
excellent writing skills, a good command of English and an excellent  
track record of internationally refereed publications. Teaching  
experience, and a willingness to participate in the curriculum (e.g.,  
thesis supervision) is considered an advantege.

Information

For more information please contact Emiel Krahmer via email (E.J.Krahmer at uvt.nl 
) or phone (+31.13.466.3070). Relevant links: Tilburg University (http://www.uvt.nl 
  / http://www.tilburguniversity.nl), Department of Communication and  
Information Sciences (http://www.tilburguniversity.nl/faculties/humanities/dci/ 
).

Terms of employment

Tilburg University is rated among the top Dutch employers, offering  
excellent terms of employment. The collective labour agreement of  
Tilburg University applies. The selected candidates will start with a  
contract for one year, concluded by an evaluation. Upon a positive  
outcome of the first-year evaluation, the candidate will be offered an  
employment contract for the remaining years.

The PhD candidate will receive a starting salary of € 2.000 gross per  
month in the first year, up to € 2.558 in the 4th year. The selected  
candidate is expected to have written a PhD thesis by the end of the  
contract (which may be based on articles).

The Post-doc candidate will be ranked as a researcher with a starting  
salary (based on fulltime) of minimally € 2.916 gross per month.  
Furthermore, the usual facilities (desk, computer, options model) are  
offered, as well as support with housing, immigrations, etc.

Applications

Applications should include cover letter, Curriculum Vitae, and names  
of two references. Application letters should be sent before the  
application deadline of April 20, 2008, by regular mail to mr. P. van  
Balen, Human Resources, Faculty of Humanities, Room D304, Tilburg  
University, P.O. Box 90153, NL-5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands or by  
email to solliciterenfdl at uvt.nl. In your letter, please refer to the  
relevant vacancy code.

It is the policy of the university to increase the number of women  
employed. Also members of ethnic minority groups and handicapped  
people are expressly invited to apply.


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