PhD position in NLP for Responsible Data Science University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Science – Informatics Institute Netherlands

PhD position in NLP for Responsible Data Science

Faculty of Science – Informatics Institute

Publication date 28 February 2019

Closing date 28 March 2019

Level of education Master's degree

Hours 38 hours per week

Salary indication €2,325 to €2,972 gross per month

Vacancy number 19-124


The University of Amsterdam (UvA) invites applications for a PhD position for four years. The position is part of the national 'Digital Society' program, which is funded by the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU).


Project description

The use of deep learning methodologies in the AI research area of natural language processing (NLP) has resulted in tremendous advances for many NLP tasks. One of the most challenging NLP tasks is the automated generation of natural language sentences or sequences of sentences.Increasingly these techniques are used in real-world applications, including journalism, creative industries, and e-commerce. As a consequence, there is a strong demand for highly effective, transparent, and explainable algorithms and models for natural language generation.


Within this research project, the PhD candidate will investigate and develop novel language generation approaches based on deep learning methodologies that effective, transparent, and explainable. Depending on the PhD student’s interests, relevant research scenarios can include abstractive summarization, neural machine translation, and dialog systems.


The PhD candidate will be based at the Informatics Institute of the University of Amsterdam and collaborate with other researchers within the Digital Society program.



  • Conduct computer science research with a special focus on deep learning for natural language processing;
  • publish in top tier conferences and journals in relevant areas;
  • provide teaching assistance (10%);
  • collaborate closely with other interdisciplinary team members of the Responsible Data Science line with the Digital Society program;
  • complete a PhD thesis.



Candidates must have, or be near completion of, an MSc degree in computer science or artificial intelligence. In addition, you should:

  • have strong curiosity to solve problems in natural language processing;
  • have a strong background in probability theory, statistics, and machine learning;
  • have excellent programming skills in at least two of the following languages: C, C++, Java, or Python;
  • enjoy working with real-world problems and real-word, large data sets;
  • have excellent communication skills, both oral and written;
  • enjoy working in a closely collaborating team.

The candidates should appreciate an international and highly interdisciplinary environment in which academic-industrial collaboration is central.


Further information


  • Dr Christof Monz
    T: +31 (0)20 525 8676

This position is based at the Informatics Institute, University of Amsterdam.



The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it can be extended for a total duration of 4 years. The appointment should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). An educational plan will be drafted that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. The PhD candidate is also expected to assist in teaching of bachelor and master students.


The gross monthly salary will range from €2,325 (first year) up to a maximum of €2,972 (last year). The salary is based on a full-time appointment (38 hours a week). The total salary includes an additional 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end-of-year bonus, under the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (Cao). A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants.


Among other things, we offer:

  • competitive pay and good benefits;
  • top-50 University worldwide;
  • one of the best Deep Learning Ecosystems in the World
  • interactive, open-minded and a very international city;
  • excellent computing facilities.

English is the working language in the Informatics Institute. As in Amsterdam almost everybody speaks and understands English, candidates need not be afraid of the language barrier.


Job application

The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity.


The Informatics Institute strives for a better gender balance in its staff. We therefore strongly encourage women to apply for this position.


You can send in your application no later than 28 March using the link below. Please upload the following information in a single PDF file.


In the research statement (see below) you should clearly describe your research vision in relation to the topics that we described, as well as a clear statement which would be your direction of research. Candidates should also 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 a url allowing download of pdf of MSc. 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 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).


Please quote vacancy number 19-124 in your cover letter.


At this stage of the procedure, please do not send letters of reference or proofs of your academic writing.


Late or incomplete applications will be considered at the committee’s discretion. 


Do not send or copy your application to Dr. Christof Monz directly. #LI-DNP

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Computeroxy


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