PhD position in Experimental Computational Linguistics
Norwegian University of Science & Technology Department of Language and Literature

PhD position in Experimental Computational Linguistics



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We are looking for dedicated employees to join us.



About the position


We announce a four-year PhD position in experimental computational linguistics at the Department of Language and Literature.


The PhD position is part of the project Computational modeling of filler-gap acquisition in Norwegian which is an interdisciplinary project within the Enabling Technologies strategic area at NTNU. The successful applicant will be part of a project group headed by Associate Professor Dave Kush (Department of Language and Literature), Professor Terje Lohndal (Department of Language and Literature), and Professor Ole Jakob Mengshoel (Department of Computer Science).


The project will be carried out in Kush’s ØyeLab and in cooperation with the cross-institutional research group AcqVA (Acquisition, Variation and Attrition) between NTNU and UiT The Arctic University of Norway. The Trondheim unit of the group consists of 18 researchers, including 3 professors, 4 associate professors, 1 postdoc, 8 PhD candidates, and 2 20% adjunct professors.

Job description


The project seeks to use computational modeling to better understand how learners might acquire constraints on filler-gap dependencies from natural language input. To this end, the project will evaluate whether computational learning models of various types (e.g., Recurrent Neural Networks; Variational Learners; Bayesian models) can (i) represent a diverse array of long-distance filler-gap dependencies and (ii) learn the proper constraints on such dependencies when trained on different Norwegian corpora. The results of these investigations will be compared to previous results from English. The goal is to ultimately identify necessary components of a learning strategy that is capable of learning attested patterns cross-linguistically.


Applicants are requested to contact the project leader to obtain a more detailed project description before applying.

Qualification requirements


Applicants must have:


    A master’s degree in a relevant field, for example formal or experimental linguistics, or computer science with a specialization in linguistics

    Proficiency in at least one common programming language (e.g., Python)

    Familiarity with current natural language processing (NLP) methods

    Written and oral proficiency in a Scandinavian language and/or English


Preferred Qualifications


    Familiarity with machine-/deep-learning

    Familiarity with corpora/treebanks


The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in experimental linguistics, computer science with a specialization in linguistics or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.


The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, postdoctor and research assistant

Personal characteristics


The successful candidate will be:


    Enthusiastic about research.

    Independent, task-oriented, with a good work ethic.

    Able and willing to contribute to an inclusive working environment.


We offer


    exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment

    an open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues

    favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Funds

    an active and supportive research group and network

    employee benefits


Salary and conditions


PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 449 400 before tax per year. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.


The position consists of 3 years allocated to the PhD work and 1 year of duty work (e.g., teaching, administration, project related work).Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Language and Linguistics.


As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.


The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criterias in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

General information


A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. Under the Freedom of Information Act (offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.


About the application:


The application with attachments must be marked HF 19-016 and be submitted electronically via Jobbnorge.


The application must contain information about the applicant’s background and motivation for carrying out a PhD project. Language proficiency should be specified. The following must be included:


    Diplomas and attestations

    An overview of any relevant publications (the actual publications may be requested during the evaluation process)

    The application must also include a description (up to 10 pages) of a planned doctoral project within the overall project described above, in accordance with the template for project descriptions qualifying for our doctoral programme. The template can be found at


Together with documentation of the applicant’s academic qualifications and personal suitability, the project description will be the main foundation for the evaluation of the application.


Applicants who are short-listed will be called in for interviews, and their references will be contacted. Applications that are not submitted electronically via Jobbnorge within the deadline will not be evaluated.


Questions about the position can be directed to Dave Kush, e-mail: dave.kush@ntnu


Application deadline: 01.06.2019


NTNU - knowledge for a better world


NTNU - knowledge for a better world


The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.


Faculty of Humanities


The Faculty of Humanities offers a wide range of study programmes in the humanities, and is Norway’s second largest faculty of humanities measured in the number of students. We develop leading academic groups in the action-oriented humanities, as well as innovative and inquiry-based teaching and learning. The Faculty consists of six departments as well as a Faculty administration.

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