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Vacancies for PhD Students

Official call document (two identical vacancies):

The University of A Coruña is offering a full-time PhD student position in A Coruña (Spain) to conduct research in the field of Natural Language Processing (NLP). The position is available within the 5-year European Research Council (ERC Starting Grant) project “FASTPARSE - Fast Natural Language Parsing for Large-Scale NLP”, led by Prof. Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez. The main goal of this frontier research project is to develop new algorithms and techniques to improve the speed of natural language parsers, making them suitable for web-scale processing.

The University of A Coruña is a young, vibrant public university located in A Coruña, a charming city in the Atlantic coast of Galicia (Spain) offering high quality of life at an affordable cost of living for European standards. The selected candidate will join a new laboratory dedicated to the project, with a team planned to be composed of 2 postdoctoral researchers and 2 PhD students together with the project leader. The FASTPARSE laboratory will in turn be affiliated with the highly-active Language and Information Society research group, which joins together researchers from computer science and linguistics backgrounds interested in computational linguistics and NLP. The PhD student will enroll in the doctorate program in Computational Science at the University of A Coruña, complete a PhD thesis and publish at the top international conferences and journals in the field.

Job content:

The PhD student will develop a PhD within the ERC project FASTPARSE (Fast Natural Language Parsing for Large-Scale NLP). The student will have the chance to conduct cutting-edge research focusing on natural language parsing and other related subareas of NLP. The student will be expected to carry through their research project, write scientific articles and their PhD thesis, attend PhD courses and stay at a foreign research institution for a few months.

Salary and benefits:
  • Gross salary level in the range of €20000-22000 per year.
  • The expected start date is March 1, 2017.
  • Note that according to university regulations, the predoctoral contract is subject to being enrolled in the doctorate program, and the enrollment process takes some time. For this reason, the successful candidate will first sign a 6-month contract as a research assistant starting at the date above, and have the opportunity of switching to a predoctoral contract once the enrollment in the doctorate program is complete. The salary will be in the above range since the initial contract.
  • The initial period of the predoctoral contract will be 1+1 years, but extensible to a total of up to 4 years as a PhD student. Once the PhD thesis is read, a postdoc position for up to 1 year will be offered so that the candidate will have the chance to stay until the project finishes (5 years total between the predoctoral and postdoctoral stage). This postdoctoral position will have a salary in the €28500-30500 range. 
  • The project will cover travel money for attending international conferences and making research visits to prestigious research institutions.
  • The project will not cover tuition fees for the PhD program (around €250/year).

Minimum qualifications (exclusion criteria):
  • The candidate must be in a position enabling them to enroll at the doctorate program in Computing at the University of A Coruña (i.e., Master's Degree or equivalent, or a minimum of 300 ECTS) and willing to enroll in said program.
  • Master's Degree, or equivalent, in Computer Science, Computational Linguistics, Mathematics or related fields. 
  • Programming skills in at least one of C++, Java, C#, or similar.
  • Good level of spoken and written English (knowledge of Spanish is NOT required).
If you think that your background is relevant to the project goals, please get in touch even if you do not fit the indicated profile.

Preferred qualifications (evaluation criteria):

The applicant should be motivated and interested in starting a research career in natural language processing, and have good team work skills. The applicant's academic record in their bachelor's and master's degree will be assessed with special attention to the subjects related with the project. Apart from the academic record, the candidate should mention any other relevant activities (e.g. courses taken, master's theses, software projects including open source projects in public repositories, work experience, research publications, etc.). The following aspects are not requirements, but will be considered favorably in the evaluation:
  • Knowledge in the fields of natural language processing, machine learning, or deep learning.
  • Knowledge in linguistics or cognitive science.
  • Knowledge of different programming languages.
  • Knowledge of languages other than English or Spanish, with special emphasis on Chinese, Arabic and/or German.

The evaluation will be based on the CV and cover letter submitted by the applicants, as well as an interview by videoconference.

How to apply:

Interested candidates can send their application by email to Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez (, specifying that they wish to apply to positions 2017/CP/021 and 2017/CP/022, including in attachment (PDF format):
  • Cover letter.
  • CV, including contact details, list of publications, and any other relevant information according to the criteria above.
  • Full contact details (name, address, telephone, email) of up to two references.
  • ID card or passport, and copy of Bachelor's degree diploma/certificate.
  • Copy of academic transcripts for the Bachelor's and Master's Degrees.
Shortlisted candidates may be asked for additional information, and will be interviewed.

The formal application deadline is February 3rd, 2017. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, in order to have time to address possible issues of lack of documentation.

Potential candidates are welcome to ask any questions, also by email to