Vacancy for PhD Student

Official call document :


The University of A Coruña offers 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 and affordable cost of living for European standards. The selected candidate will join a new laboratory dedicated to the project, with a team composed of 2 postdoctoral researchers and 2 PhD students together with the project leader. The FASTPARSE laboratory is in turn 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 Computing 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 seminars 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.
  • Start date: December 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 9-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 will be offered for the remaining months until the end of the project (January 31 2022), so that the candidate will have the chance to stay until the project finishes (about 4.5 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).

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 for shortlisted candidates.

How to apply:

Interested candidates can send their application by email to Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez (, specifying that they wish to apply to position 2017/CP/154 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.
  • Copy of ID card or passport.

Candidates may be asked for additional information. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed.

The application deadline is 26th September 2017.

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