Full-time postdoc or PhD student position in A Coruña (Spain)

We are looking for candidates for a full-time postdoc or PhD student position in A Coruña (Spain) to conduct research in the field of Natural Language Processing (NLP). The position will be available under auxiliary funding for the 5-year European Research Council (ERC Starting Grant) project “FASTPARSE – Fast Natural Language Parsing for Large-Scale NLP” (http://fastparse.grupolys.org), led by Prof. Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez. (http://grupolys.org/~cgomezr). 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 team currently consisting of 2 PhD students and 2 postdoctoral researchers together with the project leader, integrated within the LyS research group. We are among the most active NLP groups in Europe: for example, in 2018, just the 5-person FASTPARSE project team has produced 7 papers in the main tracks of major NLP conferences (NAACL, ACL, EMNLP) and 3 papers in major journals, among other publications. The LyS group joins together researchers from computer science and linguistics backgrounds interested in computational linguistics and NLP, and has produced over 30 publications in 2018.

Job content:

Postdoc. The postdoctoral researcher will develop research within the ERC project FASTPARSE (Fast Natural Language Parsing for Large-Scale NLP). Research should be related to syntactic parsing, although it is possible to work in other NLP areas as well. The postdoctoral researcher will be expected to publish at the top international conferences and journals in the field. The researcher will have the possibility of staying at a foreign research institution for a few months, funded by the project.

PhD Student. 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 for PhD student, €27000-30500 per year for postdoctoral researcher.
      • Start date: flexible, during the first half of 2019.
      • Duration: initially 1 year, extensible until at least December 2021. Further extension beyond that point might be possible, but it depends on the availability of funding at that point.
      • The project will cover travel money for attending international conferences and making research visits to prestigious research institutions.

Information for PhD students:

      • 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.
      • 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 and can be done only on specific deadlines. For this reason, the successful candidate will first sign a research assistant contract, 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 project will not cover the tuition fees for the PhD program (around €250/year).

Minimum qualifications (exclusion criteria):

      • Master’s degree or equivalent (for PhD students), or PhD degree (for postdocs) in Computer Science, Computational Linguistics, Mathematics or related fields.
      • Solid 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).
      • For postdoctoral researchers: research experience (publications) in NLP/Computational Linguistics or Machine Learning. The candidate must have recent, high-impact scientific publications in the project's research area.

Preferred qualifications (evaluation criteria) for PhD students:

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.

Preferred qualifications (evaluation criteria) for postdoctoral researchers:

The applicant's scientific record will be assessed in terms of scientific quality, relevance, impact, breadth and relation to the goals of the project. The following aspects will be emphasized in the evaluation:

      • Research experience in natural language parsing and in NLP.
      • Experience with machine learning, especially deep learning.
      • Experience with big data processing.
      • Knowledge in linguistics or cognitive science.
      • Publications in the top international conferences in NLP/Computational Linguistics or Machine Learning, or in journals of comparable quality.
      • Scientific independence and capacity to generate ideas autonomously.
      • Team work skills, and experience with international and interdisciplinary collaboration.
      • Knowledge of languages other than English or Spanish, with special emphasis on Chinese, Arabic and/or German.

How to apply:

Interested candidates can send their application by email to Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez (cgomezr@udc.es), 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 three references.

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

The formal application deadline is not set yet at this point, but candidates are encouraged to apply or get in touch as soon as possible. In particular, candidates that might want to negotiate the starting date should send their application soon, as the starting date (and all the other parameters of the contract) will be fixed once the formal deadline is posted.

Potential candidates are welcome to ask any questions to Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez, you can get in touch by email to cgomezr@udc.es.