PhD Candidate for Data Augmentation for Conversational AI
Are you an aspiring researcher and would you like to work on Natural Language Processing and Information Retrieval techniques to solve challenges in conversational intelligence? Start your academic career off right as a PhD candidate within the NWO-funded LESSEN project. Join a diverse team of researchers based at multiple Dutch universities and work with several industrial stakeholders to develop chat-based conversational agents.
The institute for Computing and Information Sciences (iCIS) at Radboud University is looking for a PhD candidate to work on the project "LESSEN: Low Resource Chat-based Conversational Intelligence." The project aims to develop, implement and evaluate state-of-the-art safe and transparent chat-based conversational AI agents based on state-of-the-art neural architectures. The focus is on lesser resourced tasks, domains and scenarios.
The project is funded by an NWO Dutch Research Agenda grant awarded to a consortium consisting of the University of Amsterdam, Leiden University, the University of Groningen, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Radboud University, Achmea, Albert Heijn, Bol.com, KPN, Rasa Technologies, Ahold Delhaize, and the Dutch national police force.
The aim of this PhD project is to generate synthetic data for training conversational agents. One of the limitations of developing models for conversational agents is the availability and cost of labelled training data. A common approach to alleviate this need is to increase the amount of training data by data augmentation. In this project, you will use knowledge graphs (e.g. Wikipedia) to develop methods that generate question-answer pairs that form coherent conversations.
You will work on the project under the supervision of a team consisting of Dr. Faegheh Hasibi (Radboud University), Prof. Evangelos Kanoulas (University of Amsterdam), and Prof. Arjen P. de Vries (Radboud University).
You will pursue your PhD in a vibrant international research environment in the data science group of iCIS at Radboud University, with top-notch professors and researchers in information retrieval and machine learning. iCIS values a diverse workforce. Female candidates are therefore particularly encouraged to apply. Your teaching load may be up to 10% of your appointment.
- You hold a Master's degree in artificial intelligence or computer science, with substantial knowledge of natural language processing or information retrieval.
- Ideally, you have working knowledge of knowledge graphs and conversational assistants.
- You have excellent programming skills.
- You have a good command of spoken and written English.
- You complement creativity with critical thinking, and have good communication skills.
You will be appointed at the Data Science section of the Institute for Computing and Information Sciences (ICIS). During recent evaluations, ICIS has been consistently ranked as the No. 1 Computing Science department in the Netherlands. Evaluation committees praised our flat and open organisational structure, our ability to attract external funding, our strong ties to other disciplines, and our solid contacts with government and industrial partners. The Data Science group is well known for its contributions to mathematical models of information retrieval and the empirical evaluation of such models on large datasets.
Strategically located in Europe, Radboud University is one of the leading academic communities in the Netherlands. Radboud University is an equal opportunity employer, committed to building a culturally diverse intellectual community, and as such encourages applications from women and minorities. The university offers customised facilities to better align work and private life. Parents are entitled to partly paid parental leave and Radboud University employees enjoy flexibility in the way they structure their work. The university highly values the career development of its staff, which is facilitated by a variety of programmes.
We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!
- It concerns an employment for 0.8 (5 year contract) - 1.0 FTE (4 year contract).
- The gross starting salary amounts to €2,541 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,247 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P).
- You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
- You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).
- You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
- Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 29 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.
Additional employment conditions
Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.
Would you like more information?
For questions about the position, please contact Dr ir. Faegheh Hasibi, Assistant Professor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Practical information and applying
You can apply until 1 October 2022, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Dr ir. Faegheh Hasibi. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:
- A letter of motivation explaining how your background fits in with the job description and role's expectations.
- Your CV including the contact details of two academic referees.
- A list of courses taken and grades obtained.
We do consider applications from candidates who have not yet completed their Master's degree. They need to provide a signed letter from their supervisor stating that they will graduate by 1 November 2022.
There will be interim selection procedures so it is possible that you will be assessed and invited to an interview or rejected before the closing date. You would preferably begin employment as soon as possible.
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