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Research Assistant/Research Associate in Natural Language Processing (Fixed Term)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics

Location: Cambridge
Salary: £26,715 to £40,322
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 18th September 2020
Closes: 30th October 2020
Job Ref: GP24126

Applications are invited for an 18 month Research Assistant/Research Associate post on a project that focuses on multilingual conversational AI. The project is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and will demonstrate how task-oriented conversational AI can be extended to benefit a larger population of users worldwide.

The project builds on state-of-the-art Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) techniques, especially on those based on deep neural networks, integrating discrete linguistic information (i.e., external knowledge graphs, typological databases) in statistical and ML-based NLP.

Responsibilities of the successful candidate include research into novel techniques for improving the Natural Language Understanding (NLU) component of spoken dialogue systems with more effective semantic specialisation and via development of larger datasets covering a diverse set of languages. The post holder will also take part in performance evaluation in terms of practical applications, and dissemination of research findings.

The successful candidate must have either completed or being close to completing their PhD in NLP before starting their appointment. If they have not yet been awarded their PhD, they will initially be appointed as a Research Assistant and be promoted to Research Associate on award of the PhD. The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate an excellent track record of independent research and strong publication.

Essential skills include: excellent programming skills, statistical NLP and machine learning techniques, as well as proven collaborative/communication/networking skills. Previous experience in multilingual NLP and development of datasets will be considered an advantage.

The funds for this post are available for 18 months in the first instance.

In order for your application to be considered, please upload a cover letter, contact details of two academic referees, a detailed curriculum vitae and a list of publications (if not included in your CV).

The closing date is midnight (GMT) on Friday 30 October 2020. Interviews are likely to be held soon afterwards either on Teams or Zoom, the exact timing is subject to confirmation. The post is intended to start on 2 January 2021.

Informal enquiries may be made to Dr Anna Korhonen ( For questions of procedure, please contact Ruth Farley, HR Coordinator

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit :

Please quote reference GP24126 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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