Postdoctoral researcher in computational linguistics focused on multimodal NLP

Ref PAR 2024/48

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 56 000 students and 6 600 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract researchers and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

The Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science at the Faculty of Arts has about 120 staff members and a student body corresponding to about 350 full-time equivalents. The department is home to many national and international research projects and offers courses and degree programs for philosophers, logicians, linguists, language technologists, theorists of science, historians of philosophy, philologists and philosophy teachers. The Department also arranges doctoral education and development work in its various academic domains. 

The Centre for Linguistic Theory and Studies in Probability (CLASP) is based in FLoV at the University of Gothenburg, and is funded by a 10-year grant from the Swedish Research Council (2015-2027). CLASP is devoted to research and advanced training in the application of probabilistic modeling and machine learning methods to core issues in linguistic theory and cognition. It also addresses topics in dialogue and linguistic interaction. For a description of CLASP, see www.gu.se/en/clasp

Subject area 

Computational linguistics 
 

Subject area description 

The candidate will carry out their research at CLASP, within a project interested in large multimodal language models and contextual understanding of combined text/image data.

The overarching goal of the project is to construct a multimodal NLP system that uses text and visual input alongside large language models to assure text coherence over long documents and long sentence contexts. We will experiment with crowdsourcing methods to annotate training and test corpora. Our end goal is to build a system that will be lightweight in that it will use relatively small amounts of data for supervised learning. It should be trainable in a comparatively short period of time. We will build this system on top of existing generic, open-source deep learning models rather than constructing a large, complex special purpose device. The project will explore different ways of combining visual and linguistic representations in integrated embeddings, and we will determine which ones are most efficient in supporting our coherence task. Previous work on named entity recognition and coreference provide important background for some of the issues we will be addressing.
 

Key responsibilities

The employment as a postdoctoral researcher aims to give the employee an early opportunity to develop their independence as a researcher after completing their doctorate and to create the conditions for further qualifications. The person employed as a postdoctoral researcher must mainly conduct research. Apart from research, duties may include mentoring graduate students, course design, and/or teaching-related activities; such supplementary duties will not exceed 20% of the position’s responsibilities.

The candidate is expected to:

  • Collect, compile and process corpora from different genres, domains and methodologies.
  • Develop and evaluate models for multimodal NLP, particularly in the area of long-context text coherence.
  • Apply these models to advance the state of the art in a variety of multimodal NLP tasks in both applications such as text generation and experimental approaches to linguistic analysis.

The research will be conducted in English.

The holder of the position is expected to carry out their research on site at campus of the University of Gothenburg and to actively participate in workshops, seminars, and conferences.

Eligibility 

Employment as postdoctoral researcher is primarily regulated by here linked nationally negotiated collective agreement: Agreement of fixed-term employment as postdoctoral researcher. The University of Gothenburg also has further specified regulations in here linked Appointment Procedure for Teaching Posts at the University of Gothenburg. Both documents are written in Swedish, if you have questions about their content, you are welcome to contact our HR (see contact information further down).

To be eligible for appointment as a postdoc, the applicant is required to have a doctoral degree, a doctoral degree in art or a foreign degree that is deemed to be equivalent to a doctoral degree. The subject of the doctoral thesis should be in a research area relevant to the specific subject description above. This eligibility requirement must be met before the employment decision is made. 

In the first instance, those who have completed their degree no more than three years prior to the end of the application period shall be considered. Those who have completed their degree more than three years prior to the end of the application period may also be considered in the first instance if special grounds exist. Special grounds relate to leave of absence due to illness, parental leave, commissions of trust within union organisations, service within the defence services or other similar circumstances, as well as clinical service or service/assignment relevant to the subject area.

Assessment

Scientific proficiency is the most important criterion for assessment, and special attention will be given to the applicant’s PhD thesis and other publications. Documented good interpersonal skills, good skills in terms of planning and organizing research, and in communicating research results is also meritorious. Documented experience in more than one of the job assignment areas described above is particularly meritorious.

Candidates should have experience with machine learning including deep learning and neural networks, preferably with a background in mainstream natural language processing tasks and methods (e.g., language modeling, parsing, coreference, machine translation, discourse parsing, etc). Interest in the cognitive processes/models behind human language processing and understanding is a key advantage for the position. Experience with psycholinguistic methods focused on designing and running traditional sentence processing methodologies (eye-tracking, pace reading, judgement studies and cloze tests, spacebar reaction time, etc.) is also desirable.

The recruitment process may include interviews (possibly by video link) and contacting references.

General assessment criteria are described in Appointment Procedure for Teaching Posts at the University of Gothenburg, see link above.
 

Employment 

Type of employment: Fixed-term employment, 2 years, with the possibility of a third year
Extent: 100%
Location: Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science, Gothenburg
First day of employment: By agreement

Employment as postdoctoral researcher is primarily regulated by the above linked Agreement of fixed-term employment as postdoctoral researcher.

Selection process 

After the application deadline, the department will contact an expert within the subject area who will be asked to make an initial assessment of the applications. It is important to ensure the expert does not have any conflict of interest with any of the applicants. How much time the expert is granted for their assessment depends on the number of applications received. When the expert has submitted their assessment of the applications to the department, a recruitment group takes over the process. Whether interviews are conducted, and reference taken, depends partly on how many applicants there are and which of the applicants are part of the experts shortlisted group.
 

Contact information 

For questions regarding the subjects, research projects, responsibilities, or the workplace, please contact Associate Senior Lecturer, Sharid Loáiciga, sharid.loaiciga@gu.se

Queries about the application, recruitment process, or employment conditions, should be directed to HR-officer Cecilia Groglopo, cecilia.groglopo@gu.se

Unions 

Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here: https://www.gu.se/om-universitetet/jobba-hos-oss/hjalp-for-sokande 
 

How to apply 

To apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. Click “Apply” at the end of this vacancy notice. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the vacancy notice, and that it is submitted before the deadline. Selection of candidates is based on their qualifications registered in the application.

Any documents which cannot be submitted electronically should be sent in two copies to the following address and marked with the reference number of this vacancy notice. University of Gothenburg, FLoV HR-Officer, Box 200, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, SWEDEN. The documents should be delivered no later than three workdays after the last day for online applications, or the sender should be able to show the documents have been mailed no later than the last day for online applications.

We welcome applications written in English, since a non-Swedish speaking person may be appointed as external expert in the recruitment process.

Please note that the following documents should be attached to the application (in PDF-format):

  1. An introduction letter of max 500 words (approximately 1 page). The letter must consist of three paragraphs in the following order:
    a) a brief presentation of yourself,
    b) a brief presentation of your merits and
    c) a brief description of why FLoV is of interest to you.

  2. A CV listing academic degrees, employments, publications, and other relevant merits.

  3. PhD certificate

  4. At most three scientific publications, and the applicant’s PhD thesis.

 

Applications must be received by: June 3, 2024

 

  

Information for International Applicants 

Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit: 

https://www.gu.se/en/about-the-university/welcome-services 
https://www.movetogothenburg.com/ 

 

 

The University works actively to achieve a working environment with equal conditions, and values the qualities that diversity brings to its operations.

Salaries are set individually at the University.

In accordance with the National Archives of Sweden’s regulations, the University must archive application documents for two years after the appointment is filled. If you request that your documents are returned, they will be returned to you once the two years have passed. Otherwise, they will be destroyed.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.