Post-doc in Speech Technology for Low Saxon varieties (0.8 FTE)

University of Groningen
April 03, 2024
Offerd Salary:€ 3.466
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
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Post-doc in Speech Technology for Low Saxon varieties (0.8 FTE)


Job description

Within the Center for Groningen Language and Culture (CGTC) a vacancy for a postdoctoral researcher (0.8 fte) for a duration of 3 years has been created. We are investigating whether we are able to acquire external funding in order to extend the position up to 4 years. There is no guarantee for this, however.

The goal of this postdoctoral position is to create and conduct research on developing and improving low-resource speech technology, specifically focusing on the Groningen, and more generally, Low Saxon varieties. Consequently, this position will entail developing and improving the performance of automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems and text-to-speech (TTS) systems, as well as implementing these systems in online environments (our online database for Gronings, WoordWaark, for example) and our Temi robot system. Besides implementing such systems and conducting research on how to improve low- resource speech technology, an additional task involves helping to collect acoustic data for these varieties using our state-of-the-art mobile laboratory SPRAAKLAB. For this reason, a driver's license is highly desirable. You will become a member of the Speech Lab Groningen and as such, willingness to help with public engagement activities is also desirable.

Tasks and responsibilities:

  • conducting independent research (and publishing) on improving speech technology for low resource varieties, specifically aimed at varieties of Low Saxon
  • help to supervise and collaborate with two first/second-year PhD students who focus on developing speech technology for low resource languages
  • implement ASR and TTS systems for varieties for Gronings, and possibly also for varieties spoken in Drenthe, Friesland (Stellingwerven), Overijssel and Gelderland
  • make the above systems available online and/or through a robot for access by others
  • help to collect speech recordings of the varieties for which speech technology is developed
  • (help) write external funding applications to further strengthen the research on speech technology for low resource varieties within the CLCG
  • help with public engagement activities, specifically those aimed at the Low Saxon area
  • participate in the by-weekly Speech Lab Groningen meetings
  • potentially help teaching a course on speech technology, or supervising BA or MA theses focusing on this subject.
  • What we ask You are an ambitious researcher with (or close to getting) a PhD in either Speech Technology, Computational Linguistics, Computer Science or Artificial Intelligence. You have strong publications at the main conferences in the field you obtained your PhD in. You have a demonstrably strong technical profile which is sufficient to conduct the tasks listed above, with experience in applying language and speech technology to low-resource varieties. Having knowledge on and experience with applying speech technology to Low Saxon varieties is considered a plus. Similarly, having a driver's license is considered a plus for this position.

    What we offer We offer a postdoctoral research position for 1 year for 0.8 fte. In case of good performance, the position will be extended for another 2 years for 0.8 fte. (We are investigating whether we are able to acquire external funding in order to extend the positition to a total of 4 years from the start date. There is no guarantee for this, however.) Within the Center for Groningen Language and Culture, ample high-performance facilities are available to help you with your research. Specifically, we have access to our own server containing three A100 40GB GPUs, as well as an NVIDIA Grace Hopper system with a single H100 GPU. In addition, we have access to a Temi robot, and access to the mobile laboratory SPRAAKLAB. Ample funding is available every year to travel to conferences (in case a paper has been accepted at the conference).

    Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 30,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.

    The Faculty of Arts is built on a long-standing tradition of four centuries. Our mission is to be a top-ranking faculty with both an excellent education and world-quality research, with a strong international orientation, firmly rooted in the North of the Netherlands. We build and share knowledge benefits to society. We work at a modern, broad and international institution, educating over 5000 Dutch and international students to become forward- looking, articulate and independent academics. We form a hardworking and diverse team of 700 staff members.

  • you hold a PhD in Speech Technology, Computational Linguistics, Computer Science or Artificial Intelligence
  • you have several impactful publications that demonstrate your research skills in the above field, and show you are able to apply to develop speech and/or language technology for low-resource varieties
  • you have demonstrable skills to train new models (instead of simply using existing models with different data) and develop new approaches for speech technology
  • you have experience in implementing language technology in a user- accessible way (e.g., via a website, or online application)
  • you demonstrate motivation to seek further research funding
  • your level of Dutch is sufficient to communicate with speakers in Low Saxon who's speech you will be recording
  • your level of English is sufficient to write academic articles and present your work.
  • Organisation Conditions of employment

    We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU):

  • a salary, depending on qualifications and work experience, between € 2.976,- (Scale 10.3, 0.8 fte) and € 3.466,- (Scale 11.0, 0.8 fte) gross per month
  • a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
  • an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
  • a temporary 0.8 FTE appointment for the specified period as mentioned in the text
  • excellent work-life balance.
  • Application

    Applications should be made in English and contain the following materials:

  • motivation letter (approx. 500 words)
  • a short research proposal (approx. 500-1000 words) in which you outline a potential project you would like to embark on within the context of this vacancy
  • your curriculum vitae with list of publications, supervision experience, etc.
  • Please send in your application as a PDF file. You may apply for this position until April 3rd 2024 23:59 Dutch local time (CET) / before 4 April 2024 by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

    Only complete applications submitted by the deadline will be taken into consideration.

    The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage: https: // www. strategy/diversity-and-inclusion/

    Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): https: // www. and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers: https: //

    We provide career services for partners of new faculty members moving to Groningen.

    Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


    For information you can contact:

  • Martijn Wieling, m.b.wieling
  • Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.

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