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4 year PhD position: Interpretability & NLP (InDeep project) VU Amsterdam

Do you have a Masters degree in Computational Linguistics or a related area and are you interested in interpretability of deep neural networks in NLP? Do you want to be part of a large consortium including various leading experts on this topic? Do you want to work in a group that cares about core questions in NLP research and aims to provide a positive inspiring environment to young researchers?

2 maanden geleden


De Boelelaan, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
32 - 40 uur
€ 2395 - € 3061 per maand


In this project, you will work on interpretability of deep neural networks that are used to find evidence of fraud or misconduct in large amounts of text. In particular, we will investigate how language models can be used to identify anomalies. We focus on solid methodological approaches and pay specific attention to ethical questions related to this application. The research is embedded in the InDeep project that addresses interpretability in text and sound. You will be able to work with leading experts on this topic as well as industrial partners.

Your duties

  • conduct research within the scope of the project leading to a dissertation
  • publish papers and present research results at conferences
  • collaborate with junior and senior researchers on the team
  • collaborate with (an) industrial partner(s) interested in using the outcome of your work


  • MA or MSc degree in computational linguistics or a related field (e.g. AI, Computer Science with focus on NLP, Linguistics with focus on technical skills)
  • Solid programming skills (sufficient for carrying out your research)
  • Good knowledge of machine learning


A challenging position in an exciting project with leading experts in NLP. Researchers involved in InDeep include Afra Alishahi, Arianna Bisazza, Louis ten Bosch, John Ashley Burgoyne, Grzegorz Chrupala, Tom Lentz, Iris Hendricx and your direct supervisor Antske Fokkens.
This subproject is carried out in collaboration with Deloitte. Deloitte is committed to using the outcome of this project, but the research is carried out completely independently and all resources you develop can be shared publicly.

The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,395 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,061 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for 0.8 - 1.0 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 30 June 2021. The job interviews will take place online in July.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact Antske Fokkens. Note that prof.dr. Fokkens is on maternity leave and may take several days. Marking [InDeep position] in your subject line may speed up getting a response.

Name: Antske Fokkens
Position: supervisor
E-mail: antske.fokkens@vu.nl

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