Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW is one of Switzerland’s largest multidisciplinary universities of applied sciences, with over 13,000 students and 3,000 faculty and staff.

As one of the leading Engineering Faculties in Switzerland, the ZHAW School of Engineering emphasises topics which will be relevant in the future. Our 13 institutes and centres guarantee superior-quality education, research and development with focus on the areas of energy, mobility, information and health.

Since 2013 the Institute of Applied Information Technology has teamed up with five other institutes from three departments to establish one of the first interdisciplinary Data Science Centers in Europe – the ZHAW Datalab (www.zhaw.ch/datalab).

Within the Research Team "Text Analytics and Dialogue Systems", we are looking for highly motivated
PhD Students in Natural Language Processing
We have recently acquired two major research projects for which we are looking for PhD students.

In the first project, "Virtual Kids", the goal is to build a training system for police officers who have to interrogate children. Our dialogue system will simulate such an interview - by applying an animated avatar and speech recognition - and allow the police officers to talk to the virtual child in a natural way. Our system will be a key means in the education of the police officers.

In the second project, "Interscriber", we build a system for automatic transcription and analysis of dialogues. Given an audio recording of an interview or meeting, the system will use Speech-to-Text and Speaker Recognition to generate an initial transcript and provide an easy-to-use editor for error correction. This is already available as a product. In a second phase, we will summarize the content of the transcripts automatically and extract, for instance, a list of action items from business meetings.

As a PhD student, you will work on one of these projects and collaborate with our team of experts – computational linguists, software engineers, and data scientists – to develop the solution. The topic of your PhD thesis will be decided together with your supervisor, once you will be acquainted with the project setting.

Your responsibilities:

  • Contributing to the research project and other projects of the research group, in the form of experiments, software development, algorithms, data analytics etc.
  • Publication of results in the form of scientific papers, demonstrators, and open-source software
  • Support in writing project proposals
  • Occasionally supporting lecturers in teaching (e.g. during exercises and labs)

  • Master’s degree in computer science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, computational linguistics, or similar field.
  • Experience in machine learning/deep learning and data science, preferably in the area of Natural Language Processing (NLP)
  • Strong skills in software engineering and a passion for programming
  • Good communication skills in English; for "Virtual Kids": fluent in German
These requirements are to be combined with a high level of ambition and willingness to take ownership and responsibility, as well as strong problem-solving skills.

We offer a competitive, stimulating, and exciting environment at one of the leading houses for data science research in Switzerland. The position will allow to publish papers at international scientific conferences and journals. You will work in an inspiring team that is committed to intellectual liberty and scientific excellence. Among other things, we have won international competitions (e.g. SemEval '16, GermEval '20) and published several papers at top-level conferences such as ACL and EMNLP. In addition, we are founders and organizers of the SwissText conference, the major NLP conference in Switzerland.

ZHAW offers its employees a flexible annual working time model and places for children and infants in supervised day care centres.

Start Date: December 2020 or upon agreement

Do you have any questions about this position?
For additional information, please contact Prof. Dr. Mark Cieliebak, phone +41 (0) 58 934 72 39, web https://www.zhaw.ch/de/ueber-uns/person/ciel, e-mail ciel@zhaw.ch.

Are you interested?
If you would like to apply, please use the online platform to send your full application , attn. Sarah Stüdli, Recruiting Manager in Winterthur. The School of Engineering strives for an increase of women in responsible positions. Applications of women are particularly welcome.
Weitere Informationen finden Sie unter www.zhaw.ch.
Zürcher Fachhochschule