Postdoc position on multilingual information extraction and active learning

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Postdoc position on multilingual information extraction and active learning
  • Doctorate
We have a postdoc position available at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in computational linguistics. The project focuses on multilingual information extraction from cultural heritage data in the European InTaVia project. 

FTE: 0.75 - 0,95

Job description

Information on European cultural heritage has been made widely available, among other forms digitized texts. InTaVia aims to extract relevant information from text written in multiple languages and genres and present it as linked data. We aim to integrate our technologies in an interactive user environment, where domain experts can upload data, process it and provide validations of the automatic analyses where necessary. The interface will also allow uploading data for creating language or genre specific data models and retraining machine learning approaches. As part of an international team, you will work on harmonizing output representations of state-of-the-art information extraction tools, create domain-specific language models and experiment with integrating domain knowledge to improve information extraction. 

The position will be with Dr. Antske Fokkens and you will become part of the Computational Lexicology & Terminology Lab. The internationally renowned group, led by Prof. dr. Piek Vossen, has a strong track record in computational linguistic research in digital humanities and computational social science. This project will be conducted in close collaboration with Dr. Victor de Boer in the User-centric Data Science group. You will furthermore become part of a team consisting of young and enthusiastic researchers specialized in computational linguistics, visual analytics, semantic web and human-computer interaction across Europe.

Your duties
In the InTaVia project, you will be responsible for the integration of English and Dutch tools in the multilingual architecture and collaborate with international partners on integrating tools for Finnish, German and Slovenian. You will furthermore collaborate on developing and evaluating approaches for domain adaptation, including the active learning setup, and integrating structured domain specific knowledge. The position is 0.75 FTE research and can be extended with at least 0.2 FTE teaching courses in computational linguistics and text mining throughout the project.


  • PhD in computational linguistics or related area
  • Publication record in the relevant area
  • Solid programming skills
  • Knowledge of or experience in the following areas is an advantage (to not strictly necessary): domain adaptation, active learning, Linked Data

What are we offering?

On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,790 (scale 10) and a maximum €4,402 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile 'onderzoeker-4' is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.75 FTE research and can be extended with a 0.2 teaching position to 0.95 FTE. The initial employment contract will affect a period of 1 year, with the possibility of extension.

Additionally, the 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

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavour – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

Faculty of Humanities
The Faculty of Humanities links a number of fields of study: Language, Literature and Communication, Art & Culture, History, Antiquities and Philosophy. Our teaching and research focus on current societal and scientific themes: from artificial intelligence to visual culture, from urbanization to the history of slavery, from ‘fake news’ in journalism to communication in organizations. We strive to ensure small group sizes. Innovative education and interdisciplinary research are our hallmarks.

Working at the Faculty of Humanities means making a real contribution to the quality of leading education and research in an inspiring and personal work and study climate. We employ more than 250 staff members, and we are home to around 1,300 students.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until November 30, 2020. The online job interviews are planned for mid December 2020. 

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:
Name: Antske Fokkens
Position: Associate Professor

Make sure to mention 'InTaVia PostDoc' in the subject line of your e-mail.

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