Phd Position In Natural Language Processing: Verbal Expression Of Quantities (0.8 - 1.0 Fte)

Utrecht University
May 29, 2023
Offerd Salary:€2,541
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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PhD position in Natural Language Processing: verbal expression of

quantities (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)

Job description

Vagueness is the pervasive phenomenon in which words have imprecisely defined boundaries, which are applied differently in different contexts and by different people. For example, when a patient report describes a baby's blood pressure as “too high”, or her condition as “stable”, these terms are interpreted differently by different clinicians. This PhD project will study mathematical and computational models of uncertainty and vagueness. In recent years, the literature in this area has shifted away from 2-valued towards multi-valued models, based on modern versions of Zadeh-style fuzzy set theory, on Gardenfors-style conceptual spaces, or on probabilistic models. But these models have rarely been tested with real data. This PhD project will use existing “big” datasets to find out which models predict and explain the data best. You get the opportunity to partly shape this project based on your own preferences; for example, you can focus on the interpretation or on the production (i.e., computational generation) of vague utterances.


You are a motivated researcher with a curious and critical mindset. You hold a Master's degree in an area relevant to this project; this could be Artificial Intelligence, Computational Cognitive Science, Computing Science, or Linguistics. A good mastery of NLP is essential as well as excellent English communication skills (verbal and written). We would also like you to take a strong interest in “fuzzy” and other models of natural language meaning and in machine learning.


  • A position for 4 years;
  • A full-time gross salary that starts at €2,541 and increases to €3,247 per month (scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (CAO));
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • A pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.
  • In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

    About the organization

    Sharing science, shaping tomorrow. A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

    Additional information

    If you have questions about this position, don't hesitate to contact Professor Massimo Poesio at [email protected] or Professor Kees van Deemter at [email protected] you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to [email protected].

    Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • scans of BSc and/or MSc transcripts (incl. grade list), with a certified translation in English if the degree qualification is not in German, Dutch, or English;
  • your MSc-thesis (if not available, then BSc-thesis);
  • the contact details of at least two references.
  • If this specific opportunity isn't for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

    The application deadline is 29/05/2023

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