Khalil Sima'an

POSITION FILLED 28 April 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vacancy: PhD Position

Project: Machine Translation When Exact Pattern Match Fails
Keywords: Statistical translation models with morphology and syntax

The Statistical Language Processing and Learning team at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) at the University of Amsterdam is looking for a highly motivated PhD student to work on challenges in statistical machine translation between language pairs that exhibit substantial divergence in syntax and morphology. The position is financed by the NWO Exact Sciences project "Machine Translation When Exact Pattern Match Fails" lead by Dr Khalil Sima'an.

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) is an interdisciplinary research institute, in which researchers from the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Humanities collaborate. Research at the ILLC draws from a wide range of different disciplines.

The PhD student will join a team of researchers working on the statistical modeling and learning for machine translation, syntactic parsing and morphological analysis (see The project is embedded in the Language and Computation theme of the ILLC (

Candidate Profile

The successful candidate will have an excellent Master's degree (or equivalent qualification) in Computational Linguistics or another discipline relevant to the project (e.g, Artificial Intelligence) by the time of their appointment. Applicants should have a strong interest in pursuing empirical research of an interdisciplinary nature. Master course-level knowledge of Statistical Parsing, Machine Translation and/or Machine Learning is a requirement. Linguistic knowledge of syntax and morphology is desirable. Good communication skills in English, both oral and written, are essential.


The appointment will be for a period of four years (initially a one and half years, followed by two and half years dependening on a positive evaluation) and should lead to a dissertation. The gross monthly salary (for a full time equivalent) will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel, and will range from EUR 2042 (first year) to a maximum of EUR 2612 (final year). While the focus of the appointment is on research training, it will include moderate teaching duties in subjects relevant to the candidate's own research activities. The starting date is before or at the latest on 15 August 2010.

Job Application

Applications should include a letter of motivation, a detailed Curriculum Vitae, a transcript of grades and courses, the names and contact details of two academic referees, and a web link to a writing sample available online (such as MSc thesis and/or other publications). Applications should be sent to Dr. Khalil Sima'an by email to k. simaan@uva. nl. All electronic applications must be in a single PDF file (if file exceeds 0.5MB then do not email but instead provide a link for downloading this file).

We will start reviewing applications on 15 April 2010 and hope to make a decision soon after that, but applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled.

Further Information

NWO Project "Machine Translation When Exact Pattern Match Fails" at
Institute for Logic, Language and Computation at
Working at the UvA (information for international members of staff) at

For additional information on the project or the open position, contact Khalil Sima'an (k.simaan @ uva .nl).