Raquel Fernández


I come from Barcelona and when I was young I wanted to be a writer. This lead me to study Catalan Philology, a mix of literature and formal and computational linguistics at UAB. After abandoning the writer idea, I continued with a Master's in Cognitive Science and Language and my scientific endeavours started to take shape after this.

In 2001, I moved to London to do a PhD in computational linguistics at King's College London, where I worked as a research associate in the Computer Science Department (now sadly turned into the Department of Informatics). While at King's, I became interested in dialogue interaction and wrote my PhD thesis under Jonathan Ginzburg's supervision.

After London came Berlin, where I spent two years from 2005 to 2007. During this period I was a postdoc Marie Curie fellow within the EU-funded project "Dealing with Uncertainty in Dialogue" at the Linguistics Department, University of Potsdam, where I worked jointly with David Schlangen.

Towards the end of 2007, I moved to San Francisco (California) and spent one year working as research fellow in Stanley Peter's Computational Semantics Lab at the CSLI, Stanford University. I was a member of the CALO project, the parent project of Apple's intelligent assistant Siri.

I joined the ILLC in Amsterdam as an independent research fellow in November 2008, after having won a VENI grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). In 2010, I was awarded a personal grant by the MEERVOUD funding programme, which aims at promoting the careers of women in science. I became Assistant Professor (Universitair Docent in Dutch) at the ILLC in October 2011. I established my own research group, the ILLC's Dialogue Modelling Group, after receiving a VIDI grant by the NWO in 2015, and became Associate Professor (Universitair Hoofddocent) in 2016.