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PhD scholarship in Natural Language Processing for the Digital Humanities

The Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics (NorS), Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark, invites applications for a 3-year PhD scholarship in Natural Language Processing for the Digital Humanities to be filled by 1 May 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter. 
Application deadline: 1 March 2018
The successful candidate will work for the cross-departmental and interdisciplinary research project Skrift og tekst i tid og rum (Script and text in time and space) funded by the Velux Foundations (see The candidate will be attached to the Centre for Language Technology (CST), and work in close collaboration with researchers from the Arnamagnæan Institute (AMI). 
CST conducts research in different areas of interest for language technology, such as natural language processing, language technology resources and the infrastructure around them, machine learning, multimodal communication and language technology for the Digital Humanities (see The Centre has a strong international profile, and considerable experience managing international research projects. Together with the Department of Computer Science of the University of Copenhagen, it offers an international MSc programme in IT and Cognition. AMI conducts research into early Scandinavian language and literature through the study of its material record, in particular the manuscripts of the Arnamagnæan Collection. AMI is a leading centre for the study of early Scandinavian manuscripts (see and is strong in research-based teaching at the postgraduate level including an international summer school in Scandinavian Manuscript Studies.  
The project 
Skrift og tekst i tid og rum (Script and text in time and space) positions itself in the area of Digital Humanities. The goal of the project is to study medieval texts produced in Denmark in Danish and Latin from the point of view of handwriting development, as well as dating and localization of the manuscripts. The project is cross-disciplinary and combines qualitative and quantitative approaches from philology, history, and language technology. The project will: 

  • provide dynamic and interactive digital editions of diplomas, that is, historical documents with judicial contents
  • perform systematic research into the script and language of the diplomas
  • survey the enterprise of diplomatics in a convent in medieval Denmark and the persons and places involved
  • develop an open source system for research, publication, and dissemination of handwritten texts in digital and printed format
  • develop tools for automatic linguistic analysis of texts as well as automatic dating, localizing, and identifying scribal schools based on machine-learning techniques 
Job content 
The successful candidate will engage in cutting-edge research in the area of Digital Humanities. In particular, the candidate will engage in the application of machine learning to the task of automatic dating and localization of medieval texts from Denmark, both in Danish and Latin, using existing linguistic annotations as well as visual features. The candidate will work in close collaboration not only with computational linguists from CST, but also with experts in manuscript studies and philology (including digital philology).  
We expect candidates to hold a Master’s degree in Computer Science, Computational Linguistics, or similar and to have programming experience, as well as a strong background in machine learning applied to the area of Natural Language Processing. Knowledge of one or more of the following areas will be considered an asset: 
  • Digital Humanities
  • Previous work with texts in older languages (especially Nordic languages and Latin)
  • Digital image processing 
Furthermore, emphasis will be placed on the following: 
  • Quality and relevance of project description (see below)
  • Scientific publications, if any  
For further information about the position, please contact Senior Researcher Patrizia Paggio ( 
Please note that applications which do not adhere to the formal requirements (read more in the two sections ‘Admission requirements’ and ‘Application requirements’ below) will not be taken into consideration for the PhD scholarship.   
Admission requirements 
Applicants need to hold a two-year Master's degree (120 ECTS) or the equivalent. Applicants must have submitted their thesis at the time of application, to the extent the thesis forms part of their Master program. In case you have not obtained your diploma by the application deadline, you must include a statement (pre-approval) from your university declaring that you have been awarded the master degree.   
Applicants with a non-Danish Master's degree will have their degree assessed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science in order to establish, if the Master's degree is equivalent to a Danish Master's degree. Please read more at the Ministry of Higher Education and Sciences website:  
Excellent communication skills in English is considered essential and applicants must speak and write academic English fluently. The PhD Administration may ask applicants to document their proficiency in English at any time during the recruitment process if this is considered necessary. 
Application requirements 
Project description   
The application must include a detailed project description containing the overall objectives, reflections on the intended PhD project's method and design as well as a timetable. This description should make reference to the project Script and text in time and space (, in particular the second part of sub-project 3, on p. 14 of the project description. An example of the kind of data that will be available for the machine learning experiments is available from ;
Please note: The project description must not exceed 12,000 characters (including title, table of content, punctuation, spacing, study plan, figures, footnotes, and references etc., but excluding bibliography). If the extent is exceeded your application will not be taken into consideration. Please specify the amount of characters used at the top (left/right) of your research proposal. Please send the research proposal in an editable format. 
Furthermore, please note: Text in additional application documents (e.g. a CV) which could be considered as supplementary text to the project description will be included in the calculation of the characters in the project description.  
General guidelines on how to make a research proposal are available here: ;
CV including a list of publications, if available, must be submitted with the application.   
Statement of consent   
Statements of consent can be submitted with the application. For example, agreement of access to special archives, agreement of exchange at an international university, or a statement of consent from a potential supervisor/ co-supervisor etc.   
Recommendations and publications   
Do NOT upload or submit cover letters, recommendations, publications or your Master thesis.   
Diploma and transcript of records   
The following documentation must be submitted:  
  • A copy of the applicant's Master's degree diploma (if not available before the application deadline, a pre-approval must be submitted)
  • A copy of the applicant's Master’s degree transcript of records (an official description of the grading scale must be included)
  • A copy of the applicant's Bachelor’s degree diploma
  • A copy of the applicant's Bachelor’s degree transcript of records (an official description of the grading scale must be included)   
If the MA diploma and/or examination records are in another language than English, German, French, Spanish, Danish, Norwegian or Swedish, please include a translation into either of these languages in your application.  
The translation of diplomas/certificates and transcripts must be made by or approved by either:  
  • A state-authorized translator and interpreter
  • The embassy or consulate of the country where the original document was issued or where the translation was made
  • A Danish consulate/embassy   
The PhD administration encourages applicants from within the EU to enclose a Diploma Supplement. The Diploma Supplement is part of a common European framework for transparency of competencies and qualifications – the EuroPass framework. For more information, click here. 
Chinese applicants are required to enclose a CADGEEC (The China Academic degrees and Graduate Education Evaluation Committee) certificate. Read more here.  
Please read about admission requirements and application requirements on our website at: ;  
The recruitment process 
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, applicants are selected for assessment on the advice of the Appointment Committee. All applicants will be notified whether they are passed on to assessment or not. Whereafter, the Assessment Committee is appointed by the Dean and the selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee. Each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment which relates to their own application.  
Afterwards selected qualified candidates will be invited for an interview. Please be advised that a positive assessment does not necessarily mean that you will be invited for an interview.   
For further information on the recruitment process please see Copenhagen University’s website:  
Enrolment as a PhD student at the Faculty of Humanities' PhD School is a precondition for employment as a PhD scholar. 
As a PhD scholar at The Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen, you will be supervised for approximately 180 hours distributed over 6 semesters. In addition to this, you must complete courses totalling approximately 30 ECTS. On completion of the PhD programme you must submit a PhD thesis in order to document your research effort.  
Read more about the structure of the PhD programme and what it means to be enrolled as a PhD student via this link: ;
For more information about the PhD School, click here: ;
Terms of employment 
PhD scholars at the Faculty of Humanities are appointed under the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. According to the agreement, PhD scholars are obliged – without any additional remuneration – to perform tasks assigned to them corresponding to 840 working hours over the three years.  
For further information on employment, please see the collective agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). Please read more here: ;
Please note that it is normally a precondition for employment that the applicant in question does not already have a PhD degree. Applicants who have already obtained a PhD degree will, as a main rule, be dismissed.    
For any further questions, please contact the PhD Administration, HR South and City Campus, University of Copenhagen via this e-mail: 
As an equal opportunity employer, the Faculty of Humanities invites applications from all interested candidates regardless of personal background. 
Applications must be submitted electronically no later than 1 March 2018 at 23.59 (11.59 pm) (CET).   
You can alter submitted application in the recruitment system until the application deadline expires. No supplementary documents will be taken into consideration after this deadline. 


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