Fully-Funded PhD Positions in Modelling Emergent Communication

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Université de Namur (UNamur)

How do human languages emerge and evolve? How are they acquired and used to communicate? And how can we computationally operationalise these processes so that populations of artificial agents can bootstrap their own languages in a human-like manner?

If these questions put a sparkle in your eyes, we are looking for you to join our interuniversity research team at the VUB Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the UNamur Faculty of Informatics!

We are offering fully funded joint PhD positions to enthusiastic and highly motivated candidates. You will join a multidisciplinary team of researchers that is dedicated to fundamental and strategic research at the intersection of the fields of artificial intelligence, linguistics and computer science.

Your profile:

  • You have obtained a master’s degree in artificial intelligence, linguistics, computer science, mathematics or a related domain. You have a solid academic track record. Students who will obtain their master's degree in 2024 are also very much encouraged to apply!
  • You are passionate about building intelligent systems that co-create languages in a human-like manner.
  • You strive for excellence and have a scientific mindset.
  • You are a loyal team player, who can work autonomously and deliver solid scientific work.
  • You have strong communication skills in English. Proficiency in (or willingness to learn) Dutch (VUB) and/or French (UNamur) is considered an asset.

We offer:

  • A fully-funded joint PhD position (up to 4 years upon positive evaluation)
  • A stimulating and lively scientific environment
  • The opportunity to carry out research at the highest international level, aiming for excellence in research with impact on society
  • The opportunity to collaborate with leading research groups at different universities and companies in Belgium and abroad
  • A highly competitive salary, hospitalisation insurance, public transport reimbursement and other benefits

How to apply:

To express your interest, please send the following documents to prof. dr. Paul Van Eecke (paul@ai.vub.ac.be) and prof. dr. Katrien Beuls (katrien.beuls@unamur.be):

  • Cover letter of motivation with contact information (max. 2 pages)
  • A detailed CV
  • Transcripts of academic records of master’s degrees and degree certificates
  • Name and contact details of two references who would be willing to write a recommendation letter if asked
  • A writing sample (preferably your master's thesis)

The starting date can be decided upon in concertation with the candidate (between February and October 2024). All applications received before 15/02/2024 will be fully considered. Applications received after this date will be considered on a case by case basis depending on the number of unfilled positions left.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact prof. dr. Paul Van Eecke (paul@ai.vub.ac.be) and prof. dr. Katrien Beuls (katrien.beuls@unamur.be).