The LT3 Language and Translation Technology Team is seeking a highly motivated PhD student in the field of NLP for Byzantine Greek

Posted by Els Lefever on July 6, 2021

PhD Student NLP for Byzantine Greek

Last application date: Aug 29, 2021

100% Dehousse Bursaal

LT3 Language and Translation Technology Team - Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Ghent University

Job description

Fully funded PhD in Computational Linguistics

Applications are invited to apply for a PhD candidate position to perform research in the field of computational linguistics at the LT³ - Language and Translation Technology Team at the Department of Translation, Interpreting and Communication at Ghent University. LT³ conducts fundamental and applied research in the domain of language and translation technology and has extensive expertise in the use of machine learning for a wide range of language technology problems, part-of-speech tagging and lemmatization, anaphora resolution, word sense disambiguation and named entity recognition.

Job description

You will be embedded in the Interdisciplinary project “Interconnected texts. A graph-based computational approach to Byzantine paratexts as nodes between textual transmission and cultural and linguistic developments”. This project aims to reveal the connections between linguistic patterns and text-historical developments in a corpus of metrical paratexts in Byzantine Greek manuscripts, situating these connections in the historical context of material book production and varying reading strategies. It will develop new digital tools designed to detect patterns and variations in a fluid, fragmented, and heavily entangled textual corpus.

The PhD candidate will research new machine learning approaches to link similar verses in order to connect related epigrams in the DBBE database (, combining automatic linguistic preprocessing techniques, and machine learning approaches to measure orthographic and semantic similarity between text strings.

The candidate will perform academic research in preparation of a doctoral dissertation. You will be enrolled in the doctoral training program of Ghent University. The PhD student will have the opportunity to attend international conferences and to spend a research stay abroad in other research labs.

Job profile

Given these tasks, we are searching for a candidate with a background in computational linguistics and having a good knowledge of ancient and/or Byzantine Greek.

  • You hold a Master’s diploma or certificate that is recognized as equivalent (Article V.20 Codex Higher Education) in linguistics, literature, classics, computational linguistics, computer science or equivalent.
  • You have a good knowledge of ancient and/or Byzantine Greek.
  • Background or strong interest in Natural Language Processing.
  • Knowledge of Python (or another programming language).
  • You have good oral and written communication skills in English.
  • You take initiative in searching for new research ideas and are not afraid to be critical about your own work.
  • You are a highly motivated, hardworking, flexible, able to face complex issues and you have an appropriate problem-solving attitude.
  • You are able to take on responsibilities, work independently but also as part of an interdisciplinary research team.

Conditions of employment

This position after approximately four years of successful research results in a PhD title in Linguistics. We offer a position for 4 years with yearly evaluations, in an exciting research environment, working on the intersection between language and computer science in the multi-disciplinary research environment of the Faculty Arts and Philosophy at Ghent University.

The exact start date of the position is negotiable, preferably as soon as possible. Candidates that will graduate soon (before 01/10/2021) are encouraged to apply.

How to apply

To apply please send your full application before 29 August 2021 to Prof Dr. Els Lefever –, which includes the following documents as pdfs and with appropriate file names (i.e. FAMILYNAME_FILETYPE):

- Your application letter in English (max. two pages) that indicates why you wish to pursue a PhD? And why in computational linguistics for Ancient languages (Greek)? What is your -if any- prior experience with NLP?;
- Your curriculum vitae, including two referees;
- A copy of your Master’s thesis;
- A copy of your Master’s diploma.

After an initial screening, interviews will take place (online if needed) in the week of 6 - 10 September 2021 through Zoom or MS Teams.

For more information about this vacancy contact:

Els Lefever, Associate Professor of language technology at the LT3 research Team at Ghent University, Ghent,