With the launch of a new National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) Evolving Language, which involves nearly 40 different research groups from a large variety of disciplines across Switzerland, we seek to hire a four-year postdoc position specialized in data science and in machine learning.
The successful candidate will be primarily based at the Institute of Neuroinformatics at the University of Zurich / ETH Zurich but will also spend ample time in Geneva and potentially other labs of the NCCR. The position is embedded in an NCCR-wide task force in data science that collaborates with data science platforms at ETH Zurich, the University or Zurich, and EPF Lausanne as well as with partners in industry (e.g. the Google Research Natural Language Processing Group in Zurich).

Your responsibilities
The task of the postdoc is to push the boundaries of unsupervised and minimally supervised learning problems defined on animal vocalizations and on human language data, both written and sound-based. The research will be jointly supervised by Professors Paola Merlo (Computational Learning and Computational Linguistics Group, University of Geneva) and Richard Hahnloser (Institute of Neuroinformatics, ETH Zurich and University of Zurich) and is expected to be carried out in close collaboration with further members of the NCCR network.

Your profile
The ideal candidate has a PhD degree in computer science or natural/engineering science with extensive research experience in intelligent processing of large data sets. We place value in research experience on topics including deep neural networks, dimensionality reduction, information retrieval, and natural language processing.
The NCCR puts great emphasis on teamwork and on multidisciplinary perspectives. Excellent communication and collaboration skills are essential.

What we offer
We offer varied and interesting work in an inspiring and socially relevant environment. Diversity and inclusion are important to us. The NCCR places great emphasis on gender balance; we particularly encourage women to apply.

Start of employment
Review of applications starts November 1 and applications are accepted until the position is filled. Applications should include

  • a cover letter stating your motivation and vision for the field,
  • a CV with publication list,
  • a copy of the highest degree,
  • and the names of three references.

Please submit your application as a single PDF file labelled “PostdocML-YourSurname.pdf” to jobs@evolvinglanguage.ch. Questions can be addressed to Professor Paola Merlo (paola.merlo@unige.ch) and Professor Richard Hahnloser (rich@ini.uzh.ch).

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About NCCR Evolving Language

The Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Evolving Language is a nationwide interdisciplinary research consortium bringing together research groups from the humanities, from language and computer science, the social sciences, and the natural sciences at an unprecedented level. Together, we aim at solving one of humanity’s great mysteries: How did our species develop the ca­pa­city for linguistic expression, for processing language in the brain, and for con­sist­ently passing down new variations to the next generation? How will our capacity for language change in the face of digital com­munication and neuroengineering?

Evolving Language is led by Balthasar Bickel (Department of Comparative Language Science, UZH), Anne-Lise Giraud (Department of Basic Neurosciences, University of Geneva) and Klaus Zuberbühler (Institute of Biology, University of Neuchâtel). Over 30 research groups across Switzerland are taking part in this NCCR, from 9 different institutions as well as partners in industry (Google AI, Sonova) and public organizations: