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Postdoctoral Researcher in Embedding Multi-Level Speech Representations

JobRef: 10739
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Postdoctoral Researcher in Embedding Multi-Level Speech Representations

Level:Postdoctoral Researcher
POSTED:November 18, 2021
LOCATION:University College Dublin
CLOSES:December 6, 2021
Duration:2 Years
Reports to:Prof Julie Berndsen
Salary:€39,131 - €45,158 per annum
Closing Date:December 6, 2021

The closing date is Monday 6th December at 17.00 (Irish time) and and candidates must apply via 

The School of Computer Science at UCD invites applications for a Post-Doctoral Researcher to join the UCD  team in the ADAPT Research Centre to investigate the embedding of multi-level speech representations. This  project is part of the ADAPT Digital Content Transformation Strand. 

While deep learning has led to huge performance gains in speech recognition and synthesis, only recently more focus is being placed on what deep learning may be able uncover about the patterns which humans use  intuitively when interacting via speech and which distinguish native from non-native speakers. Such patterns  are typically the focus of speech perception and experimental phonetic studies. This project aims to build on  the notion of multi-linear or multi-tiered representations of speech, creating embeddings of multiple (sub word) levels of representation – phonetic features, phonemes, syllable pieces and syllables – enabling a closer  investigation of systematicity and variability of speech patterns. This research will find application in non-native  speech recognition, in speech adaptation/accommodation for native and non-native interactions and in  pronunciation training scenarios. 

ADAPT is the world-leading SFI research centre for AI Driven Digital Content Technology, coordinated by Trinity  College Dublin and based within Dublin City University, University College Dublin, Technological University  Dublin, Maynooth University, Munster Technological University, Athlone Institute of Technology, and the  National University of Ireland Galway. ADAPT’s research vision is to pioneer new forms of proactive, scalable,  and integrated AI-driven Digital Content Technology that empower individuals and society to engage in digital  experiences with control, inclusion, and accountability with the long-term goal of a balanced digital society by  2030. ADAPT is pioneering new Human Centric AI techniques and technologies including personalisation,  natural language processing, data analytics, intelligent machine translation human-computer interaction, as  well as setting the standards for data governance, privacy and ethics for digital content. 

ADAPT Digital Content Transformation Strand 

From the algorithmic perspective, new machine learning techniques will both enable more users to engage  meaningfully with the increasing volumes of content globally in a more measurably effective manner, while  ensuring the widest linguistic and cultural inclusion. It will enhance effective, robust integrated machine  learning algorithms needed to provide multimodal content experiences with new levels of accuracy,  multilingualism and explainability. 

The successful candidate will work under the direction of the Principal Investigator, helping to lead the  research, setting a research agenda, engaging with industry projects and mentoring PhD candidates and  students.  

This is a research focused role, where you will conduct a specified programme of research supported by  research training and development under the supervision and direction of a Principal Investigator.

The primary purpose of the role is to further develop your research skills and competences, including the  processes of publication in peer-reviewed academic publications, the development of funding proposals, the  mentorship of graduate students along with the opportunity to develop your skills in research led teaching.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Conduct a specified programme of research and scholarship under the supervision and direction of  your Principal Investigator. 
  • Engage in appropriate training and professional development opportunities as required by your  Principal Investigator, your School or Institute, or the University. 
  • Engage in the dissemination of the results of the research in which you are engaged as directed by and  with the support of and under the supervision of your Principal Investigator. 
  • Engage in the wider research and scholarly activities of your research group, School and Institute.
  • Mentor and assist, as appropriate and as directed, the research graduate students in your group,  School and Institute. 
  • Carry out administrative work associated with your programme of research.


Selection Criteria

  • PhD in Computer Science (or equivalent)  
  • A demonstrated expertise in deep learning and speech technology or computational linguistics/natural  language processing 
  • A demonstrated commitment to research and publications 
  • An understanding of the operational requirements for a successful research project
  • Evidence of research activity (publications, conference presentations, awards) and future scholarly  output (working papers, research proposals, and ability to outline a research project. 
  • Excellent Communication Skills (Oral, Written , Presentation etc). 
  • Excellent Organisational and Administrative skills including a proven ability to work to deadlines.
  • Candidates must demonstrate an awareness of equality, diversity and inclusion agenda.



  • Experience with non-native speech processing 
  • Ability to engage with a stakeholders from a range of diverse domains to design and develop effective  solutions 
  • Experience in setting own research agenda


Informal Enquiries ONLY to

Name:  Prof. Julie Berndsen
Title:  Full Professor and Principal Investigator
Email address:
Telephone:  N/A

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