Application Form
Postdoctoral Researcher in Explainable AI for native and non-native speech

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Postdoctoral Researcher in Explainable AI for native and non-native speech

Level:Postdoctoral Researcher
POSTED:November 23, 2022
LOCATION:University College Dublin
Duration:2 Years
Reports to:Prof Julie Berndsen
Salary:€41,209 - €47,477
Closing Date:November 29, 2022

 The closing date is 29th November at 17.00hrs (local Irish time).


Position Summary

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 explainable AI for native and non-native speech. 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 apply deep learning to create embeddings of native and non-native speech and to use explainable AI methods to analyse these embeddings in terms of their encoding of phonetic features and phonological information. The ultimate goal of the work is to enable a closer investigation of systematicity and variability of speech patterns. This research will find application in non-native speech recognition and in speech adaptation/accommodation for native and non-native interactions.

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
  • 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

Selection criteria outline the qualifications, skills, knowledge and/or experience that the successful candidate would need to demonstrate for successful discharge of the responsibilities of the post. Applications will be assessed on the basis of how well candidates satisfy these 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
  • 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


The PD1 position is intended for early stage researchers, either just after completion of a PhD or for someone entering a new area for the first time. If you have already completed your PD1 stage in UCD or will soon complete a PD1, or you are an external applicant whose total Postdoctoral experience, inclusive of the duration of the advertised post, would exceed 4 years, you should not apply and should refer to PD2 posts instead.

  • Desirable

  • 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

Further Information for Candidates

EDI in UCD: UCD is committed to creating an inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated, and everyone is afforded equality of opportunity. To that end the university adheres to a range of equality, diversity and inclusion policies. We encourage applicants to consult those policies here . We welcome applications from everyone, including those who identify with any of the protected characteristics that are set out in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy.

Supplementary information

The University:
UCD College of Science:
UCD School of Computer Science:
The ADAPT Research Centre
Other: N/A


UCD offers a comprehensive Research Careers Framework in line with the Advisory Science Council Report ‘Towards a Framework for Researcher Careers’. This model provides a structured and supportive Career and Skills Development system designed to ensure that Post-docs in UCD are able to plan their careers and prepare for future opportunities in academia, industry or the public sector. For more information, please click here

Informal Enquiries ONLY to:

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

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