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Type: Postdoc
Name (ID): 3 Postdoc positions in the areas of multilingual speech processing and cross-lingual indexing (OP-20170808-145524)
Supervised by: Hervé Bourlard, Philip Garner, James Henderson


The Idiap Research Institute invites applications for three post-doctoral positions in the general areas of multilingual speech recognition, low-resourced speech recognition, domain adaptation and cross-lingual indexing. The positions are currently funded by EU H2020 and IARPA projects, ranging from one to five years in duration.

The successful candidates will work with Prof. Hervé Bourlard, Dr. Philip N. Garner, and/or Dr. James Henderson, and will have the opportunity to collaborate with some of the 25 members of the Audio and Speech Processing and Natural Language Processing groups, engaged in world-class research in speech and natural language processing. Exceptionally qualified candidates can also be considered for a longer-term Research Associate position.

Description of work

Modern speech recognition requirements are multilingual in nature, representing regions of the world that are of interest to news organisations and governments. Such locations often yield languages that have limited linguistic resources for academic purposes, or use unusual accents and dialects. Recordings are not studio quality; rather, they are obtained in noisy environments over limited channels. To best make use of the the data, it is not only necessary to perform speech recognition, but also provide the results in a manner suitable for machine translation, summarisation and indexing.

Idiap researchers have developed techniques to handle the multilingual nature of communication in Switzerland and abroad, exploiting advanced speech processing, statistical modeling and machine learning. Much of this is based on deep neural networks, but also encompasses sparsity and low rank modelling. This extends into natural language processing using domain specific word embedding and hashing of continuous spaces.

The available positions span the above technology range, from low level signal processing to higher level natural language processing and translation. In the context of international collaborations, the successful candidates will work using these techniques and others with partners in countries as diverse as the UK, the USA, Germany, Latvia and Qatar.


Candidates should have either or both of:

1. A strong background in engineering, mathematics or a related discipline, along with the associated familiarity with modern distributed programming environments and languages such as C++, Python and Perl.

2. An exceptional academic record and a clear aptitude for creative (and independent) research in a related discipline.

In either case, familiarity with speech processing tools such as Kaldi and deep learning toolkits such as Torch will be a distinct advantage. Although a PhD is normally a prerequisite for a post-doctoral position, candidates without a PhD may be considered in exceptional cases.


All positions are offered as one-year basis with the possibility of renewal based on funding and performance. The postdoc contract will be for one year, with a start salary of 80,000. - CHF/year, with a reasonable chance to be renewed based on performance. Starting date is immediate or to be negotiated (for early 2018).

About Idiap:

Idiap is an independent, not-for-profit, research institute recognized and funded by the Swiss Federal Government, the State of Valais, and the City of Martigny.

Idiap offers competitive salaries and conditions at all levels in a young, high-quality, dynamic, and multicultural environment. Idiap is an equal opportunity employer and is actively involved in the "Advancement of Women in Science" European initiative. The Institute seeks to maintain a principle of open competition (on the basis of merit) to appoint the best candidate, provides equal opportunity for all candidates, and equally encourage both genders to apply.

Idiap is located in the town of Martigny in Valais, a scenic region in the south of Switzerland, surrounded by the highest mountains of Europe, and offering exceptional quality of life, exciting recreational activities, including hiking, climbing and skiing, as well as varied cultural activities. It is within close proximity to Lausanne and Geneva. Although Idiap is located in the French part of Switzerland, English is the official working language. Free French lessons are also provided on a complimentary basis.

For frequently asked questions (FAQs) about living in Switzerland, please go to

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