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Open Position

Open position's detailed data


Type: Postdoc
Name (ID): Natural language processing and understanding in the context of speech recognition (OP-20180723-111752)
Supervised by: Philip GARNER, Petr MOTLICEK, James HENDERSON


The Idiap Research Institute in partnership with well known Swiss enterprises invites applications for multiple post-doctoral positions in automatic speech recognition (ASR) and natural language processing / understanding (NLP / NLU).
The positions are funded by the Innosuisse framework and by the enterprise itself, enabling a collaboration between Idiap and an innovative product company.

The successful candidates will work with Dr. Petr Motlicek, Dr. Philip Garner or Dr. James Henderson, and with the wider Speech and Audio Processing and Natural Language Processing groups, engaged in world-class research in speech and language processing. Exceptionally qualified candidates can also be considered for a longer-term Research Associate position.


Idiap will address new emerging challenges related to fast customisation of ASR and NLU technologies.

We envisage the following related research threads:

1. Domain adaptation of the ASR and NLU models towards towards data provided by the enterprise partners.

2. Automatic vocabulary extension to improve detection accuracies of rare, but highly informative keywords.

3. Development and adaptation of NLU technology optimized for the processing of speech-to-text input and the exploitation of joint learning of NLU and ASR.

4. End-to-end approaches to ASR and NLP.

The successful candidates will work at Idiap in Martigny, but in close collaboration with the partners' R&D teams based in Switzerland. The projects are a combination of applied science and academic research expected to yield both reference designs and academic publications.


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 (e.g., Kaldi), natural language processing tools, or deep learning toolkits (e.g., pyTorch, tensorflow) 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 on a one-year basis with the possibility of renewal based on funding and performance. The starting salary will be 80,000 CHF/year. Starting date is as soon as possible, but likely to be early in 2019, modulo permit regulations..

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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