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Open Position

Open position's detailed data


Type: Postdoc
Name (ID): Domain adaptation for speech and language processing (OP-20190207-112858)
Supervised by: Philip GARNER


The Idiap Research Institute in partnership with Swisscom invites applications for a post-doctoral (or similarly qualified) position in automatic speech recognition (ASR) and natural language processing (NLP). The position is funded by Swisscom, with a view to a long term collaboration.

The successful candidate will work with Dr. Philip Garner and/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. This is particulary important where interaction with customers can be for short times over channels of various quality and over different modes.

The research is likely to build on current state of the art end-to-end techniques enabling domain adaptation of both the ASR and NLP models. We aim to focus initially on the lexicon, aiming to propagate advances in open vocabulary NLP (such as machine translation) into ASR.

The successful candidate will be based at Idiap in Martigny, but will work in close collaboration with Swisscom's R&D teams based in Lausanne and elsewhere in Switzerland. This means spending one or more days per week at the Swisscom Dital lab on the EPFL campus. The projects are a combination of applied science and academic research; as well as generating research papers, there will be the opportunity to propagate the results of the research into real applications at Swisscom.


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, 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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