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Vacancy @CLTL: Postdoc Researcher NWO project “Framing situations in the Dutch language” (closing Sept. 1, 2018)

Job position: PostDoc Researcher

Fte: 0.8 fte, 4 years (expandable to a full time position with an educational task for the Research Master track Human Language Technology)

Vacancy number : 18254

VU unit: Faculty of Humanities, VU University Amsterdam

Closing date: September 1, 2018

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is a leading, innovative and growing university that is at the heart of society and actively contributes to new developments in teaching and research. Our university has ten faculties which span a wide range of disciplines, as well as several institutes, foundations, research centres, and support services. Its campus is located in the fastest-growing economic region in the Netherlands (the Zuidas district of Amsterdam), and provides work for over 4,500 staff and scientific education for more than 23,000 students.

The work is carried out at the Computational Lexicology and Terminology Lab (CLTL), which is led by the Spinozalaureate Prof. Dr. Piek Vossen. CLTL is a renowned research group that studies language understanding, generation and interaction through computer models, based on latest technologies, such as neural networks and (un)supervised data approaches, in combination with symbolic knowledge resources, such as computational lexicons and linked-open data repositories. CLTL also runs the Research Master track Human Language Technology, which attracts many international students. More information on the research projects and the master program can be found at the website:

CLTL is part of the Network Institute ( an interfacultary research institute in which more than 200 researchers from different disciplines collaborate. CLTL has strong ties with the Faculty of Computer Science and Social Sciences at the VU University, through joined projects, PhDs and education programs. Furthermore, CLTL has a long tradition of collaboration both nationally and internationally with research groups at other universities and companies. In this project, we will specifically collaborate with Prof. Dr. Johan Bos from the University of Groningen and Prof. Dr. Collin Baker from Berkeley University.

The PostDoc will work on the NWO project Framing situations in the Dutch language. Language plays a central role in framing, as we daily choose which nouns and verbs describe or frame, a given situation. For some languages, researchers created databases (called FrameNets) containing rich collections of conceptual schemas (frames) that describe situations from a certain perspective. These frames are connected to words and sentences that express them. Several lexical resources exist for Dutch, but no FrameNet. Moreover, we have limited knowledge of the variation of framing in Dutch and how this compares to other languages. The project’s objectives are 1) to create a unique data set where similar situations are framed by many different sources and texts using a newly developed data-to-text method, 2) to capture the variation in framing these situations in Dutch and other languages, 3) to capture semantic-pragmatic factors underlying the usage of different frames for similar situations, and 4) to develop semantic frame and role annotation software. An additional concrete outcome of this project is a Dutch FrameNet contributing to the renowned Berkeley Multilingual FrameNet project, which assesses the cross-linguistic validity of frames and investigates crosslinguistic variation in framing. The insights, resources and technologies created by this project provide new possibilities for (industrial) data analysts and researchers from the Humanities and Social Sciences. The project is coordinated by

Prof. Dr. Piek Vossen and the PostDoc will collaborate with two PhDs (to be hired) and the research staff at CLTL and the University of Groningen.


– Further develop and apply the data-to-text method to collect Dutch, English, and Italian texts that frame the same and similar situations, starting from event-registries and structured data on events and automaticallyacquiring texts that make reference to these events.
– Develop an annotation environment that exploits the structured event data shared by different texts, uses the background FrameNet lexicon and ontology and results in faster and more consistent annotation.
– Train and supervise student-assistents that will carry out the annotation with the environment.
– Define crowd-annotation tasks to expand the student annotations.
– Derive a FrameNet lexicon supported by and as an abstraction of the corpus annotations; deploy this lexicon for supporting further annotations.
– Set up an evaluation framework to test the annotation and the lexicon in acquisition, annotation and lexicalisation cycles.
– Co-supervise one PhD in the project.
– Work on the synthesis of the project in colloboration with the Multilingual FrameNet project of Berkeley University.

Requirements: The ideal candidate:

1. has a PhD in (computational) linguistics or computer science
2. has good knowledge and control of the Dutch language and English, preferably also Italian.
3. has a strong computational linguistics background or a computer science background with experience in natural language processing and machine learning
4. has good programming skills
5. can work well in a team
6. preferably has knowledge/experience of/with FrameNet
7. preferably has knowledge and experience in lexicology

Further particulars:

The position is possibly expanded to a full time position with an educational task for the Research Master track Human Language Technology. We aim at starting the project between September 2018 and January 2019. The appointment will be initially for 1 year After satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, it can be extended for a total duration of 4 years.

You can find information about our excellent fringe benefits of employment at like:

• remuneration of 8,3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday allowance
• solid pension scheme (ABP);
• a minimum of 29 holidays in case of full-time employment;
• participation in Individual Choices model;
• a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge.


The starting salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel, and depending on experience, range from a minimum of €3238,- gross per month up to a maximum of €3475,- gross per month (salary scale 10) based on a fulltime employment.

For additional informationplease contact:

Piek Vossen phone: +31 20 59 86457


Applicants are requested to write a letter in which they describe their abilities and motivation, accompanied by a curriculum vitae and one or two references (name(s) and e-mail address(es). Please send your application before August 15 to:

Prof. Dr. Piek Vossen
Faculty of Humanities
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Applications should be send by email:
Please mention the vacancy number in the e-mail header.

Any other correspondence in response to this advertisement will not be dealt with.

Vacancy @ CLTL: Scientific Programmer

Immediate Opening in the following position: Scientific Programmer (Dutch below)


The Computational Lexicology and Terminology Lab (CLTL), led by Spinoza prize winner Prof. dr. Piek Vossen, is looking for a scientific programmer with an interest in language technology.

Function title: Scientific Programmer
Fte: 0.6-0.8
VU Faculty: Humanities
Vacancy number: 17341
Closing date: Open until filled

Location: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands

In the NewsReader project, CLTL has developed a pipeline architecture containing software modules with which Dutch texts can be interpreted semantically. De software determines which events are named, who is involved, where, and when the events have taken place, what the sentiment of the named sources of the events is, et cetera. These interpretations are stored in XLM format, the so called Natural Language Annotation Format (NAF). Furthermore, the software generates a representation in RDF supporting (automatic) reasoning over the data. De RDF representations are stored in the so called Triple store and can be queried by means of SPARQL. The candidate takes care of the management of this unique Dutch Natural Language Processing (NLP) pipeline.

The tasks are being executed in the context of the NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research)-roadmap project CLARIAH. In the project cooperations take place with researchers across the Netherlands to develop a research infrastructure for the humanities. There are also cooperations with the department of computer science at the VU, with the eScience institute to develop demonstrators, and with researchers abroad.

Candidate is expected to support maintenance, usage and further development of the pipeline mentioned above:

• Standardisation and meta data management;
• Software release and versioning of modules;
• Testing;
• Logging;
• Distributive parallel installations and processing;
• Compilation, installation and packaging (e.g.: VMs, Docker);
• Process management;
• Integration in Virtual Research Environment for students and researchers in the Humanities;
• Installation and maintenance of demonstrators.

Ideal Applicant Requirements:
• MSc/MA in computer science/computational linguistics or equivalent title and/or experience;
• Extensive experience in programming languages among which Java and Python;
• Extensive experience with Unix-like systems (Linux and Mac);
• Experience with working within a team of researchers;
• Service oriented;
• Experience with large scale and complex Big Data processing flows;
• Knowledge of standardisation of data in both NLP and Semantic Web;
• Experience with NLP software;
• (preferably) Experience with Sparql and triple stores;
• (preferably) Experience with web-based clients for visualisation and demonstration.

Further particulars
The appointment will be initially for a period of 1 year with the possibility of an extension.

For the completion of the CLARIAH tasks a minimum of 0.6 fte and a maximum 0.8 fte is required.

You may find information about our excellent fringe benefits of employment at including:
• remuneration of 8,3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday allowance;
• solid pension scheme (ABP);
• a minimum of 29 holidays in case of full-time employment.

The salary will be depending on education and experience, and range from a minimum of € 2.588,- gross per month up to a maximum of € 4.084,- gross per month (salary scale 10) based on a fulltime employment.

For additional information please contact:
Prof dr. Piek Vossen
phone: 020 59 86457

Applicants are requested to write a letter in which they describe their abilities and motivation, accompanied by a curriculum vitae and a list of software projects executed and publications.

Please send your application to:

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Attn. Faculty of Humanities
Prof dr. Piek Vossen

Please mention the vacancy number in the e-mail header or at the top of your letter and on the envelope.

Any other correspondence in response to this advertisement will not be dealt with.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is a leading, innovative and growing university that is at the heart of society and actively contributes to new developments in teaching and research. Our university has ten faculties which span a wide range of disciplines, as well as several institutes, foundations, research centres, and support services. Its campus is located in the fastest-growing economic region in the Netherlands (the Zuidas district of Amsterdam), and provides work for over 4,500 staff and scientific education for more than 23,000 students


Functietitel: Wetenschappelijk Programmeur
Fte: 0.6-0.8
VU eenheid: FGW
Vacaturenummer: 17341
Sluitingsdatum: Open tot ingevuld

Het Computational Lexicology and Terminology Lab (CLTL) onder leiding van Spinozaprijswinnaar Prof. Dr. Piek Vossen zoekt per direct een wetenschappelijke programmeur met interesse voor taaltechnologie. CLTL heeft in het NewsReader project een pipeline architectuur ontwikkeld met software modules waarmee Nederlandse teksten semantisch geïnterpreteerd kunnen worden. De software bepaalt welke gebeurtenissen worden genoemd, wie er bij betrokken zijn, waar en wanneer die hebben plaatsgevonden, wat het sentiment is van de genoemde bronnen over die gebeurtenissen, etc. Deze interpretaties worden opgeslagen in een XML formaat, het zogenaamde Natural Language Annotation Format (NAF). Verder genereert de software een representatie in RDF die het mogelijk maakt om over de data te redeneren. De RDF representaties worden opgeslagen in een zogenaamde Triple store waar ze door middel van SPARQL bevraagd kunnen worden. De kandidaat zal zorgdragen voor het beheer van deze unieke Nederlandse Natural Language Processing (NLP) pipeline.

De werkzaamheden worden uitgevoerd in het NWO-roadmap project CLARIAH waarin samengewerkt wordt met onderzoekers uit heel Nederland om een onderzoeksinfrastructuur te ontwikkelen voor de geesteswetenschappen. Verder wordt er samengewerkt met het departement van computer science bij de VU, het eScience instituut voor demonstrators en met buitenlandse onderzoekers.

De kandidaat wordt verwacht ondersteuning te leveren aan het onderhoud, gebruik en verdere ontwikkeling van deze pipeline:
• Standaardisatie en metadatabeheer;
• Software release en versioning van modules;
• Testing;
• Logging;
• Distributieve parallelle installaties en processing;
• Compilatie, installatie en packaging (bijv. VMs, Docker);
• Procesmanagement;
• Integratie in Virtual Research Environment voor studenten en onderzoekers in de geesteswetenschappen;
• Installatie en onderhoud van demonstrators.

• MA in computer science of een vergelijkbare titel en/of ervaring;
• Ruime ervaring met diverse programmeertalen, waaronder Java en Python;
• Ruime ervaring met Unix-achtige systemen (Linux en Mac);
• Ervaring in het werken binnen een team van onderzoekers;
• Servicegericht zijn.
• Ervaring met grootschalige en complexe Big Data processing flows;
• Kennis van standaardisatie van data in zowel NLP als Semantic Web;
• Ervaring met het werken met NLP software;
• (bij voorkeur) ervaring met Sparql en triple stores;
• (bij voorkeur) ervaring met web-based clients voor visualisatie en demonstratie;

De arbeidsovereenkomst wordt in eerste instantie aangegaan voor een periode van
1 jaar. Verlenging van de arbeidsovereenkomst behoort tot de mogelijkheden.
Voor de CLARIAH werkzaamheden is een invulling van minimaal 0.6 fte en maximaal 0.8 fte nodig.

De Vrije Universiteit heeft aantrekkelijke secundaire arbeidsvoorwaarden en regelingen zoals:
• 8,3% eindejaarsuitkering en 8% vakantietoeslag;
• Goede pensioenregeling (ABP);
• Minimaal 29 vakantiedagen bij volledige arbeidsduur;

Het salaris bedraagt afhankelijk van opleiding en ervaring minimaal € 2.588,- en maximaal € 4.084,- bruto per maand (salarisschaal 10) bij een voltijds dienstverband.

Voor meer informatie kunt u contact opnemen met:
Prof dr. Piek Vossen
tel.: 020 59 86457

Kandidaten kunnen solliciteren naar deze functie door een motivatiebrief, curriculum vitae en lijst van uitgevoerde softwareprojecten en publicaties onder vermelding van het vacaturenummer in de e-mail header te sturen aan:

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
T.a.v. Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
Prof dr. Piek Vossen

Het vacaturenummer graag vermelden in de e-mail header of linksboven op uw brief en envelop.

De Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) is een vooraanstaande, innovatieve en groeiende universiteit die midden in de samenleving staat en actief bijdraagt aan de ontwikkelingen in onderwijs en onderzoek. Onze breed georiënteerde universiteit telt tien faculteiten, verschillende instituten, stichtingen en onderzoekscentra, en ondersteunende diensten. Op de campus aan de snelst groeiende economische regio van Nederland (de Zuidas), werken ruim 4.500 medewerkers en volgen ruim 23.000 studenten wetenschappelijk onderwijs.

Acquisitie naar aanleiding van deze advertentie wordt niet op prijs gesteld.

Research Masters meet Language Industry

MEET & GREET Human Language Technology (CLTL) & Language Industry

20171207_HLT_FooterThe Computational Lexicology and Terminology Lab (CLTL) organized a MEET & GREET between companies and master students on Friday December 08, 2017 13:30 – 18:00.

Research Masters Meet Language Industry
In the afternoon of Friday December 8th, 2017m students from the Humanities Research Master meet companies and organizations interested in students in Language Technology and other disciplines for internships and theses. The meeting is organized by the Computational Lexicology and Terminology Lab at the VU, in cooperation with the VU Humanities Graduate School.

CLTL is one of the world’s leading research institutes in Human Language technology. Prof. Dr. Piek Vossen, recipient of the NWO Spinoza Prize, heads the group of international researchers that are working on interdisciplinary projects, including the Spinoza project ‘Understanding Language by Machines’. At CLTL we are training the next generation language technology experts. The two-year Research Master Human Language Technology is a program by CLTL.

The Meet & Greet is an excellent opportunity to introduce your company or organisation to Human Language Technology students, and for master students to present their research topic or area of expertise to you.

Join our afternoon program in the presence of the Reference Machine, LeoLani a Pepper robot!

Lecture hall HG 10A.00 (main building at Floor 10, Wing: A), Main building , Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam.

13:30 – 14:00 Walk-In / Doors open / Registration & Coffee
14:00 – 14:05 Introduction: Prof. Dr. Piek Vossen
14:05 – 14:45 Company pitches I
14:45 – 15:15 Student pitches I
15:15 – 15:30 Coffee Break
15:30 – 16:15 Company pitches II
16:15 – 16:45 Student pitches II
16:45 – 17:00 Q&A Reference Machine
17:00 – 18:00 Networking drinks

Pepper_Reference_Machine LeoLani, a Reference Machine