2 Early Stage Research Positions available at CiTIUS-USC for the NL4XAI project

CiTIUS, the Research Centre in Intelligent Technologies of the University of Santiago de Compostela offers 2 Early Stage Research Positions within the framework of NL4XAI: Interactive Natural Language Technology for Explainable Artificial Intelligence, a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 860621.

NL4XAI is a European Training Network (ETN) project, which will train 11 creative, entrepreneurial and innovative early-stage researchers (ESRs), who will face the challenge of making Artificial Intelligence (AI) self-explanatory and thus contribute to translating knowledge into products and services for economic and social benefit, with the support of Explainable AI (XAI) systems.

The focus of NL4XAI is in the automatic generation of interactive explanations in natural language, just as humans naturally do, and as a complement to visualization tools. As a result, ESRs are expected to leverage the usage of AI models and techniques even by non-expert users.

The NL4XAI consortium is made up of 18 partners and beneficiaries from 6 different European countries (France, Malta, Poland, Spain, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom). The consortium is coordinated by the Research Centre in Intelligent Technologies of the Univ. of Santiago de Compostela (CiTIUS-USC) and the partners correspond to 2 national R&D centres (IIIA-CSIC and CNRS-LORIA), 10 universities (Univ. Aberdeen, TU Delft, Univ. Malta, Utrecht Univ., Univ. Twente, Univ. Lorraine, Univ. Dundee, Univ. Autònoma de Barcelona, Univ. Santiago de Compostela and Warsaw Univ. of Technology) and 6 private companies (Indra, Accenture, Orange, Wizenoze, Arria and Info Support).

Each ESR will work in an individual research project in a different host institution and will participate in academic and inter-sectoral secondments at the premises of other NL4XAI’s members.

We look for outstanding, motivated and team-spirited candidates to carry out a PhD within the NL4XAI ETN and who will get unique international and inter-sectoral training from prominent European researchers (from both academy and industry).

The available positions at CiTIUS-USC within the NL4XAI project are the following:

Deadline for Applications: February  14, 2020, at 23h59 CET (UCT + 01:00)

PhD Enrollment: Universidade de Santiago de Compostela-USC (Spain)

The USC hosts more than 3,000 PhD students and has been awarded the “HR Excellence in Research” by the EC under the HRS4R process. Currently, the CiTIUS hosts 31 senior researchers, which have been selected by an external scientific advisory board, and a total of about 100 researchers. During the period 2016-2019, CiTIUS researchers have published more than 160 SJR journal papers and got more than 10,5 M€ from competitive R&D funds, being one third of them in collaboration with the industry sector. CiTIUS researchers have also promoted 3 new spin-offs.

General eligibility criteria:

  • Mobility: At the time of recruitment, the researcher must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years prior to recruitment date. Time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention is not taken into account.
  • Career: When starting their contract (expected in April 2020), selected researchers should be within the first four years of his/her research careers and not have been awarded a doctoral degree prior to the application.
  • The candidate must be working exclusively for the action.

Specific requirements:

  • Degree: a University Degree and a Master Degree in Computer Science, Telecommunication Engineering, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence or in another related area within the European Higher Education System (minimum 300 ECTS) or an equivalent University Degree that allows to start a PhD Program at the University of Santiago de Compostela.
  • Programming skills: Java, Python
  • Language: Excellent command of English, together with good academic writing and presentation skills.

Please check the additional specific requirements of each available position.

Note that female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.

Contract: Full-time contract

Duration: 36 months, including 3 secondments of 3 months each, at other consortium members’ premises.

Salary:

Gross salary of 2346.50 €/month (14 payments per year) if the researcher has no family or 2661.70 €/month (14 payments per year) if the researcher is married or has dependent children for the purposes of the MSCA (For more information, click here).

Salary includes medical care coverage and work accident insurance through the Spanish Health Care System, providing access to the Spanish public health care system for candidates, as well as pension and unemployment benefits.

Required documents:

  • Detailed CV in Europass format (template available in the following link) in English, highlighting the merits that are established as evaluation criteria;
  • Scans of BSc and/or MSc transcripts, with certified translation in English (if the degree qualification is not in English or in the language of the hosting country); 
  • A motivation letter in English, highlighting the consistency between the candidate profile and the chosen ESR position/s for which she/he is applying and describing why you wishes to be an NL4XAI ESR to carry out a PhD;
  • Contact details or recommendation letters of two referees in English or in certified translation;
  • Scanned copy of valid identification document;
  • Proof of excellent command of English (e.g., IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge or equivalent). This is not required in case of native English speakers (i.e., English is your mother tongue).

In addition, you can add any other documents which you find relevant for the applications such as Master thesis, publications or project reports.

Evaluation criteria:

  • Academic background (up to 40 points)
  • Knowledge and specific achievements (up to 35 points)
  • Personal interview, only for candidates achieving a minimum of 55 points (up to 25 points)

Estimated Starting Date: April 1, 2020

Candidates are encouraged to contact the NL4XAI Project Manager (info@nl4xai.eu) for assistance or for any information related to the application process. When contacting, please indicate the position reference in the subject line.

Please note that you can apply for more than one position. If this is your case, you will have to indicate which ones in the application form in order of preference and discuss your suitability to each in your letter.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 860621.