Academic Positions Europe

Ghent University, Belgium

PhD student - Department of Translation, Interpreting and Communication

Last application date: Mar 10, 2017 08:57
Department: LW22 - Department of Translation, Interpreting and Communication
Contract: Limited duration
Degree: Master’s degree in a relevant field (Translation, Interpreting, (Computational) Linguistics, (Computational) psycholinguistics, or Computer Science)
Occupancy rate: 100%
Vacancy Type: Research staff

PhD Position

Applications are invited for a full-time PhD scholarship at the Department of Translation, Interpreting and Communication (Ghent University, Language and Translation Technology Team). The successful applicant will participate in the ArisToCAT project (Assessing the Comprehensibility of Automatic Translations), funded by FWO, the Research Foundation of Flanders. The envisaged starting date is April 1st 2017.

Job description

Machine translation systems cannot guarantee that the text they produce will be fluent and coherent in both syntax and semantics. Erroneous words and syntax occur frequently in machine-translated text, leaving the reader to guess parts of the intended message.

This project (i) analyzes eye movement data to investigate to what extent the lack of predictability in texts that were created by MT impairs comprehension, and (ii) tries to automatically estimate the comprehensibility of machine-translated text.

To tackle the first research objective, eye movements of participants reading Dutch machine-translated text (translated from English and French source materials) will be collected and analyzed. To tackle the second research objective, an MT comprehensibility estimation system for Dutch will be built. The system takes as input a machine-translated sentence and tries to detect the MT errors that seriously hamper comprehension.

  • You work on a delineated research project with the aim of writing a PhD in English.
  • You function within a team of researchers and contribute to the activities of the research group.
  • You publish about and present research results at national and international level, and build a national and international network.
  • You follow the training program of the Doctoral School at Ghent University, which will support you with a broader (non-)academic training. 

Profile of the candidate

  • Master’s degree in a relevant field (Translation, Interpreting, (Computational) Linguistics, (Computational) psycholinguistics, or Computer Science)
  • Strong interest in translation technology and machine translation
  • Interested in research and having the intention to obtain a PhD degree
  • Fluent in Dutch, English and French
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Eager to acquire new competences and knowledge
  • Knowledge of programming languages (Java, Python) and advanced statistical methods is an advantage
  • Experience with eye tracking is an advantage

How to apply

The application (in English) should include

  • a motivation letter, summarizing the candidate’s background and capabilities, and describing his/her motivation for this position
  • attested copies of education certificates, and a list of master courses with the grades obtained
  • an extensive CV
  • Contact information (e-mail) of potential referees

Applications are to be sent by e-mail to prof. dr. Lieve Macken ( The deadline for application is March 10th 2017.

More information

For inquiries, please contact prof. dr. Lieve Macken

Lieve Macken
LT3 Language and Translation Technology Team
Department of Translation, Interpreting and Communication
Ghent University 

Ghent University

After decades of uninterrupted growth, Ghent University is one of the leading institutions of higher education and research in the Low Countries with 36,000 students and more than 8,000 staff members.

Application details

Application deadline:

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