JOB POSITION: Postdoc Researcher for NWO project “Framing situations in the Dutch language” at my CLTL-lab Amsterdam

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: August 15 , 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 information please 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.