Vacancy – job opening: Junior ASR – Speech researcher

Application deadline: 14 November 2018
Junior Speech researcher (0.8 – 1.0 FTE) on the NRO project DART: Dutch ASR-based Reading Tutor

We offer a 3-year junior researcher position in the project ‘Learning to read better through software that listens and gives feedback’ which is funded by the Netherlands Initiative for Educational Research (NRO), part of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).
. This project deals with improving the reading skills of at primary school pupils. We will investigate how reading software with automatic speech recognition (ASR) can best be developed and implemented in school practice and at home. A design research methodology will be employed using ASR-based reading software designed on the basis of the needs and requirements of teachers, pupils and parents. Design ideas and prototypes will be repeatedly tested and evaluated with students, teachers and parents throughout the design process. Design and implementation will be done in close cooperation with educational publisher Zwijsen. We will investigate the possibility of providing automated feedback on reading aloud, by incorporating ASR in educational reading software, and what the effects will be of using ASR-based software at school and at home. To this end we aim to develop an ASR-based system that can deal with children’s speech. You should therefore have knowledge of and experience with speech recognition technology, preferably with Kaldi.
. This part of the project will be carried out in close cooperation with the NovoLanguage company, whose educational platform will be used. The collaboration with NovoLanguage and Zwijsen is one of the attractive aspects of this position. The research will have to be documented in scientific publications in appropriate journals and relevant conference proceedings.

Work environment
You will be hosted at the Centre of Language and Speech Technology (CLST), Radboud University, Nijmegen.
The Faculty of Arts consists of ten departments in the areas of Linguistics, Communication and Information Studies, Language and Culture, History, and History of arts, which together cater for about 2,400 students and collaborate closely in teaching and research. Research at the Faculty of Arts is embedded in two research institutes: the Centre for Language Studies (CLS), and the Institute for Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies (HLCS).

What we expect from you
You should fit the following profile:

  • An MA in Engineering, Computer Science, Machine Learning, Signal Processing, Computational Linguistics or any other relevant discipline;
  • experience in speech technology, preferably with the Kaldi speech recognition environment;
  • experience with Linux OS, git version control, scripting in Python;
  • experience with (mobile) web app development using frameworks such as Angular and Ionic is a plus;
  • fluency in spoken and written English;
  • preferably good command of Dutch, or willingness to learn.

What we have to offer

  • employment: 0.8 – 1.0 FTE;
  • option of implementing the position as a PhD thesis project;
  • a maximum gross monthly salary of € 4,166 based on a 38-hour working week (salary scale 10);
  • in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • duration of the contract: you will be appointed as a Researcher for an initial period of 2 months starting in January 2019, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended to the end date, 1 January 2022;
  • classification in the Dutch university job-ranking system (UFO): Researcher, Level 4;
  • you will be able to make use of our Dual Career Service where our Dual Career Officer will assist with family related support, such as child care, and help your partner prepare for the local labour market and with finding an occupation.

Would you like to know more?
Further information on: Centre for Language and Speech Technology (CLST)
Further information on: Faculty of Arts

For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
Helmer Strik, E-mail: ‘w.strik -at-’, Tel.: +31 24 361 61 04
Catia Cucchiarini, E-mail: ‘c.cucchiarini -at-’, Tel.: +31 24 361 60 69

Are you interested?
You should upload your application (attn. of mr M.J.M. van Nijnatten, head HRM Department Faculty of Arts) exclusively via
Your application should include (and be limited to): Letter of motivation, and CV.
No commercial propositions please.