Universiteit Leiden

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Assistant Professor in Humanities and AI

Vacancy number
Job type
Academic staff
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Placed on
16 June 2020
Closing date
14 July 2020 Vacancy closed

The Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL) is looking for an

Assistant Professor in Humanities and AI

Project description
Our society is changing. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and related technologies are playing an increasingly important role in our society. To this end Leiden University has started a new, university wide initiative to enable collaboration on the use of AI. By building on and expanding the already existing expertise of AI the project intends to advance science and improve the quality of our life. All the

disciplines of the University of Leiden are involved: Archeology, Humanities, Social Sciences, Law, Public Administration, Sciences, and also the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), to collaborate and appoint new staff with joint interests. Leiden University has earmarked dedicated funding for the appointment of full professors, assistant professors, a post-doc and support staff to facilitate the expansion of AI related research at all its departments.

Key responsibilities
This new position will focus on the interaction between mental grammar and processes such as language acquisition, production and perception, by investigating, developing and applying methods and tools of computational linguistics and AI, such as deep neural learning and machine learning. The goal of this research is to gain a deeper understanding of natural language processing and to improve language technology (e.g. machine translation incl. sequence-to-sequence translation) and speech technology (e.g. automatic speech recognition incl. predictions about the signal based on statistical probabilities). The key responsibilities of the Assistant Professor are:

  • Conducting independent research in your field, establishing an own research group;
  • Teaching at undergraduate and graduate levels, in lecture and seminar formats, including the supervision of BA and MA theses;
  • Securing external funding for research;
  • Contribution to organizational activities of the Institute.

Selection criteria

  • PhD degree in Linguistics, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence or a related field;
  • Experience with research-driven teaching;
  • Successful in raising research funds;
  • Energetic ‘out-of-the-box’ thinkers with a clear view on a challenging research program;
  • An excellent command of English. If the lecturer is not Dutch-speaking, s/he is expected to acquire a good command of Dutch within two years from taking up duty. 

Our organisation
The Faculty of Humanities is rich in expertise in fields such as philosophy, religious studies, history, art history, literature, linguistics and area studies covering nearly every region of the world. With its staff of 995, the faculty provides 27 master’s and 25 bachelor’s programmes for over 7,000 students based at locations in Leiden and in The Hague. For more information see the website.

The Faculty has seven Institutes, among which the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (
LUCL). LUCL has a longstanding tradition in the study of the world’s languages and features unique linguistic expertise.

Terms and conditions
We offer a full-time temporary appointment of one year, with the possibility of an extension of two years. After three years this position may lead to a permanent appointment depending on good performance.
 Salary range from €3,637 to €4,978 gross per month (pay scale 11), in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).The intended starting date is between 1 September 2020 and 1 January 2021.

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses(8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions.
 For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. For more information see the website.

Leiden University requires teaching staff to obtain the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ). If the successful applicant does not already
 possess this qualification or its equivalent, he/ she must be willing to obtain this Qualification within two years.

Leiden University
 is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Enquiries can be made to Niels Schiller, e-mail n.o.schiller@hum.leidenuniv.nl.


Please submit online your application no later than 14 July 2020 via the blue button in our application system. Your application should include:

  • Curriculum Vitae and list of publications;
  • Motivational letter;
  • Names, positions, and email addresses of three referees.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

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