LINGUIST List 29.291

Wed Jan 17 2018

Support: Computational Linguistics: PhD, University of Geneva

Editor for this issue: Clare Harshey <>

Date: 15-Jan-2018
From: Manny Rayner <>
Subject: Computational Linguistics: PhD, University of Geneva, Switzerland
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Department: Department of Translation Technology
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: University of Geneva

Duties: Research,Project Work

Specialty Areas: Computational Linguistics
Computer Assisted Language Learning


We invite applications for a fully funded PhD studentship at the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting, University of Geneva, Switzerland, to work on the project: “A Crowdsourcing Platform for Spoken CALL Content”.

Project Description: The central goal of this project is to develop a crowdsourcing network capable of creating large quantities of content for speech-enabled Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL). The software platform initially used to create and host the content would be an extended version of the CALL-SLT Lite platform ( CALL-SLT Lite has been designed with crowdsourcing in mind as a possible long-term goal. The most important extension required is a better “Wizard”-style web interface for course construction.

The main thrust of the project is concerned with setting up the required crowdsourcing infrastructure, in particular developing the system of incentives and rewards needed to motivate the content-producers, together with a set of metrics that can be used to track progress. Extrapolating from the histories of successful networks of this kind (Wikipedia, Amazon, Goodreads etc), we hypothesize that it should be possible to adapt the core ideas of likes/votes, mediation of comments and gamification to the CALL domain, and establish the necessary momentum. The project will be closely integrated with the enetCollect COST network (, in which the Geneva University group is an active partner; it will initially aim to recruit both content-producers and content-consumers from enetCollect. The architecture of the crowdsourcing network will be designed so that other CALL platforms, in particular platforms developed by other groups in enetCollect, can easily be integrated.

The ideal candidate will:
- Hold a degree in computer science, cognitive science or a related field;
- Have nontrivial practical experience with software development, especially web technology, and a strong interest in crowdsourcing and/or social networks;
- Demonstrate strong writing and analytical skills, as well as good programming skills.

Knowledge of French is desirable but not essential. PhD theses at the Faculty may be written in several languages, including English, and activities at the doctoral school are in English.

The studentship is for three years starting during 2018, and covers fees and a stipend of CHF 48,540 per annum.

Expressions of interest, together with a CV, transcripts, and contact details of two referees should be sent to and

Applications Deadline: 15-Jun-2018

Mailing Address for Applications:
        Attn: Professor Pierrette Bouillon
        Faculté de traduction et d'interprétation, Département TIM, Université de Genève
        40, boulevard du Pont-d'Arve
        Geneva Geneva 1201

Contact Information:
        Dr Manny Rayner

Page Updated: 17-Jan-2018