LINGUIST List 32.193

Tue Jan 12 2021

Support: Computational Linguistics: PhD, Heidelberg University

Editor for this issue: Becca Morris <>

Date: 07-Jan-2021
From: Anette Frank <>
Subject: Computational Linguistics: PhD, Heidelberg University, Germany
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Institution/Organization: Heidelberg University
Department: Computational Linguistics Department
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Computational Linguistics
Machine Learning


The Project "ACCEPT: Perspectivized Argument Knowledge Graphs for Deliberation Support" seeks to fill a doctoral researcher position.

The project is jointly conducted by Prof. Anette Frank, head of the Heidelberg Natural Language Processing Group at the Computational Linguistics Department, Heidelberg University and Prof. Philipp Cimiano, head of the Semantic Computing Group at Bielefeld University. The advertised position is dedicated to the Heidelberg part of the project.

ACCEPT: Perspectivized Argument Knowledge Graphs for Deliberation Support

Many decisions in political or societal contexts are difficult to resolve and require deliberation of arguments in favor or against actions to be taken. Conflicting interests need to be balanced to achieve general acceptance, fairness and optimal outcomes.

Known tools that support humans in deliberation processes include debating portals with pre-structured pro and con arguments or argument search engines. These instruments are crucially based on previously discussed issues. However, real argumentation needs to go beyond coarse-grained structuring of previously discussed pro and con arguments.

The ACCEPT project aims at creating systems that perform deep understanding of debated issues and analysis of
- potential implications of envisaged decisions,
- how these may affect interested parties, and
- how to weight their potential consequences,
- including also issues not discussed before,
in order to find optimal and widely accepted solutions on debated issues.

We aim to do this:
- by creating argumentation systems that leverage knowledge resources to perform knowledge-based reasoning, using both sub-symbolic and symbolic modeling with knowledge graphs, and
- by representing, contextualizing and enriching arguments in a multi-factorial argument knowledge graph that includes stakeholder perspectives and their interests, values and goals.

Based on the argument knowledge graph we will develop methods that analyze debated issues from multiple perspectives and learn to reason towards solutions, to support users with interpretable deliberation support.

Advertised Position:
The Heidelberg part of the project invites for applications for a PhD position (TV-L 13, 75%), next to a 25% position, which will be held by a project member from the first funding phase.

We are looking for a highly qualified candidate with a degree in Computational Linguistics, Computer Science or related studies with specialization in NLP or Machine Learning. Experience in knowledge-based NLP and reasoning using neural methods is a plus.

The position requires strong programming skills and expertise in neural NLP methods and symbolic knowledge representations. We expect the ability and willingness to work independently and in a team, as well as good communication skills. Required are good English communication and writing skills, and very good understanding of English up to finer nuances.

Application documents must include:
- A motivation letter
- CV including contact information for 2 to 3 references
- Detailed certificates of study and work experience
- A thesis or publication in electronic form

Please submit your application documents electronically by January 29, 2021 to the application email provided below with subject line “DFG project ACCEPT”.

The position is open until filled. Preferred starting dates are April or May 2021.

Inquiries can be directed to

Heidelberg University strives to increase the proportion of women in areas where women are underrepresented and strongly encourages qualified women to apply. Severely disabled persons will be given priority in the case of equal suitability.

Application Deadline: 29-Jan-2021

Email Address for Applications:

Contact Information:
Anette Frank
Dept:Computational Linguistics Department
Phone:+49 (0)6221 54-3245
Fax:+40 (0)6221 54-3242

Page Updated: 12-Jan-2021