Vacancy - research assistant (50% - 1 year) - Institute for Language and Communication (UCLouvain, Belgium)

Vacancy -  research assistant (50%) for one year in the field of Natural Language Processing (ILC, UCLouvain, Belgium)

The Institute for Language and Communication ( has an opening for a research assistant (part-time 50%) in Natural Language Processing for a period of one year, starting 1 October 2020.

The position is part of a large multidisciplinary project that aims to investigate socio-cognitive conflicts in online educational platforms: “MOOCresearch2.0: A mixed-method and multidisciplinary approach to socio-cognitive conflicts in online educational platforms” (Prof. M. Frenay, Prof. F. Lambotte, Dr. Magali Paquot & Prof. V. Swaen) (see for more info). As such, the research assistant will be working with researchers from the Centre for English Corpus Linguistics (, the Social Media Lab (, the Interdisciplinary Research Group in Socialisation, Education and Training (GIRSEF,, the Louvain Research Institute in Management and Organizations (LOURIM, and the Centre for Natural Language Processing (CENTAL,


Job description

  • The research assistant will provide support to the project team by performing a variety of tasks such as:
  • Data pre-processing: anonymization, normalization
  • Data structuring: linking up different data types (forum posts, user profiles, learners’ questionnaires, logs, etc.)
  • Data enrichment: part-of-speech tagging, language recognition, topic detection, etc.
  • Data analysis and visualization

The research assistant will also work in close collaboration with the CENTAL to provide access to the compiled corpus via a user-friendly online concordancer. Another important task of the research assistant will be to implement sustainable solutions for the automated treatment of incoming data.

Requirements and profile:

  • Master degree in Natural Language Processing or Linguistics
  • excellent record of MA level study;
  • programming skills in Python or Perl
  • experience with NLP for social media is an asset
  • very good command of French and/or English
  • excellent and demonstrated analytic skills
  • excellent and demonstrated self-management skills
  • ability and willingness to work in a team

Terms of employment:

  • The contract will be for one year.
  • The monthly gross salary is min. 3384 EUR.
  • The position requires residence in Belgium
  • Applicants from outside the EU are responsible for obtaining the necessary visa or permits, with the assistance of UCLouvain staff department.

Application Deadline: 31 July 2020

Please include in your application:

  • a cover letter in French or English, in which you specify why you are interested in this position and how you meet the job requirements outlined above;
  • a curriculum vitae in French or English;
  • an outline of previous work or research experience in English;
  • a copy of your BA and MA degrees;
  • a copy of your master thesis and academic publications (if applicable);
  • the names and full contact details of at least one academic referee.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview (in situ or via video conferencing) in the second half of August.

Enquiries and applications should be addressed by email to Dr. Magali Paquot (