Positions available in computer science /data mining in Natural History Collections The Netherlands

Nieukerken, E.J. van Nieukerken at NATURALIS.NNM.NL
Mon Jan 17 09:13:27 CST 2005

MITCH: Mining Information in Texts from the Cultural Heritage
An NWO CATCH project

The Induction of Linguistic Knowledge (ILK) research group of Tilburg University, and Naturalis, the Dutch National Museum of Natural History, are seeking:

- a Ph.D. student,         full-time, four years  
                           vacancy number 810.04.14
- a scientific programmer, full-time, four years
                           vacancy number 810.04.15
- a postdoc researcher,    full-time, three years
                           vacancy number 810.04.16

to form the research team for the MITCH (Mining Information in Texts from the Cultural Heritage) project, funded within the CATCH (Continuous Access to the Cultural Heritage) programme of NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research). The MITCH team will be affiliated to Tilburg University, but work for at least 60% at
the Naturalis research labs in Leiden. 

A lesser known but very valuable treasure of Naturalis, the Dutch National Museum of Natural History in Leiden, is the collection of logs kept by the many biologists and geologists that travelled on board the Dutch trading ships for centuries. The logs have been created and kept with the same care as the animals and fossils they describe. The value of Naturalis' collection lies in the combination: 
the logs are the key to information and knowledge about the collection, which are essential for research in the description and evolution of animal species. The sheer quantity of available log data necessitates the use of technological tools to mine it. The MITCH project aims to do just that: to use techniques from language technology, text mining (information extraction, entity recognition, factoid detection), and data mining / machine learning to convert logs to searchable databases.


The Ph.D. student is required to have a honours / M.Sc. or M.A.-degree (or equivalent) in computational linguistics or computer science. He/she needs to have a proven knowledge of and experience with text mining applications or data mining / machine learning (please send term papers, theses, or project reports). Programming experience is preferred.

The scientific programmer has a B.Sc. or honours / M.Sc. in computer science (or equivalent). He/she is knowledgeable in software development and has excellent programming skills (C(++), Java, perl) and database expertise; preferably knowledge and expertise in data mining, machine learning, or text mining.

The postdoc researcher holds a Ph.D. in computer science or a multidisciplinary field with a strong computer science component, such as bioinformatics or computational linguistics, and has proven experience in databases, data mining, or text mining, and in software development (as witnessed in project reports, deliverable reports, and/or the Ph.D. thesis). Programming skills are highly desired. A proven track record in managing group projects is an advantage - the MITCH project team will be coordinated on a daily basis by the postdoc.  

Salary and conditions 
The selected Ph.D. candidate will get a contract as a Ph.D. student, for one year, which is concluded by an evaluation. Upon a positive outcome of the first-year evaluation the contract will be extended with an additional three years. The full-time Ph.D. position has a gross monthly salary of EUR 1867 in the first year, increasing to EUR
2394 in the fourth year. 

The scientific programmer position has a gross monthly salary ranging from EUR 2283 to EUR 3453, depending on experience. The postdoc position has a gross monthly salary ranging from EUR 2733 to EUR 3453 -- 4027, also depending on experience.

The vacancies for the scientific programmer and postdoc positions are expressly open to internal and external candidates.

For more information please contact Antal van den Bosch via email (Antal.vdnBosch at uvt.nl ) or phone (+31.13.4663117). Applications should include cover letter, CV, and names of two references, and should be sent before the application deadline of February 5, 2005, by regular mail to 

  Drs. O. Zweekhorst
  Managing Director, Faculty of Arts, Room U 40
  Tilburg University
  P.O. Box 90153
  NL-5000 LE Tilburg
  The Netherlands

or by email to solliciterenFDL at uvt.nl . In your letter, please refer to vacancy code 810.04.14 (Ph.D.), 810.04.15 (scientific programmer), or 810.04.16 (postdoc).

It is the policy of the university to increase the number of women employed. Also members of ethnic minority groups and handicapped people are expressly invited to apply.

About Tilburg University and Naturalis

Tilburg University is a modern, specialized university in the field of the social sciences, with more than 9,000 students and more than 1,600 staff. The education and research at the university meet nationally recognized high standards. In its education and research, the Faculty of Arts addresses the following fields of interest: text linguistics and communication, professional communication and digital media, linguistics and artificial intelligence, literary studies and consumer behaviour with respect to literature. The faculty participates in the inter-university Research Institute Centre for Language Studies, and is associated with the National Research School of Linguistics and the Research School of Literary Studies. Characteristics of the faculty are its small scale, its social orientation, and the high quality of its education and research.

Naturalis is the central institute in the Netherlands for mapping the Earth's zoological and geological diversity. The questions driving our research and exhibitions are: What do we have now, what was there before and which processes influenced the changes? Observation and identification are crucial to achieve a reliable and consistent picture of biodiversity. The key data on which the theory of the evolution of life on earth was based are enshrined in natural history museums and herbaria. Naturalis manages collections of millions of specimens, ranging from protozoa to dinosaurs, and from minerals to rocks. Naturalis is dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge on the biological and geological diversity and its underlying processes among the general public, as well as to increase public awareness of biodiversity issues.  


NWO                 http://www.nwo.nl 
CATCH               http://www.nwo.nl/ew/catch 
Tilburg University  http://www.uvt.nl 
Naturalis           http://www.naturalis.nl 
ILK Research group  http://ilk.uvt.nl 

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