Fwd: Two post-doctoral fellowship positions at the National Research Council Canada

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Chi-kiu (Jackie) Lo

Feb 6, 2023, 12:50:55 PM2/6/23
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*Apologies for cross-posting*


Postdoctoral Fellowships, National Research Council Canada 

The NRC Advantage

Great Minds. One Goal. Canada's Success.


The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is the Government of Canada's largest research organization supporting industrial innovation, the advancement of knowledge and technology development. We collaborate with over 70 colleges, universities and hospitals annually, work with 800 companies on their projects, and provide advice or funding to over 8000 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) each year.


We bring together the brightest minds to deliver tangible impacts on the lives of Canadians and people around the world. And now, we want to partner with you.  Let your expertise and inspirations make an impact by joining the NRC.


At the NRC, we know that diversity enables excellence in research and innovation. We are committed to a diverse and representative workforce, a safe and respectful work environment, and contributing to a more inclusive Canadian innovation system.  We welcome all qualified applicants and encourage you to complete the employment equity self-declaration questions during the job application process.


The Program


The NRC’s Postdoctoral Fellowship program offers PDFs access to unique world-class facilities and the opportunity to work alongside multi-disciplinary teams of expert researchers and technicians on projects of critical importance to Canada. PDFs will carry out research on innovative research projects, with opportunities for career development (publications and/or industry interaction).


Project I: Multilingual Machine Translation for Transforming Response to Refugees and Forced Migration 

There are more than 103 million displaced persons in the world today. While English remains the global language of policy exchange and studies, significant knowledge on refugee issues appears in other languages spoken where forced migration occurs. Machine translation (MT) improves the accessibility of relevant publications across different languages and facilitates fair and inclusive discussion among international stakeholders. However, challenges with in-domain multilingual neural machine translation (MNMT) limits the availability of efficient, affordable and manageable MT with usable translation quality for forced migration responses. 

The successful fellow will collaborate with external collaborators to create an in-domain multiway parallel corpus on forced migration. The corpus will then enable research on MNMT and its adaptation to the forced migration domain. Finally, the fellow will research on training MNMT to translate unseen languages efficiently with minimal resources.

Having compassion about refugees and forced migration issues and ease in meeting with the forced migration communities around the world would be beneficial in this role. Due to the topic of the project, the successful candidate may frequently be working on and with data and clients about refugees and forced migration issues which may cause triggering responses.

Education Requirement

PhD in Computer Science, Computational Linguistics or related discipline. 


Experience Requirement

•    Hands on experience in end-to-end MT modelling and training. 
•    Research experience in MNMT.
•    Research experience in parallel corpus building, domain adaptation, non-English centric MT or low resource MT. 

Assets are “nice-to-have” expertise and competencies we’re interested in. Not having them should not prevent you from applying.

•    Ability to read Arabic, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, Burmese or Pashto would be an asset.


Further Details and Application Portal


Please contact Dr. Chi-kiu (Jackie) Lo (Chik...@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca) for any enquiries about this project.

Project II: Audio search and topic detection for audiovisual corpora in a polysynthetic Indigenous language

NRC is searching for a recent PhD graduate to develop techniques for speech recognition and/or synthesis, using untranscribed audio corpora of speech in Indigenous, polysynthetic languages.


Many such languages spoken in Canada have substantial collections of recorded speech. Language activists, academic linguists, and radio broadcasters have been recording the speech of Elders for decades, but so far only a small fraction has been catalogued, annotated, and transcribed. Thus, there are thousands of hours of recorded speech in Indigenous languages that are inaccessible in practice.


The project will focus primarily on Inuktut, Cree, and/or Iroquoian languages. Alternative/additional languages are a possibility if appropriate datasets become available.

Education Requirement

PhD in computational linguistics, computer science or a related field.


Experience Requirement

•    Experience in speech/natural language processing (NLP) technology.
•    Experience in either automatic speech recognition or speech synthesis.
•    Experience working with Indigenous languages and communities.


Further Details and Application Portal


Please contact Dr. Roland Kuhn (Rolan...@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca) and Dr. Patrick Littell (Patrick...@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca) for any enquiries about this project.

Condition of Employment

Reliability Status


Who is eligible?

  • Fellowships will be for two years contingent on satisfactory progress achieved during the first year.
  • Candidates should have obtained a PhD (or equivalent) within the past three years (PhD received on or after July 1, 2020) or expect to complete their PhD within 6 months of appointment.
  • Fellows will work in a lab under the direct supervision of an NRC researcher.


Application Requirements

In order to be considered for the program please include the following in your application, please note that you will need to attach the required documents as per the list below when submitting your application. Failure to do so will result in your application being excluded from searches.

  • Resume
  • Statement of Interest in the project (maximum one page in length)
  • PhD Transcript - an electronic copy is sufficient, it does not have to be an official version.
  • List of Publications

In addition, applicants who best meet the requirements of the position will be asked to provide three letters of recommendation at a later stage of the competition process.



Relocation assistance will be determined in accordance with the NRC's directives.



The intent of this hiring action is to staff through the Postdoctoral Fellowships Program at the RCO-2/AsRO level, which is an early-career level position with a salary range of $74,230 to $103,093.  


NOTE: Salary determination will be based on a review of the candidate’s expertise, outcomes and impacts of their previous work experience relative to the requirements of the level.  


NRC employees enjoy a wide-range of competitive benefits including comprehensive health and dental plans, pension and insurance plans, vacation and other leave entitlements.


Closing Date: 

27 March 2023 - 23:59 Eastern Time



Dr. Chi-kiu (Jackie) Lo 羅致翹博士

Research Officer, Multilingual Text Processing

Digital Technologies Research Centre

National Research Council Canada

Government of Canada

Email: Chik...@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca / Telephone: +1 613-993-5205

M50, 1200 Montreal Road, Ottawa ON, K1A 0R6 Canada

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