International Research Training Group   Universität des Saarlandes/Unversity of Edinburgh Saarland University University of Edinburgh

International Research Training Group
"Language Technology and Cognitive Systems"
Saarbrücken - Edinburgh

The International Research Training Group (formerly International Post-Graduate College), established in 2001, is a collaborative PhD programme between Saarland University and the University of Edinburgh - two leading institutions in the fields of computational linguistics, cognitive science and artificial intelligence. The participating departments in Saarbruecken are: the Department of Computational Linguistics and Phonetics and the Department of Computer Science. In Edinburgh, the College is supported by the School of Informatics; the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences; and the Human Communication Research Centre.

Each scholarship is funded for two years, normally extendable for a third year. Doctoral degrees may be obtained in computational linguistics, phonetics, or informatics, from Saarland University. The official language of the programme is English, and dissertations may be written in German or English.

The nature of the cooperation includes:

  • Joint supervision of dissertations by lecturers from Saarbruecken and Edinburgh
  • A six month research stay in Edinburgh
  • An intensive research exchange programme between Saarbruecken and Edinburgh (including, for example, an annual two-week forum attended by college members and lecturers from both centres)

The training group focuses on the computational and cognitive foundations of human language processing, particularly emphasizing the following research areas:

  • Cognitive and computational investigation of speech and language understanding
  • Knowledge representation, inference, the lexicon, and ontologies
  • Data-intensive and statistical language processing
  • Dialogue, language generation and human language processing

Academic staff in Saarbruecken are William Barry, Matthew Crocker, Dietrich Klakow, Valia Kordoni, Geert-Jan Kruijff, Ivana Kruijff-Korbayova, Manfred Pinkal, Gert Smolka, Hans Uszkoreit, and Wolfgang Wahlster.

In Edinburgh, participating staff include Fernanda Ferreira, John Henderson, Frank Keller, Simon King, Ewan Klein, Philipp Koehn, Robert Ladd, Mirella Lapata, Alex Lascarides, Oliver Lemon, Johanna Moore, Jon Oberlander, Miles Osborne, Martin Pickering, Steve Renals, Mark Steedman, and Bonnie Webber.

For more information about the group and current members, prospective applicants are encouraged to look at our website:

The scholarship currently provides EURO 1468 per month. Additional compensation includes family allowance (where applicable), travel funding, support for carrying out experiments, and an additional monthly allowance of approximately EURO 650 for the duration of the stay in Edinburgh.

Applicants should hold a strong university degree equivalent to the German Diplom or Magister (e.g. Master's level), in relevant discipline. Applicants should not be more than 28 years of age. Female scientists and international students are particularly encouraged to apply.

Applications should include:

  1. a curriculum vitae indicating degrees obtained, disciplines covered (e.g. list of courses or transcript), publications, and other relevant experience
  2. a sample of written work (e.g. research paper, or dissertation, preferably in English)
  3. copies of high school and university certificates
  4. two references (e-mailed directly to by the reference givers before the deadline)
  5. a statement of research interests, previous knowledge and activities in any of the relevant research areas.

At the moment, no scholarships are available.

For further information, contact Prof. Dr. Matthew Crocker, the Speaker of the training group, under:

Tel. +49 (0)681 302-6560 - Fax +49 (0)681 302-6561