2022-05120 - PhD Position F/M 3-year PhD position in Computational Models of Semantic Memory and its Acquisition
Le descriptif de l’offre ci-dessous est en Anglais

Type de contrat : CDD

Niveau de diplôme exigé : Bac + 5 ou équivalent

Fonction : Doctorant

A propos du centre ou de la direction fonctionnelle

The Inria Lille - Nord Europe Research Centre was founded in 2008 and employs a staff of 360, including 300 scientists working in sixteen research teams. Recognised for its outstanding contribution to the socio-economic development of the Hauts-De-France région, the Inria Lille - Nord Europe Research Centre undertakes research in the field of computer science in collaboration with a range of academic, institutional and industrial partners.

 The strategy of the Centre is to develop an internationally renowned centre of excellence with a significant impact on the City of Lille and its surrounding area. It works to achieve this by pursuing a range of ambitious research projects in such fields of computer science as the intelligence of data and adaptive software systems. Building on the synergies between research and industry, Inria is a major contributor to skills and technology transfer in the field of computer science.

Contexte et atouts du poste

We invite applications for a 3-year PhD position at the University of Lille in the context of the recently funded research project "COMANCHE" (Computational Models of Lexical Meaning and Change). The position is funded by Inria, the French national research institute in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics.

The position is affiliated with the MAGNET team at Inria, Lille [1] as well as with the SCALAB group at University of Lille [2] in an effort to strenghten collaborations between these two groups, and ultimatelyfoster cross-fertilizations between Natural Language Processing and Psycholinguistics.

[1] https://team.inria.fr/magnet/
[2] https://scalab.univ-lille.fr/

Mission confiée

COMANCHE proposes to transfer and adapt neural word embeddings algorithms to model the acquisition and evolution of word meaning, by comparing them with linguistic theories on language acquisition and language evolution. At the intersection between Natural Language Processing, psycholinguistics and historical linguistics, this project intends to validate or revise some of these theories, while also de eloping computational models that are less data hungry and computationally intensive as they exploit new inductive biases inspired by these disciplines.

Principales activités

The first strand of the project, on which the successful candidate will work, focuses on the development of computational models of semantic memory and its acquisition. Two main research directions will be pursued. On the one hand, we will compare the structural properties associated to different semantic spaces derived from word embedding algorithms to those found in human semantic memory as reflected in behavioral data (such as typicality norms) as well as brain imagingdata. The latter data will then used as additional supervision to inject more hierarchical structure into the learned semantic spaces. One the other hand, we intend to experiment with training  regimes for word embedding algorithms that are closer to those of humans when they acquire language, controlling the quantity as well as the linguistic complexity of the inputs fed to the learning algorithms through the use of longitudinal and child directed speech corpora (e.g., CHILDES, Colaje). In both cases, both English and French data
will be considered.


  • Subsidized meals
  • Partial reimbursement of public transport costs
  • Leave: 7 weeks of annual leave + 10 extra days off due to RTT (statutory reduction in working hours) + possibility of exceptional leave (sick children, moving home, etc.)
  • Possibility of teleworking and flexible organization of working hours
  • Professional equipment available (videoconferencing, loan of computer equipment, etc.)
  • Social, cultural and sports events and activities
  • Access to vocational training
  • Social security coverage


1st and 2nd year : 1 982€ Gross monthly salary (before taxes) 

3rd year : 2085€ gross monthly salary (before taxes)