Doctoral Candidate in Multimodal Communication

Doctoral Student for a fixed term of up to 3 years, starting in fall 2021. The appointee will work in the project “Laypersons as experts: crowdsourcing descriptions of multimodal communication for empirical research (CROWDSRC)”, which is directed by Dr. Tuomo Hiippala in the Department of Languages at the University of Helsinki.

The appointee must also apply for a position in the Doctoral Programme for Language Studies (HELSLANG) during the fall 2021 application round (September 1–15, 2021). The appointee’s main duties consist of postgraduate studies and writing a doctoral dissertation related to the project’s topic. Teaching can take up to 5% of annual working time of 1612 hours.

The CROWDSRC project develops crowdsourcing methodologies for multimodality research, which is an emerging discipline that studies the way human communication relies on combinations of expressive resources. Crowdsourcing involves breaking complex tasks into piecemeal work and distributing this effort to non-expert workers on online platforms. The project develops theoretically-motivated crowdsourcing tasks, which tap into the non-expert workers’ everyday experience of multimodal communication to generate high volumes of crowdsourced descriptions. The crowdsourced descriptions provide a foundation for large, systematically-annotated corpora with rich annotations for supporting empirical research on multimodal communication. The project will create multimodal corpora for two common modes of expression: diagrams and page layouts.


Applicants should hold a Master’s degree in linguistics, digital humanities, language technology, computational linguistics or a related field. The applicant should demonstrate a strong interest in studying the multimodality of human communication using computational methods developed e.g. in the fields of natural language processing and computer vision. Knowledge of a programming language such as Python is considered an asset. The appointee must be able to work independently and as a part of a multidisciplinary team. Excellent skills in written and spoken English are expected.

What We Offer

The project, which is located in the Department of Languages at the Faculty of Arts, maintains close connections to researchers working on similar topics in the Department of Digital Humanities. The Faculty has a long tradition in researching and teaching language technology, complemented by a growing focus on digital humanities, which is a core strategic area of the University of Helsinki.

The salary for the position will be based on level 2 of the demands level chart for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal performance. In the beginning of the employment the salary is EUR 2400–2550 per month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience. The salary in this position will develop as the dissertation progresses and can be about EUR 3000 towards the end of the contract. The position will be filled with a 6 month trial period.

Applicants should provide the following documents written in English:

1. Curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages)
2. Contact information for two referees
3. A research statement (max. 2000 words) with the following information
a. A brief description of previous experience and research interests, as demonstrated e.g. in a Master’s thesis, and their relevance to the current project
b. A statement of motivation outlining why you are applying for the position

For further information, please contact Dr. Tuomo Hiippala (tuomo.hiippala(at) In case you need support with the recruitment system, please contact rosa.beckmann(at)

Please submit your application with the required documents through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the link Apply for the position. Applicants already employed by the University of Helsinki are requested to submit their application via the SAP HR portal.

Deadline for the applications is May 31, 2021.

Due Date

31.05.2021 23:59 EEST