KTH Royal Institute of Technology

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

Project description

Face-to-face conversation is our most fundamental where non-verbal signals such as prosody, head movements, glances, facial expressions, gestures are essential for the conversation to be successful. The PhD work will be conducted in the scope of the project called Advanced Adaptive Intelligent Systems https://www.digitalfutures.kth.se/en/forskningsprojekt, which is part of KTH Digital Futures. With a total annual budget of 10 M EUR it aims to establish northern Europe's largest research environment for technologies of the future for digitalization. In the project six PhDs and postdocs will develop social robots and conversational AI agents that can understand human communicative behavior and adapt their behaviours accordingly.
You will be part of TMH https://www.kth.se/tmh a dynamic research group in machine learning for human speech and gestures, and for conversational AI and social robots, to which we will add to ten new PhD students in 2020. You will work with the latest methods in machine learning to model adaptive verbal and non-verbal behaviours in human-AI interaction. We are currently looking for PhD students with two specializations:

  • Generation of spontaneous speech for conversational AI, focus on Natural Language Processing (e.g. text style transfer and end-to-end generation)
  • Situationally Adaptive Speech and Communication, focus on multimodal signal generation (e.g. normalizing flows and neural vocoders)

In application, indicate which specialization you are interested in

Third-cycle subject: Computer science or speech and language technology

Supervision: The doctoral student will be supervised by Joakim Gustafson or Jonas Beskow

What we offer

To be admitted to postgraduate education Chapter 7,39 § Swedish Higher Education Ordinance, the applicant must have basic eligibility in accordance with either of the following:

  • passed a degree at advanced level,
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 higher education credits at advanced level, or
  • in any other way acquired within or outside the country acquired essentially equivalent knowledge
  • Requirements for English equivalent to English B/6 read more here


In order to succeed as doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal oriented and persevering in your work. During the selection process, candidates will be assessed upon their ability to:

  • independently pursue his or her work
  • collaborate with others
  • have a professional approach and
  • analyse and work with complex issues

Other important traits are openness toward interdisciplinary research, creativity and a structured approach.
Good command of spoken and written English is required. Expertise in machine learning/deep learning and good programming skills are strongly desirable. Experience and interest in areas like speech technology, signal processing, robotics, computer graphics/animation, AR/VR, natural language processing, linguistics, perception is also considered as asset.

After the qualification requirements, great emphasis will be placed on personal qualities and personal suitability.

Target degree: Doctoral degree

Information regarding admission and employment

Only those admitted to postgraduate education may be employed as doctoral student. Total length of employment may not be longer than what corresponds to full-time doctoral education in four years time. An employed doctoral student can, to limited extent (maximum 20%), perform certain tasks within their role, e.g. training and administration. A new position as doctoral student is for maximum of one year, and then the employment may be renewed for a maximum of two years at a time.

Union representatives

Contact information union: KTH's website


Apply for position and admission through KTH's recruitment system. It is applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in advertisement
Applications must be received at the last closing date at midnight, CET/CEST (Central European Time/entral European Summer Time)

Applications must include the following:

  • CV including relevant professional experience and knowledge.
  • Application letter with brief description of why you want to pursue research studies, about what your academic interests are and how they relate to your previous studies and future goals.(Maximum 2 pages long)
  • Copies of diplomas and grades from previous university studies and certificates of fulfilled language requirements (see above). Translations into English or Swedish if the original document is not issued in one of these languages
  • Representative publications or technical reports. For longer documents, please provide summary (abstract) and web link to the full text

Other information

Gender equality,diversity and zero tolerance against discrimination and harassment are important aspects of KTH's work with quality and core values in our organization.
For information about processing of personal data in recruitment process please read here

We decline contact with staffing recruitment agencies, jobad salespersons

In case of discrepancy between Swedish original and English translation of job announcement, Swedish version takes precedence

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment As agreed
Salary Monthly salary according to KTH's doctoral student salary agreement
Number of positions 2
Working hours 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number J-2020-1298
  • Joakim Gustafson, jocke@speech.kth.se
  • Jonas Beskow, beskow@kth.se
  • Anna Olanås Jansson, annaoj@kth.se
Published 11.Jun.2020
Last application date 02.Aug.2020 11:59 PM CEST

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