School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at KTH

Project description

We are looking for a PhD student who is interested in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing and Human-Robot Interaction.  The doctoral student will work in a newly funded project at the  Department of Speech, Music and Hearing within the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at KTH. The project is financed by the Swedish AI-program WASP (Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program) which offers a graduate school with research visits, partner universities, and visiting lecturers.

The newly started project is titled "Anticipatory Control in Conversational Human-Robot Interaction". The aim of the project is to use self-supervised learning to develop generic language models for human-robot interaction and explore how such models can be used in real time to predict and anticipate human behavior and thereby improve the interaction. Whereas traditional language models in NLP (such as BERT, GPT) have focused on written language, we want to model multi-modal conversation, where aspects such as engagement, turn-taking, and incremental processing are of importance. This means that the models will have to process both text, audio and video, including aspects such as how the human users move and their facial expressions.
In collaboration with industry and other projects, we will then explore how such models can be used for social robotic applications. Another important focus will be on model analysis and visualization.

The position is mainly a research position, with a small fraction of departmental duties (e.g. teaching).

Third-cycle subject: Computer Science

Supervision:  Prof. Gabriel Skantze

What we offer

Admission requirements

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 second cycle degree (for example a master's degree), or
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 second-cycle higher education credits, or
  • acquired, in some other way within or outside the country, substantially equivalent knowledge.
  • Good skills in programming and experience in machine learning.
  • Good command of English, in writing and speaking, is a prerequisite for presenting research results.

Applicants should have a Master degree (or similar) in a subject relevant for the research, such as computer science or language technology.

In addition to the above, there is also a mandatory requirement for English equivalent to English B/6, read more here


In order to succeed as a doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal oriented and persevering in your work. During the selection, 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.

Applicants must be strongly motivated for doctoral studies and possess good levels of communicative abilities. We also expect applicants to have a strong interest in human language and communication.

After the qualification requirements, great emphasis will be placed on personal competency. 

Target degree: Doctoral degree

Information regarding admission and employment

Only those admitted to postgraduate education may be employed as a doctoral student. The 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 a limited extent (maximum 20%), perform certain tasks within their role, e.g. training and administration. A new position as a doctoral student is for a maximum of one year, and then the employment may be renewed for a maximum of two years at a time. In the case of studies that are to be completed with a licentiate degree, the total period of employment may not be longer than what corresponds to full-time doctoral education for two years.

Union representatives

You will find contact information for union representatives on KTH's website.

Doctoral section (Students’ union on KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

You will find contact information for doctoral section on the section's website.


Apply for the position and admission through KTH's recruitment system. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement.

Applications must be received at the last closing date at midnight, CET/CEST (Central European Time/Central European Summer Time).

Applications must include the following elements:

  • CV including your relevant professional experience and knowledge.
  • Application letter with a 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.Copies of originals must be certified.
  • Representative publications or technical reports. For longer documents, please provide a summary (abstract) and a web link to the full text.

Other information

Striving towards gender equality, diversity and equal conditions is both a question of quality for KTH and a given part of our values.

For information about processing of personal data in the recruitment process please read here.

We firmly decline all contact with staffing, recruitment agencies and job ad salespersons.

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


Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Monthly salary according to KTH's doctoral student salary agreement
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number J-2023-1182
  • Professor Gabriel Skantze,
  • Lisa Olsson HR officer,
Published 11.May.2023
Last application date 14.Jul.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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