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 in architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

For information about the School of Computer Science and Communication, please visit https://www.kth.se/en/csc.

Department information

The positions are hosted by the department of https://www.kth.se/en/csc/forskning/tmh. TMH is an internationally distinguished group within speech technology and associated fields dating back to the 1950s. Research at the department is truly multi-disciplinary including linguistics, phonetics, auditory perception, vision and experimental psychology. Rooted in an engineering modeling approach, its research forms a solid base for developing multimodal human-computer interaction systems in which speech, music, sound and gestures combine to create human-like communication. The speech group is at the forefront of basic research within speech analysis and the analysis of human communicative behaviours, multimodal synthesis, speech perception and understanding, multimodal spoken dialogue systems, social robots, assistive technologies and tools for language learning.

The group has developed a number of state-of-the-art dialogue systems. TMH is very active in large integrated projects, both nationally and internationally. All of the PhD student positions involve work in collaborative projects, and they take place in a stimulating environment where complex and varied competences reach the critical mass needed to perform interdisciplinary research at the highest level. PhD students at TMH are encouraged to spend some of their time at international research labs.

Job description

The field of social robotics was recently presented as a targeted field of innovation in a VINNOVA Innovation agenda (http://www.speech.kth.se/socialrobotics/). The PhD positions are supported by a number of externally funded research projects that start in 2016. Within the greater scope of social robotics, TMH is hiring up to 4 PhD students in four connected but distinct areas.

*Data-driven methods for conversational systems. The area concerns the exploration of data-driven methods for developing conversational systems for social robots. We explore how data from human-human interaction can be used to model spoken human-robot interaction and how robots can learn and adapt their spoken behaviour through interaction with humans.

*Human behaviours in face-to-face interaction. We capture and analyse how humans behave when they engage in face-to-face conversation. The practical work involves using existing methods as well as designing and testing novel methods for the capture and analysis of speech together with a number of other behaviours, including breathing and gaze. The resulting objective observations are used both to validate existing theories and to connect theory to implementation in social robotics.

*Companion robot for the elderly- The main goal of the proposed multidisciplinary research is to develop a robot head with communicative skills capable of interacting with elderly people at their convenience. The robot will be able to analyze their mental and psychological status via powerful audiovisual sensing and assessing their mental abilities to identify subjects in high risk or possibly at the first stages of depressive or dementing disorders, who would benefit from proper medical consultation. The framework will also provide tools for dementia preventive training. The project will be done in collaboration with with PhD students fom CVAP and KI, Karolinska Institute


To be admitted to the announced positions in the PhD education in Speech Communication and Technology, you must have a master’s degree (or an equivalent 4-year university degree). The area is multidisciplinary and candidates from a variety of backgrounds outside of pure speech technology will be considered, including sensor technology and hardware; systems and programming; statistics and modelling; linguistics, cognitive and behavioural science.The applicant should have an excellent command of spoken and written English. Applicants must be strongly motivated for doctoral studies, possess the ability to work independently and perform critical analysis and also possess good levels of cooperative and communicative abilities.

Furthermore, experience with any of the following is seen as an additional merit: spoken dialogue systems, signal processing, speech technology, computer vision, machine learning, robotics, teaching, user studies and experimental design.

Trade union representatives

You will find contact information to trade union representatives at KTH:s webbpage.


Application shall include the following documents:

  1. Curriculum vitae.
  2. Transcripts from University/ University College.
  3. Document that describes and confirms the applicant’s practical experience of work in related areas.
  4. Brief description of which of the areas that fits best and why.
  5. Brief description of why the applicant wishes to become a doctoral student. Please observe that all material needs to be in English, apart from the official document

Log into KTH's recruitment system in order to apply to this position. You are the main responsible to ensure that your application is complete according to the ad.

Your complete application must be received at KTH no later than the last day of application, midnight CET/CEST (Central European Time/Central European Summer Time).


For more information about doctoral studies at KTH, visit https://www.kth.se/en/studies/phd/doctoral-studies-phd-1.9318

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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 longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Monthly pay according to KTH’s PhD student salary agreement
Number of positions 4
Working hours 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number D-2016-0408
  • Joakim Gustafson / Dept manager/ Professor, jocke@speech.kth.se, +46 8790 8965
  • Jonas Beskow / Professor, beskow@speech.kth.se, +46 8790 8965
  • Jens Edlund/ Assistant Professor, edlund@speech.kth.se, +46 8790 7874
  • Gabriel Skantze/ Assistant Professor , gabriel@speech.kth.se, +46 8790 7854
Published 09.Jun.2016
Last application date 08.Aug.2016 11:59 PM CET

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