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Doctoral student in Conversational AI

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at KTH

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Speech and music communication

We are looking for a PhD student  interested in Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing and Speech Technology, that 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 "Thinking Fast and Slow: Real-time Speech Generation for Conversational AI".  The aim of the project is to develop AI-models capable of generating spoken responses in an incremental fashion, mirroring the nuanced and dynamic nature of human conversation. Our approach is inspired by our previous pioneering efforts in the realm of incremental and predictive models for dialogue, which have laid the groundwork for this project. We aim to construct a dual-component system, based on large language models, consisting of a 'System I' module for the rapid generation of response prefixes and a 'System II' for crafting more considered and detailed responses. This will be complemented by the development of an incremental speech synthesizer, designed to modulate speech rate and prosody in real-time, in response to the unfolding dialogue context. The models will be evaluated in both offline and online settings, employing both simulated interactions to refine our models under controlled conditions and real-world scenarios to validate their effectiveness in practical applications, for example in human-robot interaction.

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

Supervision: Professor Gabriel Skantze and Assoc. Prof. Gustav Eje Henter

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

The candidate should have extensive experience of programming and machine learning, specifically when it comes to speech and language processing.

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


In order to succeed as a 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,
  • present scientific work in both written and oral form (English),
  • have a professional approach and
  • analyse and work with complex issues.

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

Contact information for union representatives.

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

Contact information for doctoral section.

To apply for the position

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.
  • 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.

The position may include security-sensitive activities. To become authorized, you therefore need to pass a possible security check.

We firmly decline all contact with staffing and 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.



About KTH

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. Read more here

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Type of employment

Temporary position

Contract type

Full time

Full-time equivalent


First day of employment

According to agreement


Monthly salary according to KTH's doctoral student salary agreement

Number of positions





Stockholms län



Reference number




Last application date


Proferssor Gabriel Skanzte
Lisa Olsson HR Officer