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Fully-funded PhD position in Digital Humanities at EPFL

The Laboratory for the History of Science and Technology (LHST) at EPFL invites applications for one full-time PhD position within the EPFL PhD program in Digital Humanities (EDDH), working at the intersection between computer science and history.

The successful candidate will analyze a large multilingual corpus of historical patents (18th-20th century, mostly in German and in English) to develop their own research project around the following historical and methodological topics: the history of technological innovation; the rise and development of intellectual property; the evolution of legal and technological language; semantic information extraction by combining text-based and image-based methods; alignment and document analysis of textual and pictorial publications; the development of a representation model for complex historical sources. The successful candidate will be joining another PhD student already working on the corpus.


  • Applicants should hold a master’s degree in science, engineering, the humanities or social sciences relevant to research in digital humanities. Candidates who have a dual background in the sciences and the humanities (e.g., a B.S. in Computer Science and a M.A. in History) or can demonstrate knowledge and interest in both domains are particularly encouraged to apply.
  • Technical expertise in (one or several of) the following fields: applied statistics, data science, programming (e.g., Python), natural language processing, machine learning, network analysis, computational linguistics. The successful candidate will further develop their skills by attending the EDDH doctoral school.
  • Fluent German and English; French an asset. The dissertation can be written in English, German or French.
  • Interest in working in a collaborative, interdisciplinary and international environment.
  • Candidates of all nationalities are invited to apply; applications from women are especially welcome.

What we offer

  • LHST is a young and dynamic lab with an interdisciplinary perspective and an interest in experimenting with innovative methods in the digital humanities. The lab is a member of the Digital Humanities Institute at EPFL and of the joint University of Lausanne-EPFL dhCenter. The lab also hosts a rich collection of historical scientific instruments.
  • EPFL provides an excellent and stimulating research and teaching environment as well as a dynamic and lively international campus with a vibrant student life.
  • Located on Lake Geneva. Lausanne is a picturesque city with various possibilities for recreational and cultural activities.

Starting date: September 1, 2021 (flexible).

Duration: 4 years.

Terms of employment: Fixed-term at 100% work rate. EPFL offers internationally competitive salaries and generous research support.

Deadline for application: April 30, 2020.