Student Opportunities

Level: PhD / MA

Institution/Organization: University of Alberta 

Duties: Research 

Specialty Areas:

Morphology; Phonetics; Computational Linguistics; Language Documentation; Text/Corpus Linguistics; Indigenous Languages; Language Revitalization 


The Alberta Language Technology Lab (ALTLab) at the Department of Linguistics, University of Alberta is offering two graduate student positions at the PhD (4 years) or MA (2 years) level in its graduate program, to start September 2020 under the research project: 21st Century Tools for Indigenous Languages, funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grant in 2019 – 2026, see:

Our Partnership is hosted by ALTLab and led by Dr. Antti Arppe. We develop language technological models, tools, and resources for Indigenous languages in Canada, starting with Plains Cree (Algonquian) and Tsuut’ina (Dene), and plan to continue and expand work with other languages. These resources include: intelligent electronic dictionaries, linguistically analyzed collections of spoken and written texts, spell-checkers, language learning and practice tools, and word form analyzers and generators, created in collaboration with Indigenous communities to facilitate and support the use of their languages in all spheres of life by community members.  

Duties and responsibilities: 

Beside studies in the Department’s graduate program, the graduate student will be expected to: 

- support the development or maintenance of current or future projects within ALTLab for our Partner communities
- conduct research that falls under ALTLab research topics on the languages of our Partners and/or another Indigenous language (see past publications and list of potential research topics on our website)


- a keen interest in North American Indigenous languages
- a Bachelor or Master’s degree in a relevant field
- meeting the general entrance requirements to the Department’s graduate program (

Preferred Qualities:
- experience in and knowledge of the phonetics/phonology and/or morphosyntax of Indigenous languages (North American Indigenous languages, in particular Plains Cree or other Algonquian language)
- experience in computational linguistics and natural language processing (e.g. finite-state transducers, speech technology)
- interest or experience in language documentation, language revitalization, language learning

We offer:
- an opportunity to personally contribute to the practical retention of linguistic diversity 

- opportunities for well-rounded, comprehensive training in empirical research methods in field linguistics, psycholinguistics and corpus linguistics as well as in language technology
- a chance to participate in an international SSHRC funded Partnership involving collaboration with partner organizations world-wide in the development of language technology and research on Indigenous languages

How to apply: 

To apply, send by email to (attn: Dr. Antti Arppe, ref: PhD 2020): 

- a brief statement of research interests and relevant background
- curriculum vitae (including possible publications and presentations)
- university transcripts
- at least two confidential academic letters of reference delivered directly to Dr. Arppe ( by the referees

We will start considering applications in late-December 2019. The positions are open until filled, but we urge applications to be submitted by Friday Jan 3, 2020, so as to meet the Linguistics departmental regular graduate application deadline on Friday, Jan 10, 2020. These positions are for a start in September 2020.

For further information, please consult the ALTLab website: or contact us ( 

Applications Deadline: 03-Jan-2020 


Mailing Address for Applications:

        Attn: Dr. Antti Arppe 

        2-40 Assiniboia Hall 

        Department of Linguistics, University of Alberta 

        Edmonton Alberta T6G 2E7 


Contact Information: 

Partnership office