Open position: Unified Foundation models for Speech-to-Speech Translation

Start date: November 2022

Have you recently completed or expect very soon an MSc or equivalent degree in computer science, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, engineering, or a related area? Are you interested in carrying out research on Speech-to-Speech Translation during the next few years? Are you excited to spend a part of your life in 2 pleasant alpine cities in France (Grenoble) and Italy (Trento) ?




The Machine Translation (MT) group at Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Trento, Italy) in conjunction with Naver Labs Europe (Grenoble, France) are pleased to announce the availability of the following fully-funded Ph.D. position at the Doctorate Program in Industrial Innovation of the University of Trento and Fondazione Bruno Kessler.


Current trends in Artificial Intelligence are characterized by the migration from “task-specific models” to the so-called “foundation models”. The former are usually trained on large datasets labelled for specific target applications. The latter, much more reusable and flexible, are trained on a variety of unlabeled data to perform different tasks with minimal fine-tuning. In recent years, the introduction of such models (e.g. BERT, GPT-3) has opened an unprecedented range of opportunities, with an explosion of AI applications fueled by the power of transfer learning across diverse data and tasks. In line with this trend, this PhD aims at investigating and training deep neural architectures to build large multimodal sequence-to-sequence models able to encode input speech and text in a common space, also being able to decode output text or speech from a common representation. Such a multimodal architecture, if then made multilingual, will become the future unified foundation model for building automatic speech recognition (ASR), text-to-speech synthesis (TTS), speech-to-text translation (S2T) and speech-to-speech translation (S2S) systems from a single backbone.


The ideal candidate must have recently completed or expect by October 31st, 2022, an MSc or equivalent degree in computer science, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, engineering, or a closely related area.
In addition, the applicant should:
– Have interest in Machine and Speech Translation
– Have experience in deep learning and machine learning, in general
– Have good programming skills in Python and experience in PyTorch
– Enjoy working with real-world problems and large data sets
– Have good knowledge of written and spoken English
– Enjoy working in a closely collaborating international team




The doctoral student will work for an equivalent amount of time in two different labs (TBD):

  • The NLP team at Naver Labs Europe (Grenoble, France)
  • The Machine Translation (MT) group at Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Trento, Italy)
  • S.he will be employed at the MT group at Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento, Italy.

NAVER LABS is the R&D subsidiary of NAVER, Korea’s leading internet company. FBK has trained many scientists nowadays employed in leading IT companies in the world. Both groups have a long tradition in research on machine and speech translation.


Fondazione Bruno Kessler offers an attractive benefits package, including a flexible work week, full reimbursement for conferences and summer schools, a competitive scholarship, an excellent team of supervisors and mentors, help for housing search, full health insurance, the possibility of Italian courses, sporting facilities, and free canteen at lunch

During the student’s research stays at Naver Labs Europe (Grenoble, France), accommodation and travel expenses from and to Trento will be fully covered.



For preliminary interviews, and should you need further information about the position, please contact Matteo Negri (, Laurent Besacier ( and Ioan Calapodescu (

COMPLETE DETAILS AVAILABLE AT: (link to apply will be updated soon)


The deadline for application: August 23rd.

Potential candidates are strongly invited to contact us in advance for preliminary interviews. Precedence for interviews will be given to short-listed candidates that will send us a complete CV via email (,, by August 5th, 2022.


NAVER is the #1 Internet portal in Korea with activities that span a wide range of businesses including search, commerce, content, financial and cloud platforms.

NAVER LABS, co-located in Korea and France, is the organization dedicated to preparing NAVER’s future. NAVER LABS Europe is located in a spectacular setting in Grenoble, in the heart of the French Alps. Scientists at NAVER LABS Europe are empowered to pursue long-term research problems that, if successful, can have significant impact and transform NAVER. We take our ideas as far as research can to create the best technology of its kind. Active participation in the academic community and collaborations with world-class public research groups are, among others, important tools to achieve these goals. Teamwork, focus and persistence are important values for us.

NAVER LABS Europe is an equal opportunity employer.

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