KU Leuven

Post-doctoral position (Research Software Engineer) on the ERC BICROSS project

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KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

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(ref. BAP-2022-702)

The KU Leuven, Belgium, invites applications from suitably qualified candidates for a 100% post-doctoral position as a Research Software Engineer (interface design and language analysis) supporting a team examining bilingual evidence in New Testament manuscripts. The successful candidate will form part of the research team of the European Research Council (ERC) funded Consolidator Grant project “BICROSS – The Significance of Bilingual Manuscripts for Detecting Cross-Language Interaction in the New Testament Tradition”. The project is situated within the Research Unit of Biblical Studies of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies (https://theo.kuleuven.be). Project BICROSS is an interdisciplinary project linking Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Gothic, Armenian and Arabic philology, New Testament textual criticism, manuscript studies, ancient history and digital humanities. The project investigates bilingual New Testament manuscripts from the 4th century to the 15th century. It aims at establishing the significance of bilingual manuscripts for the formation and transmission of New Testament texts by uncovering mutual exchange and cross-language interaction through a multilingual approach. The project team will assess bilingual manuscripts as artefacts (codicology) and analyse their texts by means of digital tools in order to classify their readings and relationships. Working as part of a team of researchers, the successful candidate will contribute to the project’s objectives by developing digital tools for the management and assessment of the complex multilingual data of bilingual manuscripts, potentially including aspects of artificial intelligence (AI).

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The successful candidate will

• digitally administer the BICROSS project, including the administration of electronic manuscript transcriptions (XML) according to international encoding standards (TEI) and the subsequent tagging of these XML files by means of Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology, including syntactical parsers and part-of-speech taggers (POS).

• develop and design a modular interface as the project’s digital platform. The platform is expected to allow for user-adjustable visual and editorial presentation of the bilingual manuscripts’ texts and their shared features and to provide a variety of retrieving options (concordances) such as data relevant for the study of translational techniques. The platform should be compatible with existing platforms and software standards in order to enable scientific collaboration.

• work both independently and closely with other members of the research team to deliver the project's goals.

• present research results at international and national conferences and colloquia and publish research results at the highest scientific level.

• participate in the organisation of events, activities and other tasks related to the project and its research (colloquia, team events, visits from external experts etc.).


The successful candidate

  • has completed a PhD in computer linguistics or a related field. Additional experience and interest in manuscript studies, classics, New Testament studies or a related field would be advantageous.
  • has experience in digital humanities and familiarity with standard programming languages, including Python and Java. Additional command of at least one major ancient language of the project, preferably Greek, would be advantageous.
  • has experience with encoding standards for electronic transcriptions in TEI and XML format.
  • has experience with Natural Language Processing (NLP) modules, grammatical taggers and syntactical parsers.
  • has an excellent command of English (project language) and sufficient competence in other languages to access relevant secondary literature.
  • is enthusiastic about digital humanities, manuscripts, hard-working, organised, independent and cooperative.
  • is engaged in and open to scholarly collaborations in the field of digital humanities and open to artificial intelligence applications. Additional experience with working in the field of manuscript studies and textual criticism would be advantageous.
  • is willing to work in Leuven and to travel on project business (incl. conferences), experience with working in research teams would be advantageous.


We are offering a full-time position in an intellectually challenging and inspiring environment. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied research. It is highly inter- and multidisciplinary focused and strives for international excellence. 

The successful candidate will be part of an innovative research team in Leuven, a historic, dynamic and lively city located in the heart of Belgium, within 20 minutes from Brussels, and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam. KU Leuven provides practical support with regard to immigration & administration, housing, childcare, learning Dutch, etc. Further information can be obtained on: https://www.kuleuven.be/personeel/jobsite/en/academic-staff/academic-staff-research-education-information#working-conditions

The project begins on 1st October 2022 and the Research Software engineer is scheduled to start as soon as possible. The contract will initially be for 2 years (with 6 months as probation period) and may be extended subject to a positive performance review and the project’s budget to the full period of the project (30th September 2027). The project team is led by Prof. Christina M. Kreinecker. 


Your application should include (and be limited to) the following attachment(s):

• letter of motivation (max. 1 page);

• curriculum vitae including details of skills in computer linguistics/sciences;

• contact details for two people from different institutions who are willing to provide a reference;

• outline of previous experience in the field of digital humanities and manuscript studies and particular interests in relation to the digital profile of this vacancy (max. 2 pages).

For more information please contact Prof. Christina M. Kreinecker, email: christina.kreinecker@kuleuven.be

You can apply for this job no later than October 27, 2022 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

Job details

Post-doctoral position (Research Software Engineer) on the ERC BICROSS project
Oude Markt 13 Leuven, Belgium
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About the employer

KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

Visit the employer page

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