PhD Student Fellowship – Signal Processing and Automatic Speech Recognition

Location UK-London
Job ID
Research & Development - Research Engineering
Pos. Type

Company Overview

Nuance is the pioneer and leader in conversational artificial intelligence (AI) innovations that bring intelligence to everyday work and life. We deliver solutions that understand, analyze, and respond to people, amplifying human intelligence to increase productivity and improve security. With decades of both domain and AI expertise, we work with thousands of organizations across a wide range of industries. 


Join our team! At Nuance, we are constantly reinventing how people connect with technology and with each other. Our AI-powered solutions empower organizations to transform “business as usual.” For decades, the world’s leading financial, healthcare, telecommunications, retailers, and government organizations have trusted Nuance to bring them award-winning solutions that deliver more meaningful outcomes and empower a smarter, more connected world. From clinical speech recognition technologies that free physicians to spend more time caring for patients to real-time intelligence that powers billions of customer interactions, we’re deeply committed to helping organizations push the boundaries of what’s possible.

Job Summary

Nuance Communications are seeking to recruit an Early Stage Research (ESR) Fellow as part of an H2020 MSCA European Training Network “Service-Oriented Ubiquitous Network-Driven Sound (SOUNDS)”. The successful candidate will join an international cohort of ESR PhD student fellows researching key topics in audio and acoustic signal processing leading to submission of their PhD thesis after 3 years. The role is jointly supervised by Imperial College London and Fraunhofer IDMT, Oldenburg, Germany. A successful thesis will receive the PhD degree from Imperial College London.


The research project will aim to optimize the usage of audio data obtained from a distributed network of microphones in a room for an automatic speech recognition (ASR) system. Reverberation, moving sources, unknown room geometry and characteristics are some of the problems to tackle.


The role is part of a Global team in Nuance working on multi speaker and moving speaker ASR with distributed microphone networks.


Principal duties and responsibilities:


  • Extensive literature review on prior art.
  • Implementation of SOTA methods for processing data from microphone arrays and/or ad-hoc microphone distributions.
  • Develop know-how in the design of optimal microphone distributions in a room for ASR and diarization.
  • Invent and investigate new methods.


Knowledge, skills and qualifications 



Candidates must hold a Master’s degree in ideally engineering (or equivalent); or Computer Science, or have a solid mathematical background (e.g. in matrix algebra) and have taken specialized courses in at least one of the following disciplines: digital signal processing, acoustics, audio signal processing. Candidates who are in the final phase of their Master program are equally encouraged to apply and should mention their expected graduation date.


Required skills

  • Research experience (e.g. through Master thesis work or research internships) in signal processing is considered a strong asset and is required for this position.
  • Excellent proficiency in the English language is required, as well as good communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Strong scripting and reasonable programming skills with at least one of following languages: Python/ C++; Unix/Linux.

 Preferred skills

  • Good understanding of deep learning.     
  • Some experience ASR frameworks like Kaldi or ESPNet.
  • Familiarity with deep learning toolkits.

 Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD Fellowship Eligibility Conditions.

  • Early-Stage Researchers must, at the time of recruitment, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • At the time of recruitment researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the UK for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date

Minimum years of work experience: 0



  • Opportunity to continue your development whilst you travel to our partner university in Germany for a 5 months secondment.
  • A high-level and exciting international research environment.
  • A strong involvement in a European research project with high international visibility.
  • A PhD Degree registration from Imperial College, one of the World’s top universities (after approximately 3 years of successful research).
  • A thorough scientific education in the frame of a doctoral training program.
  • A competitive salary
  • The possibility to participate in local as well as international courses, workshops and conferences.
  • The possibility to perform research visits to internationally renowned research labs in Europe.
  • A prestigious three-year MSCA Fellowship.

Additional Information

Nuance offers a compelling and rewarding work environment. We offer market competitive salaries, bonus, equity, benefits, meaningful growth and development opportunities and a casual yet technically challenging work environment. Join our dynamic, entrepreneurial team and become part of our continuing success.

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