Funded PhD and Masters opportunities at AYLIEN

Funded PhD and Masters opportunities at AYLIEN


However, we are always keen to speak with potential candidates for various roles here at AYLIEN. If you’re interested in joining the team, we would love to hear from you. Please email your CV to

At AYLIEN we are using recent advances in Artificial Intelligence to try to understand natural language. Part of what we do is building products such as our Text Analysis API and News API to help people extract meaning and insight from text. We are also a research lab, conducting research that we believe will make valuable contributions to the field of Artificial Intelligence, as well as driving further product development (see this post about a recent publication on aspect-based sentiment analysis by one of our research scientists for example).

We are excited to announce that we are currently accepting applications from students and researchers for funded PhD and Masters opportunities, as part of the Irish Research Council Employment Based Programme.

The Employment Based Programme (EBP) enables students to complete their PhD or Masters degree while working with us here at AYLIEN.

For students and researchers, we feel that this is a great opportunity to work in industry with a team of talented scientists and engineers, and with the resources and infrastructure to support your work.

About us

We’re an award-winning VC-backed text analysis company specialising in cutting-edge AI, deep learning and natural language processing research to offer developers and solution builders a package of APIs that bring intelligent analysis to a wide range of apps and processes, helping them make sense of large volumes of unstructured data and content.

With thousands of users worldwide and a growing customer base that includes great companies such as Sony, Complex Media, Getty Images, and McKinsey, we’re growing fast and enjoy working as part of a diverse and super smart team here at our office in Dublin, Ireland.

You can learn more about AYLIEN, who we are and what we do, by checking out our blog and two of our core offerings – our Text Analysis API and News API.

About the IRC Employment Based Programme

The Irish Research Council’s Employment Based Programme (EBP) is a unique national initiative, providing students with an opportunity to work in a co-educational environment involving a higher education institution and an employment partner.

The EBP provides a co-educational opportunity for researchers as they will be employed directly by AYLIEN, while also being full time students working on their research degree. One of the key benefits of such an arrangement is that you will be given a chance to see your academic outputs being transferred into a practical setting. This immersive aspect of the programme will enable you to work with some really bright minds who can help you generate research ideas and bring benefits to your work that may otherwise not have come to light under a traditional academic Masters of PhD route.


The Scholarship funding consists of €24,000pa towards salary and a maximum of €8,000pa for tuition, travel and equipment expenses. Depending on candidates’ level of seniority and expertise, the salary amount may be increased.

Our experience with the EBP

AYLIEN is proud to host and work with two successful programme awardees under the EBP, Sebastian Ruder and Peiman Barnaghi. Both Sebastian and Peiman have been working under the supervision of Dr. John Breslin, who is an AYLIEN advisor and lecturer at NUI Galway and Insight Center. We also have academic ties with University College Dublin (UCD) through Barry Smyth. Barry is a Full Professor and Digital Chair of Computer Science at UCD, and recently joined the team at AYLIEN as an advisor.

Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 14.59.33Back row, left to right: Peiman and Sebastian with Parsa Ghaffari, AYLIEN Founder & CEO

Sebastian Ruder

Throughout his research, Sebastian has developed language and domain-agnostic Deep Learning-based models for sentiment analysis and aspect-based sentiment analysis that have been published at conferences and are used in production. His main research focus is to develop efficient methods to enable models to learn from each other and to equip them with the capability to adapt to new domains and languages.

The Employment Based Programme for me brings academia and industry together in the best possible way: It enables me to immerse myself and get to the bottom of hard problems; at the same time, I am able to collaborate with driven and inspiring individuals at AYLIEN. I find this immersion of research-oriented people like myself sitting next to people that are hands-on with diverse technical backgrounds very compelling. This stimulating and fast-paced working environment provides me with direction and focus for my research, while the ‘get stuff done’ mentality allows me to concentrate and accomplish meaningful things” – Sebastian Ruder, Research Scientist at AYLIEN

Here are some of Sebastian’s recent publications:

  • INSIGHT-1 at SemEval-2016 Task 4: Convolutional Neural Networks for Sentiment Classification and Quantification (arXiv)
  • INSIGHT-1 at SemEval-2016 Task 5: Deep Learning for Multilingual Aspect-based Sentiment Analysis (arXiv)
  • A Hierarchical Model of Reviews for Aspect-based Sentiment Analysis (arXiv)
  • Towards a continuous modeling of natural language domains (arXiv

Peiman Barnaghi

Peiman’s research, in collaboration with the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, NUI Galway, focuses on Scalable Topic-level Sentiment Analysis on Streaming Feeds. His main focus is working on Twitter data for Sentiment Analysis using Machine Learning and Deep Learning methods for detecting polarity trends toward a topic on a large set of tweets and determining the degree of polarity.

Here are some of Peiman’s recent publications:

  • Opinion Mining and Sentiment Polarity on Twitter and Correlation between Events and Sentiment (link)
  • Text Analysis and Sentiment Polarity on FIFA World Cup 2014 Tweets (PDF)

You can read more about our experience with the EBP in the Irish Research Council’s Annual Report (pages 29 & 31)

Details & requirements

First and foremost, your thesis topic must be something you are passionate about. While prior experience with the topic is important, it is not crucial. We can work with you to establish a suitable topic that overlaps with both the supervisor’s general area of interest/research and our own research and product directions.

Suggested read: Survival Guide to a PhD by Andrej Karpathy

We are particularly interested in applicants with interests in the following areas (but are open to other suggestions):

  • Representation Learning
  • Domain Adaptation and Transfer Learning
  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Question Answering
  • Dialogue Systems
  • Entity and Relation Extraction
  • Topic Modeling
  • Document Classification
  • Taxonomy Inference
  • Document Summarization
  • Machine Translation

You have the option to complete a Masters (1 year, or 2 years if structured) or a PhD (3 years, or 4 years if structured) degree.

AYLIEN will co-fund your scholarship and provide you with professional guidance and mentoring throughout the programme. It is a prerequisite that you spend 50-70% of your time based on site with us and the remainder of the time at your higher educational institute (HEI).

Open to students with a bachelor’s degree or higher (worldwide) and you will ideally be based within a commutable distance of our office in Dublin City Centre.


It would be ideal if you have already identified or engaged with a potential supervisor at a university in Ireland. However, if not, we will help you with finding a suitable supervisor.

Important dates and deadlines

Please note: all times stated are Ireland time and are estimates based on last years programme. Full details will be released in December.

Call open: 6 December 2016

FAQ Deadline: 8 February 2017 (16:00)

Applicant Deadline: 15 February 2017 (16:00)

Supervisor, Employment Mentor and Referee Deadline: 22 February 2017 (16:00)

Research Office Endorsement Deadline: 1 March 2017 (16:00)

Outcome of Scheme: 26 May 2017

Scholarship Start Date: 1 October 2017

How to apply

To express your interest, please forward your CV and accompanying note with topic suggestions to

Let's Talk