Funded PhD position on Deep Learning for Neuroimaging to Speech Decoding @ HiTZ center

Position: PhD student

Researcher Profile:
First Stage Researcher (R1- up to the point of PhD) The candidate should have a BSc degree related to computer science and a MSc. including deep learning or machine learning subjects. Outstanding curriculum vitae, good programming abilities, strong motivation, team working skills, and fluent spoken and written English will be highly appreciated.

Project: #neural2speech Deep Learning for neuroimaging to speech decoding
Location: Spain > Donostia or Bilbao (free choice)
Research Field: Multimodal Deep Learning
Type of contract/Duration of Contract: 3 years
Job Status: Full-time
Hours per week: 35
Gross salary: 17,221€ (1st year), 17,823€ (2nd year), 19,765€ (3rd year)
Starting date: June 2023 (hard date)

HiTZ zentroa – IXA Taldea is offering a 3-year funded PhD opportunity. The position is linked to the IKUR #neural2speech project: the PhD student will work on research projects with IXA Taldea (HiTZ center – University of the Basque Country) in collaboration with two research groups Aholab (HiTZ center – University of the Basque Country) and The Basque Center on Cognition Brain and Language (BCBL).
HiTZ –
Ixa Taldea –
Aholab –

Goal: Can speech be decoded from neural brain activity? Addressing this issue is critical for restoring communication among people that have lost their ability to speak due to some speech motor disorders (e.g., aphasia). The goal of #neural2speech is to build a multimodal contrastive model trained on both neuroimaging input (fMRI and MEG) and speech output. The multimodal contrastive model that we propose is based on the neural transformer architecture.

Job description: The project will be highly collaborative across the three laboratories involved, including common activities and coordinated research agendas. The selected candidate will develop the core model of the project, the multimodal Transformer model, and disseminate the results in scientific conferences (presentations/posters) and peer-reviewed journals. She/he will take advantage of the computation facilities at HiTZ. The selected candidate will also have the opportunity to develop original experiments under the supervision and guidance of the PIs.

PI and research group: candidate will form part of HiTZ research center led by Eneko Agirre ( and Ander Barrena (, who will also be the main supervisors.


HiTZ Basque Center for Language Technology is a reference center on Language Technologies. Its aim is to promote research, training, technological transfer and innovation in Artificial Intelligence focused on language and speech. We are a multidisciplinary team composed of people with backgrounds in computer science, linguistics and engineering. HiTZ is made up of the research groups Ixa and Aholab, both from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). These groups are —since their creation in 1988 and 1995 respectively— the main driving forces in the area of Language Technologies in the Basque Country. HiTZ is a leader in research in Spain, and holds a National Research Award in Computer Science and one of the 15 fellows that the main research association in the area (Association for Computational Linguistics) has in Europe, as well as the best PhD thesis award in Artificial Intelligence in Europe (EurAI 2020). HiTZ is also a member of Erasmus Mundus+ European Masters Program in Language and Communication Technologies (LCT) program.

The University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) ( is the leading teaching and research institution in the Basque Country, a prosperous region stretching along the Atlantic coast of northern Spain. The UPV/EHU is among the best 400 universities in the world according to the Shanghai ranking, and has been recognized as an International Excellence Campus by the Spanish Government. The University of the Basque Country, a vibrant 30-year-old institution with 45,000 students, 5,000 world-class academic staff and state-of-the-art facilities distributed throughout 20 centers in its three campuses.