DC5: Analysis of the role of disinformation to automatically identify hate speech against immigrants in multilingual social environments

Open Doctoral Candidate/PhD Position at Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), Italy, for the HYBRIDS project


Reference number: HYBRIDS- DC5

PhD research topic: Analysis of the role of disinformation to automatically identify hate speech against immigrants in multilingual social environments

Host institution: Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), Italy

PhD Enrolment: University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), Spain

Main Supervisor: Dr. Sara Tonelli, Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), satonelli@fbk.eu

Co-supervisor: Dr. Marcos Garcia, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (USC)

Inter-sectoral Supervisors:

  • Dr. César González, Agencia Estatal del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
  • Dr. José Ramon Pichel, Factoría Software e Multimedia (IMAXIN)


  1. To design and develop strategies for the detection of hate speech dealing with prejudices and disinformation , such as the connection between crimes and migration, or immigrant women seen as oppressed;
  2. To acquire a deeper knowledge about anti-immigration attitudes and frequent topics related to dis-information and prejudices by analysing different social media;
  3. To deal with multilingual environments by means of cross-lingual hate vocabulary analysis and hate speech detection.

Expected outcomes:

  1. Knowledge and practical strategies that will be useful for the territorial organizations to work against discrimination.
  2. Development of a multilingual tool to identify prejudices and disinformation related to anti-immigration language.
  3. Validation of the methodology and the tool in use cases on immigration (e.g. immigrant women).

Planned secondments:

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Mobility: At the time of recruitment, the researcher must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Italy for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the recruitment date. Time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention or compulsory national service are not taken into account.
  • The candidate must be at the date of recruitment a doctoral candidate (i.e. not already in possession of doctoral degree). Researchers who have successfully defended their doctoral thesis but who have not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree will not be considered eligible.
  • The candidate must agree to work exclusively for the action.

Specific requirements:

  • Degree: All applicants should have a first-class honour degree or equivalent, or a MSc degree, in Computer Science, Computational Linguistics, Data Science or a related discipline
  • Programming skills: Good knowledge of Python
  • Language: Excellent command of English, together with good academic writing and presentation skills.

Desirable skills: Good knowledge of NLP-related tools and libraries. Good knowledge of Transformer-based models and LLMs

Estimated starting date: 1st July 2023

Contract: Full-time contract

Duration: 36 months, including 4 secondments of 2/3 months each, at other consortium members’ premises (see Secondment section)

Salary: Gross salary of 2,590 €/month (14 payments per year) if the researcher has no family or 2,720 €/month (14 payments per year) if the researcher is married (or a relationship with equivalent status to a marriage recognised by the legislation of the country where this relationship was formalised) or has dependent children for the purposes of the MSCA (For more information, click here).

Salary includes medical care coverage and work accident insurance through the Italian Health Care System, providing access to the Italian public health care system for candidates, as well as pension and unemployment benefits.

Application Documents:

  • Europass CV (template available in the following link), including the names and contact details of two academic references, in English, highlighting the merits that are established as evaluation criteria;
  • Scans of Bachelor’s and Master’s transcripts, with certified translation in English (if the degree qualification is not in English); If you have not yet completed your master’s, you must submit a provisional academic transcript.
  • A motivation letter in English, highlighting the consistency between your profile and the chosen DC position/s for which you are applying and describing why you wish to be aHYBRIDS Doctoral Candidate to carry out a PhD; (max. 700 words)
  • Scanned copy of your ID card, resident’s card or passport currently in force;
  • Proof of excellent command of English (e.g., IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge or equivalent). This is not required in case you are a native English speaker (i.e., English is your mother tongue).

In addition, you can add any other documents which you find relevant for the applications such as Master thesis, publications or project reports.

Evaluation criteria:

  • Academic background (up to 40 points)
  • Knowledge and specific achievements (up to 35 points)
  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview in which the selection committee will assess the applicant’s communication skills, initiative, and motivation to pursue a PhD. (up to 25 points)

Deadline: April 26, 2023, at 23h59 CET (UCT + 01:00)


Candidates are encouraged to contact the HYBRIDS Project Manager (info@hybridsproject.eu) for assistance or for any information related to the application process. When contacting, please indicate the position reference in the subject line.

Enquiries about research content must be sent to the main PhD supervisor via email (see contact details in Supervisors section).