DC7: Detection of hyperpartisan political news

Open Doctoral Candidate/PhD Position at Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (USC), Spain, for the HYBRIDS project


Reference number: HYBRIDS- DC7

PhD research topic: Detection of hyperpartisan political news

Host institution: Centro Singular de Investigación en Tecnoloxías Intelixentes- CiTIUS, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela- USC (Spain)

PhD Enrolment: Universidade de Santiago de Compostela- USC (Spain)

Main Supervisor: Dr. Pablo Gamallo, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela- USC (Spain), pablo.gamallo@usc.gal

Co-supervisor: Dr. Gaël Dias, University of Caen (UNICAEN)

Inter-sectoral Supervisors:

  • Dr. José Ramon Pichel, Factoría Software e Multimedia (IMAXIN)
  • Mr. Ettore Di Cesare, Fondazione OPENPOLIS.


  1. To detect extremely biased and polarized press news, known as hyperpartisan news, which alter information to make political stance or political candidates more or less attractive;
  2. To tackle information diversity so that all possible points of view on a single topic can be illustrated;
  3. To propose paraphrasing the biased sentences into new text with a content as neutral and objective as possible.

Expected outcomes:

  1. Development of a system to identify and paraphrase hyperpartisan texts in journalistic language.
  2. Elaboration of a terminology database consisting of multi-word expressions annotated with political polarity.
  3. Building a dataset of news by means of a crawler of newspapers characterised by different political positions.
  4. Use cases on climate emergency, immigration, and Euroscepticism.

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 Spain 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: Master Degree in Computer Science, Linguistics, Cognitive Science, Social Sciences, or a related discipline. Before signing the employment contract, the successful candidate will be enrolled in the USC PhD programme;
  • Programming skills: in particular, in scripting languages.
  • Language: Excellent command of English, together with good academic writing and presentation skills.

Desirable skills:

  • Experience with natural language processing methods and corpus linguistics.
  • Knowledge of deep learning techniques and interest in language modelings
  • Knowledge of other natural languages (e.g., Galician/Portuguese, French, Spanish, etc) is also an asset

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 2,340 €/month (14 payments per year) if the researcher has no family or 2,755 €/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 Spanish Health Care System, providing access to the Spanish 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).