PhD Stipend in Self-Supervised Learning for Decoding of Complex Signals

At the Technical Faculty of IT and Design, Department of Electronic Systems, a PhD stipend in Self-Supervised Learning for Decoding of Complex Signals is available within the general study programme Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The stipend is open for appointment from June 1, 2022, or soon as possible thereafter. In electronics engineering, Aalborg University is known worldwide for its high academic quality and the societal relevance of its research programmes. The Department of Electronic Systems consists of more than 200 employees, of which about 40 % are international and about 90 are enrolled PhD students. The Department hosts 620 students. The Department’s excellent research infrastructures and facilities accentuate its global position in teaching and research. The Department’s research centres around communication, antennas, control systems, AI, sound, cyber security and robotics. The Department plays an active role in translating discoveries and results into practical applications with industrial partners and IPR. The Department provides teaching for several BSc and MSc programmes using a problem- and project-based learning model.


This PhD stipend is funded by the Pioneer Centre for Artificial Intelligence’s Collaboratory, Signals and Decoding. The Pioneer Centre for AI is located at the University of Copenhagen, with partners at Aarhus University, Aalborg University, The Technical University of Denmark, and the IT University of Copenhagen. There will be a cohort of PhD students starting during the fall of 2023 across the partner universities. PhD students at the Pioneer Centre for AI will have extraordinary access computing resources, to international researchers across many disciplines within computer sciences and other academic areas, as well as courses and events at the centre, and meaningful collaboration with industry, the public sector, and the start-up ecosystem.

Centre website:

To date, most successful applications of deep learning in signals and decoding are based on supervised learning. However, supervised learning is contingent on the availability of labelled data, i.e., each sample has a semantic annotation. The need for labelled data is a serious limitation to applications at scale and complicates the maintenance of real-life supervised learning systems.

The typical situation is that unlabelled data is abundant, and this has given rise to paradigms such as semi-supervised and self-supervised learning (SSL). Both directions in SSL are based on combining large amounts of unlabelled data with limited labelled data. While semi-supervised learning invokes generative models to learn representations that support learning with few labels, self-supervised learning is based on supervised learning with a supervisory signal derived from the data itself.

The goal of this PhD study is to develop novel semi-supervised and self-supervised methods for modeling signals of various modalities (e.g., speech, audio, vision, text) and analyse the complexity of the developed models. The PhD student during the study is further provided with opportunities to do research at other units and the headquarter of the Pioneer Centre as well as abroad.

The PhD candidate is expected to have:

  • A Master’s degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar in Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, Computer Engineering, Applied Mathematics or equivalent.
  • Knowledge with machine learning and deep learning.
  • Hands-on experience with Python and deep learning frameworks.
  • Experience with signal processing as a plus.
  • Strong analytical and experimental skills.
  • High-level of motivation and innovation.
  • High-level of written and spoken English.

You may obtain further information from Professor Zheng-Hua Tan, Department of Electronic Systems, phone: +45 99 40 86 86, email:, concerning the scientific aspects of the stipend.

PhD stipends are allocated to individuals who hold a Master’s degree. PhD stipends are normally for a period of 3 years. It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Technical Doctoral School of IT and Design in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of August 27, 2013 on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions. According to the Ministerial Order, the progress of the PhD student shall be assessed at regular points in time.Shortlisting will be applied. This means that subsequent to the deadline for applications the head of department supported by the chair of the assessment committee will select candidates for assessment. All applicants will be informed whether they will be assessed or not.

For further information about stipends and salary as well as practical issues concerning the application procedure contact Ms. Lisbeth Diinhoff, The Doctoral School at The Technical Faculty of IT and Design, email: 

For more information of The Technical Doctoral School of IT and Design: 

The application is only to be submitted online by using the “Apply online” button below.AAU wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background or belief.


Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of 15 December 2021 on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the current Circular of 11 December 2019 on the employment structure at Danish universities.