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Machine Learning Researcher

About the employer
  • World Intellectual Property Organization
  • Suisse

Job description

Advanced Technology Applications Center (ATAC), Global Databases Division, Infrastructure and Platforms Sector

Grade - P3

Contract Duration - 2 years (maximum cumulative length of 5 years)

Duty Station : CH-Geneva

Application Deadline : 18-Jul-2022, 4:59:00 PM


please note that the deadline for applications is indicated in local time as per the time zone of the applicant’s location. This post is a limited-term fixed-term post.

Organizational Context

Organizational Setting

The position is located in the Advanced Technology Applications Center (ATAC) of the Global Databases Division, Infrastructure and Platforms Sector. The Section is responsible for providing support in machine learning applications to other database sections, and to other WIPO divisions and, to some extends, to other external entities. The ATAC section has developed competencies in machine learning applications, including speech processing, machine translation, text and image classification and wishes to continue exploring the applicability of Machine Learning to other activities.

Purpose Statement

The incumbent is responsible for exploring new research algorithms, mostly using deep supervised machine learning techniques that can be applied to improve WIPO processes and/or generate new business opportunities.

The current project focuses almost exclusively on the WIPO speech-to-text project: speech recognition and speech translation for the purpose of automating WIPO conference reports.

However, current exploratory work might also be applied to other ATAC areas: Text and Images. Text includes Machine Translation and text classification; Image includes image classification and similarity (in the context of trademarks and/or industrial designs).

Reporting Lines

The incumbent reports to the Senior Machine Learning Specialist in the Advanced Technology Applications Center.

Work Relations

The incumbent will work closely with various stakeholders within WIPO and also external organizations.

Duties and Responsibilities

The incumbent will perform the following principal duties:

  • Manage Speech to text tool design and development: explore various techniques, evaluate carefully their performance in our context, maintain and develop further the existing tool (voice recognition on conference audio-video files using deep supervised machine learning technique). This activity may require supervising ATAC fellow(s) and/or intern(s) and/or contractor(s).
  • Speech training data collection: collect all the audio-transcript data that can be useful for training a model, e.g. analyze/convert current audio file formats, taking into account various sources of the audio transcripts, analyze/convert current formats, taking care to align the texts with corresponding audio and meta-data, analyze carefully the meta-data than can provide useful information for a better model representation, contact other organizations and carefully study their data and define automatic cleaning methods to reduce data noise.
  • Prepare specific exports of audio files to be sent for audio-typing and/or revision, and supervise the technical process to publish these new transcripts and properly use it in future training.
  • Integrate the speech-to-text tool with a more generic product providing several functionalities: voice recognition, fulltext search engine, browsing video/audio aligned with transcripts, speaker identification and segmentation, etc.
  • Study and adapt existing WIPO Translate tool to be cascaded after speech recognition. In parallel, study future possibilities to use end-to-end speech-to-translated text tool.
  • Design machine learning algorithms, define carefully the data training set, develop cleaning and filter methods on the data, perform quantitative and qualitative analysis. Study the current state of the art technology, evaluate the pros and cons of various methods, define a strategy for experimenting with one (few) technology(ies) in our context.
  • Collaborate with various WIPO units to define possible areas of application of new and existing machine learning tools. Develop proof of concept prototypes to demonstrate the applicability and pertinence of machine learning tools. Identify new business opportunities.
  • Provide support for other stakeholders to use WIPO speech-to-text in their context (WIPO specific use-cases, UN agencies, external entities, etc.).
  • Study the possibility to do live-captioning.
  • Perform other related tasks as required.


Education (Essential)

First-level university degree in Information Technology, mathematics, electronics or signal processing.

Experience (Essential)

At least six years’ experience in speech processing and/or machine learning.

Experience (Desirable)

  • Experience in implementing Machine Learning projects and/or making significant scientific contribution in Machine Learning.
  • Experience in using and designing neural networks.
  • Experience with speech recognition frameworks (Returnn, Kaldi, …).
  • Experience with neural machine translation (RNN, transformers, …).
  • Experience with Unix (Linux, bash, tomcat, ant, …).
  • Experience with version control systems (SVN, GIT, …) and deployment strategies (virtual machines, docker, cloud servers, etc.).

Language (Essential)

Excellent knowledge of written and spoken English.

Language (Desirable)

Good knowledge of French or any other official UN languages.

Job Related Competencies (Essential)

  • Knowledge of machine learning techniques (especially neural networks).
  • Strong software development skills.
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills and the ability to understand and document IT processes.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to maintain effective partnerships and working relations in a multi-cultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

Job Related Competencies (Desirable)

  • Knowledge of audio/video processing techniques.
  • Neural Networks frameworks: (Tensorflow, Pytorch, Keras, …).
  • Internet technologies including Lucene (Solr / ElasticSearch), Jquery, Angular.js, JavaScript, JAVA, Tomcat as well as UI design CSS, HTML, HTML 5 and related technologies.
  • Good knowledge of signal processing techniques (speech, image, video, …).
  • Ability to write user guide, administration documentation and reports in English.
  • Excellent decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Knowledge of IP information tools, products and standards.

Organizational Competencies

  • Communicating effectively.
  • Showing team spirit.
  • Demonstrating integrity.
  • Valuing diversity.
  • Producing results.
  • Showing service orientation.
  • Seeing the big picture.
  • Seeking change and innovation.
  • Developing yourself and others.


Mobility: WIPO staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the Director General and may be assigned to any activities, office or duty station of the Organization. Accordingly, the selected candidate may be required to move from time to time to new functions and/or to another duty station.

Annual salary:

Total annual salary consists of a net annual salary (net of taxes and before medical insurance and pension fund deductions) in US dollars and a post adjustment. Please note that this estimate is for information only. The post adjustment multiplier (cost of living allowance) is variable and subject to change (increase or decrease) without notice. The figures quoted below are based on the June 2022 rate of 71.4%

Annual salary


Post adjustment


Total Salary


Currency USD

Salaries and allowances are paid in Swiss francs at the official rate of exchange of the United Nations.

Please refer to WIPO’s Staff Regulation and Rules for detailed information concerning salaries, benefits and allowances.

Additional Information

  • Initial fixed-term appointment of two years, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and other applicable conditions. The selected candidate will be subject to an overall term of five years with no possibility of renewal beyond that term.
  • This is not applicable to WIPO staff members on fixed-term, continuing or permanent appointments, who were recruited following a competition under Staff Regulation 4.10 (“Appointment Boards”).
  • This vacancy announcement may be used to fill other posts at the same grade with similar functions in accordance with Staff Rule 4.9.5.
  • Applications from qualified women as well as from qualified nationals of unrepresented Member States of WIPO and underrepresented geographical regions are encouraged.
  • The Organization reserves the right to make an appointment at a grade lower than that advertised.


By completing an application, candidates understand that any willful misrepresentation made on this web site, or on any other documents submitted to WIPO during the application, may result in disqualification from the recruitment process, or termination of employment with WIPO at a later date, if that employment resulted from such willful misrepresentations.

In the event that your candidature is shortlisted, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of an identification and of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position.

WIPO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and these will be reviewed individually.

Additional testing/interviewing may be used as a form of screening. Initial appointment is subject to satisfactory professional references.

Additional background checks may be required.