WIPO Adds Machine Translation Post-Editing Positions to Annual PCT Fellowship

WIPO Adds Machine Translation Post-Editing Positions to Annual PCT Fellowship

Machine translation (MT) and post-editing continue to move into the mainstream. Case in point: The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has created a track specifically for post-editing for the 2024 iteration of its annual PCT Fellowship Program for Graduate Students.

WIPO, a self-funding agency of the United Nations, administers 26 international treaties related to intellectual property (IP) protection. One of these treaties is the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), a system by which applicants can file just one “international” patent application that will be recognized by numerous countries.

Staff from WIPO’s PCT Translation Division mentor fellows during the program, which generally lasts at least three months and takes place on-site at WIPO’s Geneva, Switzerland headquarters. Fellows receive a monthly stipend of CHF 5,000 (USD 5,790).

In fact, the post-editing track is not the only new position for 2024: The Fellowship also has openings for Technical Specialists, who will share their industry or research experience with PCT translators, and learn about the role of translation under the PCT. 

In addition to the official languages of the UN — Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Russian, and Spanish — WIPO seeks native speakers of Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese for the fellowship program, though only for certain tracks.

Native speakers of any of those eight languages — with excellent knowledge of English — may apply to be Terminology or Technical Specialist fellows. 

Translation fellows must work from Japanese or Korean into English; Translation Technology fellows, in English or in French; and Post-editing Fellows, from Chinese into English or from English into French.

According to the official WIPO website, “Prior experience in technical translation/post-editing would be considered an advantage but is not a requirement, and applicants are expected to post-edit in their native language (target language).”

One of WIPO’s most recent home-grown language tech solutions is its fully automated conference meeting transcription and translation solution, unveiled in September 2023. The system combines WIPO’s in-house speech-to-text and MT systems to generate transcripts and translations within a few hours of a meeting’s end. 

The deadline for Fellowship applications is February 26, 2024, with a few exceptions (March 25, 2024, for Japanese terminology and translation; English-French post-editing; and Technical Specialists).