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PhD candidate in Artificial Intelligence and Game Playing

The Digital Ludeme Project, a five-year research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC), will entail a computational study of the world's …

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Minderbroedersberg, Maastricht, Limburg
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


The Digital Ludeme Project, a five-year research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC), will entail a computational study of the world's traditional games throughout recorded human history. It aims to improve our knowledge of ancient games using modern AI techniques, to chart their evolution and their role in the spread of mathematical knowledge across cultures, to establish a new field of research called Digital Archaeoludology.

This project will involve developing a software system and related databases for modelling the full range of known traditional games, providing a new public platform for game AI research. The PhD thesis will enhance this work, and its exact topic will be decided in consultation with the successful candidate based on their background, skills and interests. Relevant topics might include: Machine Learning for General Game Playing (GGP); Automated Strategy Learning, Transfer and Explanation; Game Distance/Similarity Metrics; The (Phylo)Genetics of Games; GGP on the GPU; etc.


Applicants should have a highly regarded Master’s degree or equivalent (already completed or almost completed) in artificial/computational intelligence, machine learning, general game playing, data mining, computational phylogenetics, data mining, or some related field, and must have excellent Java programming skills. Good communication skills are important, as is a demonstrated ability to present and publish high quality research.


The position is offered for four years starting 1 September 2018 (first year + three years after receiveing a positive evaluation) with yearly evaluations. It will be located on-site at Maastricht, The Netherlands, at one of the world’s top new universities known for its international and multidisciplinary focus.

The salary and conditions of employment will be as set out in the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) of Dutch Universities (www.caouniversiteiten.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Collective-Labour-Agreement-Dutch-Universities-July-2016-June-2017.pdf) for a full-time contract of 38 hours/week at the PhD candidate salary scale (€2,222 to €2,840/gross per month) plus 8% holiday loading and an 8.3% year-end allowance. Non-Dutch applicants may be eligible for a favourable tax treatment (30% rule). All tuition fees will be covered.

Additional information

Please submit applications by 30 April 2018 via Academic Transfer as a single PDF document including:

  • Letter of motivation including short summaries of some potential thesis topics (1 page);

  • CV with a summary of highlights and courses studied with grades (2 pages);

  • Names and contact details of at least two academic referees;

  • Please also provide an electronic copy of your Masters thesis (if completed).

Shortlisted applicants may be invited for an interview at Maastricht University in May, which may be conducted by Skype. Start date: 1 September 2018. For more information, please contact Dr Cameron Browne (cambolbro@gmail.com).