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Postdoc 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
€ 2588 - € 4084 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, thereby establishing a new field of research called Digital Archaeoludology.

The successful applicant will play a leading role in helping to develop the software system and related databases for modelling the expected corpus of over 1,000 traditional games, and preparing the data thus collated for phylogenetic, historical and cultural analysis by the project's "cultural" contingent. The project will produce a new public platform for game AI study, facilitating novel research into machine learning for general game playing, phylogenetic analysis of games including game distance/similarity metrics, and automated strategy learning, transfer and explanation.

The successful candidate will produce publishable results in leading conferences and journals, and will assist with the supervision of PhD students and play an active role in the day-to-day running of the project. This will include coordinating project meetings and field trips, and events such as international symposia, conferences and a public exhibition, and assisting with the pursuit of further research funding.


Applicants should have a PhD in a relevant field (artificial/computational intelligence, machine learning, general game playing, computational phylogenetics, data mining, etc.) and a strong track record of research output and publication. Expert Java programming skills are essential. A strong background in machine learning and experience coordinating research projects and conference-level events would be advantageous. A demonstrated passion for traditional games and an interest in their history will be highly regarded.


The position is offered for the duration of the project (until 31 March 2023) 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 salary scale 10 (€2,588 to €4,084/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).

Additional information

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

  • Letter of motivation and interest in the topic (1 page);

  • CV with a summary of highlights (2 pages);

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

  • Please also submit electronic copies of your two best/most relevant publications.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview at Maastricht University in May, which may be conducted by Skype where needed. Start date: 1 June 2018 or as soon as the successful applicant is available. For more information, please contact Dr. Cameron Browne (cambolbro@gmail.com).