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PhD candidate in Data Science for Language Understanding and Search

The Informatics Institute (IvI) of the Faculty of Science is recruiting a PhD candidate in Data Science for Language Understanding and Search. This PhD …

10 maanden geleden


Spui, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


The Informatics Institute (IvI) of the Faculty of Science is recruiting a PhD candidate in Data Science for Language Understanding and Search.

This PhD position is part of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) project on Smart Culture (Art Datis) in addressing in-domain search and language understanding challenges in digital humanities. The team will consist of the successful candidate, one PhD candidate in Art History, and researchers and developers from the Netherlands Institute for Art History, The FREE GLASS Foundation, and Picturae. The position focuses at developing the search technology in the field of art history, where newly digitized textual records, spanning a long period of time, need to be enriched, linked, and become searchable.

To this end, the research in this project will build on natural language understanding, information extraction, and information retrieval methodologies that allow the processing, enrichment, linking, and comprehending textual by:

  • modelling the semantics of language along time;
  • developing algorithms that link resources along time;
  • facilitating search and exploration in large heterogeneous collections;
  • translating relevant questions of importance in Art History into novel data science solutions.

As successful applicant you will:

  • publish and present their research findings at international top-tier conferences and/or in leading journals;
  • make significant contributions to advancing the state of the art in information retrieval and natural language understanding.


As applicant for this PhD position you must have an MSc in computer science, artificial intelligence, data science, or a closely related area.

In addition, you should:

  • have a strong background in information retrieval, natural language processing, statistics and machine learning;
  • have excellent programming skills in at least one programming languages, preferably Python or C++;
  • have some experience with deep learning programming frameworks (TensorFlow, Torch, PyTorch, Caffe, etc.);
  • enjoy working with real-world problems and real-word, large data sets;
  • have excellent communication skills, both oral and written;
  • enjoy working in a closely collaborating team.


The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a period of 4 years (initial appointment will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it can be extended for a total duration of 48 months) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching of bachelor and master students. Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from €2,222 (first year) to €2,840 (last year). There are also secondary benefits, such as 8% holiday allowance per year and the end of year allowance of 8.3%. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Among other things, we offer:

  • competitive pay and excellent benefits;
  • extremely friendly working environment;
  • high-level of interaction;
  • international environment (10+ nationalities in the group);
  • access to high-end computing facilities (cluster with 4,000+ cores);
  • new building located near the city center (10 minutes by bicycle) of one of Europe’s most beautiful and lively cities.

Since Amsterdam is a very international city where almost everybody speaks and understands English, candidates need not be afraid of the language barrier.

You will be based in the Informatics Institute at the University of Amsterdam. Our Institute consists of more than 40 members of research faculty, over 25 postdoctoral researchers, and more than 100 PhD students. Members of our institute are actively pursuing a variety of research initiatives, including information retrieval, computer vision, machine learning, and multimedia analytics. You will spend one day per week at the Netherlands Institute for Art History in The Hague to facilitate the collaboration with the afore-mentioned partners.

Additional information

You may obtain further information from:

You may only submit your application by electronic mail using this link.

We will accept applications until 14June 2018.

The committee does not guarantee that late or incomplete applications will be considered.

Please do not send or copy your application to Prof. E. Kanoulas – it will get lost.

Your application should include your curriculum vitae, a transcript of your BSc and MSc course grades, and a letter of motivation. Please include the names and contact details of three references. The letter of motivation should summarize:

  1. your interest in information retrieval and natural language understanding;
  2. evidence of your suitability for the job;
  3. any relevant research contributions in the past, such as your MSc project or any publication, and
  4. what you hope to gain from the position.

Please group all these in a single PDF attachment.