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PhD positions in VIBE

The project VIBE
The Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence group at Tilburg University is looking for an enthusiastic colleague for a PhD position on the project VIBE (Virtual Humans in the Brabant Economy). This project ...

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Warandelaan, Tilburg, Noord-Brabant
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 - 40 uur


The project VIBE

The Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence group at Tilburg University is looking for an enthusiastic colleague for a PhD position on the project VIBE (Virtual Humans in the Brabant Economy). This project aims to build conversational embodied agents that operate in virtual, mixed and augmented reality environments. These agents will be specifically deployed in healthcare settings. The €7 million four-year project has been funded by the European Union, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the province of Noord-Brabant and the city of Tilburg and includes 13 partners, including Tilburg University, universities of applied sciences, several technology firms, as well as the Netherlands Aerospace Center. On this ambitious project Tilburg University will hire four PhD candidates in dialogue management; speech recognition & speech synthesis; computational linguistics & machine learning; and recognizing & synthesizing non-verbal communication.


The PhD candidate holds a (research) master in a relevant area (computer science, computational linguistics, cognitive science, artificial intelligence) and is expected to have an academic mindset with an entrepreneurial interest, is supposed to be enthusiastic, creative, and solution-driven. The candidate is comfortable with working in a multidisciplinary research team, has an excellent command of English, and good professional communication skills.

Specifically, the candidate has a strong interest, relevant expertise and an initial track-record in developing algorithms to recognize and execute non-verbal behavior for conversational agents, including facial expressions, gestures and specific actions. Because the agents will be used in virtual, mixed and augmented reality environments knowledge of the Unity, Vizard, and/or Unreal engines is essential.


Tilburg University is rated among the top Dutch employers, offering excellent terms of employment. The collective labor agreement of Tilburg University applies. The PhD candidates will be ranked in the Dutch university job ranking system (UFO) as a PhD-student (promovendus) with a starting salary of € 2.222 gross per month in the first year, up to € 2.840,-- in the fourth year (amounts fulltime). The selected candidates will start with a contract for one year, concluded by an evaluation. Upon a positive outcome of the first-year evaluation, the candidate will be offered an employment contract for the remaining three years. The selected candidate is expected to have written a PhD thesis by the end of the contract (which may be based on publications). Candidates from outside the Netherlands may qualify for a temporary tax-free allowance equal to 30% of their taxable salary. The university will apply for such an allowance on their behalf.

Additional information

The Tilburg Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence group invites applications for 4 PhD positions on the VIBE-project, in the following areas:

• Dialogue Management

• Speech Recognition & Speech Synthesis

• Computational Linguistics & Machine Learning

• Recognizing & Synthesizing Non-Verbal Communication

For more information about one of this PhD positions, please contact the principal investigator of the project, prof. dr. Max M. Louwerse (mlouwerse@uvt.nl).


The School and the department

As of January 2018, the School of Humanities will become the School of Humanities and Digital Sciences. The Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence group at Tilburg University emphasizes innovative cutting-edge research in those areas of cognitive science that bring together psychological and computational theories and methodologies. The group is responsible for the Bachelor and the Master program Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence, is co-responsible for the university-wide data science Master program Data Science: Business & Governance, and is affiliated with the Jheronimus Academy of Data Science (www.jads.nl). Researchers in the Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence track have access to computer clusters, experimental lab facilities, and the virtual and mixed reality DAF Technology Lab and its sensing technologies. Moreover, researchers play an important role in Mind Labs (www.mind-labs.eu), an initiative that fosters collaborations between knowledge institutions and corporations in the field of interactive technologies and behavior.