Postdoctoral researcher in computational intelligence

We welcome applications from scientists who would like to join us in our endeavors to develop a deeper understanding of adaptive embodied intelligence, construct appealing demonstrators, and publish papers in premier venues. Your research will be in cl...
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The research of the Computational Intelligence Group ( addresses fundamental issues about how to design, use and understand autonomous machines that can evolve, learn, and self-organize. We are interested in embodied intelligence that is not hosted in an abstract digital entity but has a 'body' and agency that makes it capable of acting in the world, generating its own experiences, and learning from these experiences. To boost our research, we are looking for a postdoc researcher with the right background regarding how to combine (Deep) Reinforcement Learning with Evolutionary Algorithms for embodied robots, while considering the benefits of sparsity.

Our facilities (used for research as well as teaching) include a robot lab with different hardware platforms, such as e-puck, Thymio II, Robobo, Crazyflie 2.0, and our custom-made evolvable robots. Furthermore, we have a cluster of powerful computers designated for simulation experiments. The research of our team members is regularly published at top conferences and journals, for example GECCO, IJCAI, NeurIPS, Nature Communications, Evolutionary Computation, Neurocomputing.

Your duties
  • pioneering research in collaboration with the Hybrid Intelligence project and members of the team
  • supervision of students


  • a Ph.D. degree in a relevant field
  • experience (including publications) with either (Deep) Reinforcement Learning (RL) or Evolutionary Algorithms (EA); at least one of these is required, while the other one could be learned
  • interest in combining RL with EAs
  • ability to handle working in an interdisciplinary setting
  • independence, but also the ability to take in feedback
  • experience with robots is a plus


The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor - from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to more than 11,000 students.

About the AI section
The AI section belongs to the Department of Computer Science. Much of the AI research within the department is embedded in the Network Institute of Vrije Universiteit, covering disciplines such as Social sciences, Humanities, and Economics. The Department also actively participates in Amsterdam Data Science, a collaboration between more than 600 data science researchers from different institutions in Amsterdam.
The department explicitly encourages inter- and cross- disciplinary research, and expects successful candidates to collaborate with colleagues in other fields of Computer Science, as well as with colleagues from other disciplines such as those participating in the Network Institute and in Amsterdam Data Science.


A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €3,561 (scale 10) and a maximum €4,490 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile researcher lv. 4 is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE. The initial employment contract will affect a period of 1 year. After positive a evaluation an extention of 1,5 years will be given.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to discuss whether your qualifications are satisfactory for applying to the position. We encourage women to apply for this position.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

Meer informatie

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 14/07/2022.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:
Name: Agoston Eiben
Position: Full Professor
Telephone: +31 (20) 59 87758

Relocation support
If you have any questions regarding moving to Amsterdam and working at VU
Amsterdam, you may contact:
Name: Sara Veldhorst
Position: Relocation Advisor
Telefone: +31 (20) 59 86212

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