PhD candidate or Postdoctoral researcher in Machine Learning

Faculty of Science – Informatics Institute

Publication date
6 September 2017
Level of education
Salary indication
€2,222 to €4,757 gross per month
Closing date
1 October 2017
38 hours per week
Vacancy number

The Faculty of Science holds a leading position internationally and participates in a large number of cooperative programs with universities, research institutes and companies. The faculty has around 6,000 students and 1,600 members of staff in eight research institutes and a diverse set of support services. Many projects are externally funded, either from Dutch and international sources both public and private. Since September 2010, the faculty resides in a new building at the Science Park in Amsterdam, one of the largest centres of academic research in the Netherlands.

The QUVA-Lab is funded equally by Qualcomm, San Diego, and the University of Amsterdam. Its mission is to conduct internationally leading research in the areas of computer vision and machine learning. It holds 3 postdocs, 9 PhD students and 4 professors participate on topics ranging from tracking in computer vision, to story telling from video, to hyper-parameter tuning of deep networks.

The Qualcomm – UvA lab, established as part of the Informatics Institute at the University of Amsterdam, invites applications for a PhD-position in novel data efficient deep learning architectures.

Project description

Convolutional neural networks have revolutionized fields such as speech recognition and computer vision. Convolutions are efficient because they share parameters and implement equivariance with respect to translation, implying the same filters can be used anywhere in an image to detect an object. Equivariance with respect to translations can be generalized to other groups, such as rotations leading to even more parameter sharing and thus data efficiency*. The PhD candidate or postdoctoral researcher will study extensions of this idea, namely to exploit symmetries and other prior knowledge to design more data efficient convolutional networks.

What is requested for the project is a good understanding of deep neural networks and computer vision. A local, national and international training program will be part of the PhD. The candidate will be part of the QUVA-lab with the target is to perform the scientific research published in the best conferences, and to apply for patents awarded in the patent program.

* T.S. Cohen, M. Welling, Steerable CNNs. International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR), 2017


  • PhD candiate: M.Sc. in Computer Science, emphasizing computer vision and machine learning;
  • postdoctoral researcher: PhD in machine learning;
  • proven research experience, preferably with publication in top-tier international conferences or journals;
  • solid knowledge of programming in Python and C/C++ programming;
  • excellent knowledge of the English language.

Further information

Informal inquiries may be sent by email to:


PhD candidate:

The appointment will be full-time (38 hours a week) for a period of four years (initial employment is 18 months). Periodic evaluations will be held after 9 and 14 months, and upon positive evaluation, the appointment will be extended to a total of 48 months. The appointment must lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). An educational plan that includes attendance of courses, summer and/or winter schools, and national and international meetings will be drafted for the PhD candidate. The PhD candidate is also expected to assist in teaching of undergraduate students.
The salary is in accordance with the university regulations for academic personnel and will range from €2,222 (first year) up to a maximum of €2,840 (last year) before tax per month (scale P) based on a full-time appointment.. 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 for Dutch Universities is applicable. 

Postdoctoral researcher:

The appointment will be full-time (38 hours a week) for two years (initial employment is 12 months and after a positive evaluation, the appointment will be extended further with 12 months). The gross monthly salary will be in accordance with the University regulations for academic personnel, and will range from €2,588 up to a maximum of €4,757 (scale 10/11) based on a full-time appointment depending on qualifications, expertise and on the number of years of professional experience.

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 for Dutch Universities is applicable. 

Some of the things we have to offer:

  • competitive pay and excellent benefits;
  • extremely friendly, interactive and international working environment;
  • new building near the city center of one of Europe's most beautiful and lively cities;
  • direct access to high-end computing facilities.

English is the working language within the Informatics Institute. Moreover, since Amsterdam is a very international city where almost everybody speaks and understands English, candidates need not to worry about the language barrier. Living conditions in Amsterdam are considered to be among the very best in Europe.

Job application

Applications may only be submitted by sending your application to To process your application immediately, please quote vacancy number 17-443.  Applications must include a motivation letter explaining why you are the right candidate, curriculum vitae, (max 3 pages), a copy of your Master’s thesis or PhD thesis (when available), a complete record of Bachelor and Master courses (including grades), a list of projects you have worked on (with brief descriptions of your contributions, max 2 pages) and the names and contact addresses of at least two academic references.

All these should be grouped in one PDF attachment.

NOTE: Please do not send or copy your application to the director (Prof. M. Welling).

The Committee does not guarantee that late or incomplete applications will be considered. Applications not mentioning vacancy number and the title of the position you are applying for in the subject-line will not be processed.

Applications will be accepted until 1 October 2017. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

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