PhD candidate or Postdoctoral researcher in Machine Learning & Deep Learning

Faculty of Science – Informatics Institute

Publication date
17 May 2018
Level of education
Salary indication
€2,222 to €4,757 gross per month
Closing date
22 June 2018
38 hours per week
Vacancy number

The Faculty of Science holds a leading position internationally in its fields of research and participates in a large number of cooperative programs with universities, research institutes and businesses. The faculty has a student body of around 6,000 and 1,500 members of staff, spread over eight research institutes and a number of faculty-wide support services. A considerable part of the research is made possible by external funding from Dutch and international organizations and the private sector. The Faculty of Science offers thirteen Bachelor's degree programs and eighteen Master’s degree programs in the fields of the exact sciences, computer science and information studies, and life and earth sciences.

Since September 2010, the whole faculty has been housed in a brand new building at the Science Park in Amsterdam. The instalment of the faculty has made the Science Park one of the largest centres of academic research in the Netherlands.

The Informatics Institute is one of the large research institutes with the faculty, with a focus on complex information systems divided in four broad themes: Artificial Intelligence, Computational Science, Data Science en Systems and Network Engineering. We have a prominent international standing and are active in a dynamic scientific area, with a strong innovative character and an extensive portfolio of externally funded projects.

World-class research groups directly involved in deep learning are AMLAB (machine learning led by Prof. M. Welling), ISIS (computer vision led by Prof. C. Snoek), and ILPS (information retrieval led by Prof. M. de Rijke). Examples of industry funded research labs involved in deep learning are Qualcomm-UVA (QUVA) Lab (12 PhDs/Postdocs), Bosch-UvA DELTA Lab (10 PhDs/Postdocs), Philips Lab (4 PhD/Postdocs) and SAP-UvA Lab (3 PhDs/Postdocs). We also have ongoing collaborations with Microsoft Research (2PhD).

Project description

Bosch, a multinational engineering and electronics company, and the University of Amsterdam, a world-leading computer science department, have started a joint research lab in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to join the best of academic and industrial research. The lab focuses on fundamental research in deep learning with applications to intelligent vehicles. It hosts 10 PhD and Postdoc research positions and is led by Prof. Max Welling (machine learning), Prof. Arnold Smeulders (computer vision) and Dr Zeynep Akata (deep learning). One of the perks of the program is an exchange program where each lab member will stay for one month per year at Bosch Research in Germany.

As PhD candidate you will perform cutting edge research in AMLAB in the field of machine learning. The research topic is 'Methods for Semi-supervised Learning and Active Labeling' where the goals are to use both labeled and unlabeled data in training a classifier, to train classifiers when the number of (labeled) examples is small and to detect bad labels and to suggest informative examples to be labeled. Our motivation is the fact that obtaining reliable labels in large quantities is often expensive and time consuming. Yet, the performance of classification algorithms improves markedly if we have more labeled data. Moreover, deep learning’s successes are all reported on problems where the datasets are large. It is therefore important for the automotive industry to be able to use deep learning even when the number of data points is not so large, to use all available unlabeled data in the training process, and to spend the labeling effort on those examples that are expected to improve the classifier’s performance most.


PhD candidate

  • Master degree in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Physics or related field;
  • excellent programming skills (the project is in Matlab, Python and C/C++);
  • solid mathematics foundations, especially statistics, calculus and linear algebra;
  • highly motivated;
  • fluent in English, both written and spoken;
  • proven experience with machine learning / computer vision is a big plus.

Postdoctoral researcher

  • PhD degree in machine learning, computer vision or related field;
  • excellent publication record in top-tier international conferences and/or journals;
  • strong programming skills (e.g. python, Theono, Torch, Tensorflow, C/C++);
  • motivated and capable to coordinate and supervise research.

Further information

You may send informal inquiries on the positions by email to:


Starting date: flexible

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. The PhD candidate is also expected 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 (CAO) of the Dutch Universities is applicable.

The appointment of the postdoctoral research fellow 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. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable. There are also secondary benefits, such as 8% holiday allowance per year and the end of year allowance of 8.3%.

Among other things, we offer:

  • competitive pay and good benefits;
  • top-50 University worldwide;
  • one of the best Deep Learning Ecosystems in the World
  • interactive, open-minded and a very international city ;
  • excellent computing facilities
  • new building located near the city center (10 minutes by bicycle) of one of Europe’s most beautiful and lively cities.

English is the working language within the Informatics Institute. As in Amsterdam almost everybody speaks and understands English, you need not be afraid of the language barrier.

Job application

The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity.

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

We will accept applications until 22 June 2018.

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

Please do not send or copy your application to Prof. Max Welling, Prof. Arnold Smeulders or Dr Zeynep Akata – it will get lost.

Your application should include a letter of motivation explaining why you are the right candidate, a curriculum vitae (max 3 pages), a copy of your Master’s/PhD thesis, 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.

Please group all these in a single PDF attachment. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

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