PhD candidate in Artificial intelligence and Cognitive Science

Faculty of Science – Informatics Institute

Publication date
24 July 2018
Level of education
Salary indication
€2,266 to €2,897 gross per month
Closing date
14 September 2018
38 hours per week
Vacancy number

The Informatics Institute of the Faculty of Science is looking for an enthusiastic researcher who would like to build her or his career in the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Experimental Psychology. 

The PhD position originates from the first Call for Interdisciplinary Doctorate Agreement (IDA), within the University of Amsterdam (UvA). The project is embedded in the Informatics Institute and the Psychology Research Institute. Both departments are internationally renowned for their high quality and leading research. The project will be co-supervised by Dr Bert Bredeweg from the Informatics Institute and Dr Wouter van den Bos from the Psychology Department.

Job description

The quest for evidence-based education is an outstanding challenge. An important issue remains to understand the individual learner on such a level that an optimal learning experience can be provided. You will investigate how metacognitive knowledge and regulation develops within university students while progressing through their bachelor career, and how that development relates to physical changes in the different prefrontal cortex regions.

During three consecutive years you will map students’ metacognitive skills and accompanying learning styles. Within the project you will:

  1. Rely on data-driven learning analytics extracted from Learning Management Systems (such as Canvas), as well as dedicated questionnaires and experiments;
  2. Develop specific learning interventions aimed at improving metacognitive awareness and academic achievement;
  3. Relate metacognitive skills to structural differences in the brain using MRI. 

The PhD candidate will divide her or his time between the Informatics Institute and the Psychology Research Institute but will mainly be hosted at the Informatics Institute.

The project includes 0.1 fte teaching. Teaching activities include supervision of bachelor and (research) master theses, which might yield publishable data.


The candidate should:

  • have completed a research master (or expected graduation within 2 months) in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Psychology or a related discipline;
  • have advanced programming skills, preferably in one of the following languages: Python and Matlab;
  • have excellent fluency in oral and written English, as well as good presentation skills;
  • be able to work in a research team and interested in interdisciplinary research.

The following will count in favour of the candidate: having some experience working with big, multidimensional datasets, having experience in experimental research and analysing behavioural data, experience in working with neuroimaging data.

In sum, we are looking for a PhD candidate with a technical computer science background who is interested to apply her or his skills to further understand human behaviour, or for a PhD candidate with a background in cognitive psychology who already has required significant technical skills and likes to advance these even further.

Further information

Further information can be obtained from:


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 to a total duration of 4 years) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). An educational plan will be drafted that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. The PhD candidate is also expected to assist in teaching of undergraduates.

Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from €2,266 in the first year to €2,897 in the last year, plus 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end-of-year allowance. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities is applicable.

We offer competitive pay and excellent benefits, a very friendly, interactive and international working environment, an office located in Amsterdam of one of Europe's most beautiful and lively cities.

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.

Applications may only be submitted by using the link below.

Applications should include:

  • a letter of motivation;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a BSc and an MSc diploma with transcripts (courses + grades);
  • the names and contact information of two academic references.

The first round of interviews will be held on 2 October 2018 and the second round of interviews will be held on 9 October 2018.

Applications will be accepted until 14 September 2018. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

Published by  University of Amsterdam