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10 PhD or Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Machine Learning and Deep Learning 2017, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

University of Amsterdam


February 15, 2017

Opportunity Cover Image - 10 PhD or Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Machine Learning and Deep Learning 2017, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

10 PhD candidates or Postdoctoral researchers in Machine Learning and Deep Learning

Faculty of Science – Institute of Informatics

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 1,800 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 installment of the faculty has made the Science Park one of the largest centers 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 two broad themes: 'Computational Systems' and 'Intelligent Systems.' The institute has a prominent international standing and is 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. A. Smeulders) and ILPS (information retrieval led by Prof. M. de Rijke). Besides Bosch-UvA Lab, other examples of industry funded research labs involved in deep learning are Qualcomm-UVA Lab (12 PhDs/Postdoctoral researchers) and SAP-UvALab (3 PhDs/Postdoctoral researchers).

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 will host 10 PhD or Postdoc research positions and is led by Prof. Max Welling (machine learning), Prof. Arnold Smeulders (computer vision) and a new tenure track assistant professor, who is currently being recruited. 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.

The lab will pursue world-class research on the following ten topics listed below.

  • Project 1: Methods for Semi-supervised Learning and Active Labeling - How can we exploit unlabeled data for a supervised learning problem and how can we identify the most informative subset of examples to be annotated by an expert?
  • Project 2: Methods for Robust Feature Learning
    How can we learn robust features that remain maximally predictive even if the distribution of test data is very different from the distribution of training data?
  • Project 3: Calibrated Uncertainty Estimation
    How can we provide reliable confidence intervals for deep neural network predictions?
  • Project 4: Methods for Multimodal Learning and Sensor Fusion
    How can we combine multiple sources of information to improve prediction accuracy?
  • Project 5: Combining Generative Probabilistic Models with Deep Learning
    How can we use probabilistic, possibly causal, graphical models, or complex simulators, to improve the accuracy of a classifier?
  • Project 6: Model Compression and Distillation
    How can we maximally compress the amount of bits necessary to store and execute a deep neural network while maintaining high accuracy?
  • Project 7: Reinforcement Learning and Planning
    How can we use RL to plan the actions of e.g. a car in traffic, given sensory information of its surroundings?
  • Project 8: Learning color-invariant bases
    Can robust, universally applicable color-invariants be learned in the lower layers of CNN’s that facilitate image classification?
  • Project 9: Learning to follow objects over multiple cameras
    Can we learn the characteristics of objects as observed from multiple camera’s images without a priori knowledge on the camera’s properties, their frames or the objects?
  • Project 10: Learning from images near the boundary of a class
    How can we learn from adversarial examples or hard positive/negative examples and how can we make classifiers perform robustly when confronted with adversarial examples? 


​PhD candidates

  • 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 researchers

  • 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.


Starting date: flexible

PhD candidate

The temporary 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. The salary will range from €2,191 (first year) up to a maximum of €2,801 (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 temporary appointment per 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 €2,552 up to a maximum of €4,691 (scale 10/11) based on a full-time appointment depending on qualifications, expertise and on the number of years of professional experience. The annual salary will be increased by 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end-of year-bonus. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities is applicable.

Some of the things we have to offer:

  • competitive pay and good benefits;
  • top-50 University worldwide;
  • interactive, open-minded and a very international city;
  • excellent computing facilities.

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

Job application

Applications may only be submitted by sending your application to Please do not send or cc your application to the directors (Prof. M. Welling and Prof. A. Smeulders). To process your application immediately, please quote vacancy number 16-580 and the position and the project you are applying for in the subject-line.

Applications must include a:

  • motivation letter explaining why you are the right candidate;
  • curriculum vitae, (max 3 pages);
  • copy of your Master’s thesis or PhD thesis (when available);
  • complete record of Bachelor and Master courses (including grades);
  • 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.

Also indicate a ranked list of the top-3 of projects you would like to work on and why. All these should be grouped in one PDF attachment.

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

When you apply, please make sure you apply to the correct address and always indicate to which of the ten projects you are applying.

The selection process commences immediately and continues until a suitable candidate is found. Applications will be accepted until 15 February 2017.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Study Levels
Publish Date
February 07, 2017


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