AAA Data Science PhD Postdoctoral Researcher Citizen Data Science, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Publish Date: Feb 26, 2016

Deadline: Mar 05, 2016

Amsterdam Data Science, an initiative of the University of Amsterdam (UvA), VU University Amsterdam (VU), Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA), and Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) is looking for a researcher at the PhD or Postdoctoral level. This position is funded by the Amsterdam Academic Alliance (AAA), a joint initiative of the UvA and VU aimed at intensifying collaboration with each other and knowledge institutions in the region, to cement Amsterdam's position as a hub of academic excellence.

Amsterdam Data Science provides a network in which some 300 Amsterdam based scientists exchange Data Science knowledge and forge partnerships within and outside the academic community. This comprises the foundations of data science and data science for the life sciences, social analytics, business analytics, and digital humanities.

This PhD/postdoctoral researcher position is with Prof. M. de Rijke of the Informatics Institute, University of Amsterdam, and with Drs. S. Niederer of the Citizen Data Lab at CREATE-IT applied research, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA).

The Informatics Institute is one of the research institutes within the Faculty of Science. Data science is a strategic direction for the institute and it is responsible for research, teaching and innovation activities in data science.

CREATE-IT applied research is the research department of the faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries. At the Citizen Data Lab, researchers map, analyze and activate urban areas with the development and validation of digital research methods and participatory design using citizen data.

Project description

 Citizens increasingly share their lives online. Through social media experiences, opinions and reports of events are shared. In parallel, residents of cities such as Amsterdam collect data using widely available sensor technologies, to measure air quality, traffic, or trash on the street. The main question driving this project is how to make sense of these diverse types of citizen signals.


  • Conduct computer science research, with a focus on social media analysis and analysis of sensory data;
  • publish in top tier conferences and journals at the interface of computer science and communication science;
  • contribute to knowledge transfer both in a traditional educational setting and in settings with non-academic stakeholders (governmental, industrial).

For PhD candidates:

  • Complete a PhD thesis within four years;
  • the PhD candidate may also provide teaching assistance (10%).

For postdoctoral candidates:

  • play an active role in the supervision of students at all levels (PhD, MSc, BSc) at both participating institutions;


To be able to make a flying start and succeed, candidates for the PhD-position should have a demonstrable interest in large-scale content analysis of social media, while candidates for the postdoc-position should have considerable academic experience at the PhD-level in large-scale content analysis of social media.”

In addition, a successful candidate should have:

  • a MSc degree in computer science, artificial intelligence, or a closely related field (for PhD candidates);
  • a PhD degree in computer science, artificial intelligence, or a closely related field (for postdoctoral candidates);
  • active research knowledge of, and expertise in, modern search and data mining methods; specific knowledge of such methods in the context of social media or sensory data is a definite plus;
  • experience programming in at least one of the following languages: C, C++, Java, Python, or Perl;
  • teaching and supervision experience (for postdoctoral candidates);
  • excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • ability to conduct innovative research, both as an independent researcher and as a strong teamplayer.

Further information


PhD position

The appointment will be full-time (38 hours a week) for a period of four years (initial employment is 18 months and after a positive evaluation, the appointment will be extended further with 30 months) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). An educational plan that includes attendance of courses and national and international meetings will be drafted. The PhD candidate is also expected to assist in teaching of undergraduates. The salary is in accordance with the university regulations for academic personnel. The salary will range from €2,174 (first year) up to a maximum of €2,779 (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 position

The temporary appointment will be full time (38 hours a week) for a period of three years and divided over the UvA and the HvA. The gross monthly salary will be in accordance with the University regulations for academic personnel, and will range from €2.532 up to a maximum of €4,654 (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 for 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%.

For both positions

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 be afraid of the language barrier.

Some of the things we have to offer:

  • very friendly, interactive and international working environment;
  • new building located near the city center (20 minutes by bicycle) of one of Europe's most beautiful and lively cities;
  • access to high-end computing facilities (e.g., cluster with 4,000+ cores).

Job application

Apply now

Please include the following information, in separate PDF files (not zipped), using surname, initials and a self-evident word as file names, e.g. , Smith J CV:

  • a curriculum vitae (including an url allowing download of pdf of M.Sc. thesis -- if relevant);
  • a letter of motivation (at most 1 page) explaining why you are interested in this position;
  • a research statement (at most 2 pages), explaining your research interests and how you think they can be related to the topics mentioned in the Job description above;
  • a list of all university courses taken, including a transcript of grades;
  • the name and contact details (including email address) of two – three referees who can provide details about your profile (one of whom should be the main supervisor of your Master thesis).

Completed applications should only be submitted via and should state your name, vacancy number 16-047 and the position you are applying for in the subject field. The committee does not guarantee that late or incomplete applications will be considered.

Applications will be accepted until 5 March 2016.

No agencies please


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