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PhD Positions in Conversational Search Engines at University of Amsterdam 2019

The Faculty of Science – Informatics Institute at the University of Amsterdam offers 2 PhD positions in Conversational Search Engines in 2019.

Searching for information in digital repositories plays a central role in today’s life. With the amount of available data growing rapidly, we rely on intelligent agents, search engines, to retrieve relevant information. The research on Conversational Search Engines aims to design algorithms that learn models of relevance with the help of human interaction, by coupling human input and machines during the learning process, as well as to design methods and build datasets that can be used to evaluate the quality of the proposed models and algorithms, and demonstrate their societal value to fields such as law, and medicine.

The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation, it can be extended for a total duration of 4 years. The appointment 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 the teaching of bachelor and master students.

Award Value

  • The gross monthly salary will range from €2,325 (first year) up to a maximum of €2,972 (last year). The salary is based on a full-time appointment (38 hours a week).
  • The total salary includes an additional 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end-of-year bonus, under the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (Cao).
  • A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants.


  • Master degree in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Physics or related field;
  • excellent programming skills (e.g. R, Python, 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 / natural language processing/information retrieval is a big plus.

Application Procedure

  • The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. They celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. They value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity.
  • The Informatics Institute strives for a better gender balance in its staff. They therefore strongly encourage women to apply for this position.
  • You may send in your application using the link below. Please upload the following information in a single PDF file:
  • a curriculum vitae (including a URL allowing download of pdf of MSc. 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 or three referees who can provide details about your profile (one of whom should be the main supervisor of your Master thesis).

Applications Deadline: May 2, 2019.

Scholarship Link

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