News and Events: Open Positions

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PhD position in Knowledge Representation and Reasoning

Deadline: Friday 3 April 2020
PhD position in Knowledge Representation and Reasoning
Publication date 30 January 2020
Closing date 3 April 2020
Level of education Master's degree
Hours 38 hours per week
Salary indication €2,325 to €2,972 gross per month
Vacancy number 20-051

Are you looking for a PhD position where you can use your mathematical skills to improve how AI systems represent and reason with knowledge about the world and other AI systems? Are you excited about doing this kind of research in an interdisciplinary environment, with smart and friendly colleagues? And are you interested in an academic career in Artificial Intelligence?

Then you may want to join us. We are looking for a PhD candidate in the field of knowledge representation and reasoning to join us at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) in Amsterdam.

The research agenda that you will contribute to is dedicated to the design and analysis of methods for representing and reasoning about facts, beliefs, knowledge, preferences, etc. The research we do is both mathematical and conceptual in nature. We regularly publish in the leading conference proceedings and journals in AI. Relevant keywords include AI, multiagent systems, knowledge representation, automated reasoning, theoretical computer science, and computational complexity.

What are you going to do?

You will be expected to contribute to the broad research agenda of using logic and related methods in AI.

Specific tasks include:

  • to complete and defend a PhD thesis within the official appointment duration of four years;
  • to regularly present research results at international workshops and conferences, and to publish them in conference proceedings and journals;
  • to participate in and to contribute to the organisation of research activities and events at the institute, such as workshops and colloquia.

You also will be expected to make a small contribution to the ILLC's educational mission, by working as a teaching assistant for courses in your area of expertise and by assisting with the supervision of student research projects.

What do we require?

You should hold, or expect to obtain before the start of your appointment, a Master's degree in a relevant discipline, such as Computer Science, AI, Mathematics, or Logic.

You also should possess:

  • an excellent academic track record;
  • a serious interest in pursuing fundamental research of an interdisciplinary nature;
  • good writing and presentation skills;
  • good social and organisational skills;
  • full professional proficiency in spoken and written English.

Prior exposure to relevant topics in theoretical computer science and AI, particularly knowledge representation and reasoning, is an advantage, but certainly not a requirement.

Please note that knowledge of the Dutch language is not required for this position, nor is it required for being able to live in Amsterdam. However, PhD candidates at the ILLC have the opportunity to attend Dutch language classes if they wish.

You must be able to start by 1 September 2020 (or soon thereafter).

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (initial appointment will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students. 

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,325 to €2,972 (scale P) gross per month, based on full-time employment (38 hours a week). These amounts are exclusive 8 % holiday allowance and 8,3 end-of-year bonus. A favorable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Then find out more about working at the Faculty of Science.

About the Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 6,500, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) is an interdisciplinary research institute, shared between the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Humanities, where logicians, mathematicians, computer scientists, cognitive scientists, and philosophers collaborate. ILLC an international research environment with world-class faculty in all of its areas of ecialisation, including several areas of specialisation within AI.

We are based in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, renowned for its historic system of canals, its laid-back cosmopolitan atmosphere, and its excellent connections to the rest of Europe and the world.


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? You are welcome to get in touch with:

You may also want to check his profile page 

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

At the ILLC we strive for a better gender balance amongst our staff. We therefore strongly encourage women to apply for this position.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving the following information in the form of one single PDF, no later than 3 April 2020. You may apply online by using the link below.
Your application should include:

  • a cover letter, including a description of your research interests and an explanation for why you are applying for this position (at most two pages);
  • a detailed curriculum vitae (CV);
  • a list of all Master-level modules you have taken, with an official transcript of grades;
  • a link to a writing sample (you have made) available online, such as a Master's thesis, a term paper, or a publication (in case of joint authorship, please clearly indicate your own contribution);
  • the names, affiliations, and email addresses of two or (at most) three people we can contact for letters of reference for you.

Please use the mandatory CV field to upload the PDF file specified above. Only applications that conform to these instructions are ensured full consideration by the search committee. In particular, please do not submit more than one file. #LI-DNP

Apply now

Please note that this newsitem has been archived, and may contain outdated information or links.