News and Events: Open Positions

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Postdoctoral researcher in Abductive Inference for Natural Language Interpretation

Deadline: Monday 5 April 2021
Vacancy details of Postdoctoral researcher in Abductive Inference for Natural Language Interpretation
Publication date 16 March 2021
Closing date 5 April 2021
Level of education PhD
Hours 38 hours per week
Salary indication €2,790 to €4,402 gross per month
Vacancy number 21-172

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) has a postdoctoral position in Abductive Inference for Natural Language Interpretation.

This postdoctoral position is part of the NWO Open Competition project 'A Sentence Uttered Makes a World Appear---Natural Language Interpretation as Abductive Model Generation'. The successful applicant will join the group of Reinhard Muskens. The aim of the project is to explore how semantic values are assigned to natural language expressions in a compositional way and how the resulting values, represented as logical expressions, are subsequently enriched by means of abductive reasoning. The latter is studied in a tableaux setting.

A postdoctoral position on Computational Modelling of Abductive Reasoning for Natural Language (vacancy 21-173) will be advertised simultaneously with the present position. If you want to be considered for that position as well, please mention this in your cover letter. It will not be necessary to send in two applications.

What are you going to do?

You are expected to:

  • collaborate with the other researchers working on the project (the PI and two further postdoctorals);
  • assist with the supervision of PhD candidates and MSc students;
  • regularly present research results at international workshops and conferences, and publish them in conference proceedings and journals;
  • participate in and contribute to the organisation of research activities and events at the institute, such as workshops and colloquia.

While this is primarily a research position, you will have the opportunity to contribute to teaching activities.

What do we require?

You have:

  • a PhD degree in Computer Science, Linguistics, Computational Linguistics, Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence, or a related discipline;
  • a strong background in Logic or Computational Logic and/or a strong background in Natural Language Semantics, as witnessed by publications in relevant conference proceedings or journals;
  • a strong passion for research and the wish to learn new skills through working with or assisting in guiding PhD and MSc students;
  • excellent communication skills in English, both oral and written.

In-depth knowledge of one of the following areas is a plus:

  1. resolution calculi and tableau calculi for first-order and higher-order logics;
  2. theories of abductive inference;
  3. belief revision.

Our offer

We offer a temporary contract for 38 hours a week, preferably starting on 1 May 2021 or 1 June 2021. You will be given an initial contract for a trial period of one year. On positive evaluation, your contract will be extended for a further 13 months (total duration 25 months).

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,790 to €4,402 (scale 10) 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 favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The  Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities applies. 

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits such as our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look at our website.


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:

About the Faculty of Science and the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, 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 at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) in which researchers from the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Humanities collaborate. Its central research area is the study of fundamental principles of encoding, transmission and comprehension of information. Research at ILLC is interdisciplinary, and aims at bringing together insights from various disciplines concerned with information and information processing, such as logic, mathematics, computer science, linguistics, natural language processing, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, music cognition, and philosophy. ILLC offers an international research environment with world-class faculty in all of its areas of specialization.

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.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 5 April 2021. You can apply online by using the link below.

Applications (in one single .pdf file, using your surname as the file name) should include:

  • a cover letter, including a description of your research interests and accomplishments, as well as an explanation for why you are applying for this position (at most two pages);
  • a detailed curriculum vitae (CV), including your list of publications; Please mention the months (not just years) in your CV when referring to your education and work experience;
  • links to three selected publications available online, with a short motivation for the selection made (mature drafts of papers or papers currently under submission are also acceptable);
  • a link to your PhD thesis available online (if available already) or an indication of the current status of your PhD thesis;
  • the names, affiliations, and email addresses of three people we can contact for letters of reference for you.

We will invite potential candidates for interviews in week 16 of 2021.


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