News and Events: Open Positions

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PhD Position on Knowledge-Driven Learning for Explainable AI in Fraud Detection

Deadline: Sunday 21 May 2023
Faculty/Services: Faculty of Science
Educational level: Master
Function type: PhD position
Closing date: 21 mei 2023
Vacancy number: 11440

Want to become part of a dynamic community that is at the forefront of AI-driven Fintech innovation? Our experts from the Faculty of Science (with the Informatics Institute, the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation and the Korteweg de Vries Institute), the Faculty of Economics & Business (Amsterdam Business School and Amsterdam School of Economics) and the Faculty of Law (Institute for Information Law, Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics), are collaborating with leading Fintech companies and (regulating) organizations to develop cutting-edge AI solutions to solve complex problems in financial technology. Are you ready to be part of this exciting ecosystem and take your career to the next level? If so, we would like to invite you to apply for one of our seven PhD positions described below.

Project 1: Knowledge-Driven Learning for XAI in Fraud Detection In this project we aim to develop a novel neuro-symbolic framework that mainly combines the strengths of both the data-driven approaches (which comes with adaptability, autonomy, and good qualitative performance) and the knowledge-driven approaches (which comes with interpretability, maintainability, and well-understood computational characteristics) to provide explanations for experts in terms of relevant features and the structures in-between.
Supervisors: Erman Acar (IvI/ILLC), Ilker Birbil (ABS)
External partners: Mollie, ING

Project 2: AIDA: Artificial Intelligence for Due-diligence Analysis In this project, we aim to develop information retrieval and natural language processing technology for e-discovery and due diligence analysis on legal and financial textual documents, and to support legal professionals searching for very specific information in huge sets of disclosed documents.
Supervisors: Marc Francke (ABS), Jaap Kamps (ILLC)
External partners: Imprima, Zuva AI

Project 3: Learning High Dimensional Contagion Processes in Finance and Insurance Multivariate contagion processes, e.g., those of the Hawkes type, have found widespread applications in finance and insurance, most noticeably for the modeling of systemic risk build-up. Whereas much progress has been made in exploring the underlying probabilistic properties, aspects of learning are still in their infancy. This project focuses on statistical learning for multivariate contagion processes, with a special focus on the practically highly relevant setting of many interacting components and high-dimensional processes.
Supervisors: Roger Laeven (ASE), Michel Mandjes (KdVI)
External partner: Association of Insurers

Project 4: Robust fraud detection through causality-inspired ML Payment platforms like Adyen use technology to efficiently detect fraud. Fraud detection is challenging, since both the genuine and fraudulent customer behavior changes over time and across markets. Machine learning is crucial for this task, but current methods are susceptible to learning spurious correlations. The goal of this project is to leverage causality-inspired machine learning methods to improve the robustness of fraud detection methods to distribution shifts.
Supervisors: Sara Magliacane (IvI), Ana Mickovic (ABS)
External partner: Adyen

Project 5: Systems for AI Data Quality in Finance The impact of data errors on the output of AI models is difficult to anticipate and measure, and these errors can negatively impact regulatory compliance. Therefore, this project aims to enable non-technical users to validate and increase the quality of their data. For that, these users should be able to express data quality rules in natural language. We will design a data driven approach to leverage such rules to assist a domain expert to finetune data quality rules and “stress test” downstream AI models. This project favors a strong data engineering background combined with an interest to engage with European regulation applicable to financial data.
Supervisors: Sebastian Schelter (IvI), Kristina Irion (IViR)
External partner: ABN-AMRO

Project 6: Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) regulation impact on financial stability In this project, we will analyze the driving factors behind ESG ratings via ML and XAI which will lead to a clearer understanding of how companies will be affected by ESG regulation. The insights gained from this analysis will allow us to study the effects on financial stability in a simulation study using agent-based models under realistic settings derived from empirical analysis.
Supervisors: Simon Trimborn (ASE), Debraj Roy (IvI)
External partner: ING

Project 7: HyperMining: Explainable Anti-Money Laundering using Process Mining on Hypergraphs In this project we aim to develop an innovative Anti-Money Laundering methodology using advanced AI methods using hypergraph representations and process mining which can give an integral view of the transactions involved, deal with the inherent complexity of the data, and still be understandable for the experts analyzing the data so they can substantiate their decisions.
Supervisors: Marcel Worring (IvI), Michael Werner (ABS)
External partner: Transaction Monitoring Netherlands

What are you going to do?

Tasks and responsibilities:
You are expected:

  • to perform research in AI for Fintech;
  • publish and present the results in international journals and leading conferences, and write a PhD thesis;
  • to develop AI tools to be used in financial technologies and validate them with external stakeholders;
  • to collaborate with other researchers in the AI for Fintech community as well as with the member of the different research groups involved;
  • contribute to our education activities as assistant to a course and/or guiding students in their thesis work.

What do you have to offer?

Your experience and profile:
We are looking for a candidate with:

  • an MSc in computer science, mathematics, finance, econometrics, or a related field;
  • a strong scientific interest in AI and fintech and potentially data engineering;
  • strong academic performance in university-level courses in the relevant subjects;
  • experience in programming, software development, and data science tools
  • professional command of English and good presentation skills;
  • the willingness to work collaboratively with other researchers and external stakeholders;

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). The preferred starting date is as soon as possible. This 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 gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between € 2,541 in the first year to € 3,247 in the last year (scale P). UvA additionally offers an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8.3%. The UFO profile PhD Candidate is applicable. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands is applicable.

Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park we offer you multiple fringe benefits:

  • 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime) and extra holidays between Christmas and 1 January;
  • Multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
  • A complete educational program for PhD students;
  • Multiple courses on topics such as leadership for academic staff;
  • Multiple courses on topics such as time management, handling stress and an online learning platform with 100+ different courses;
  • 7 weeks birth leave (partner leave) with 100% salary;
  • Partly paid parental leave;
  • The possibility to set up a workplace at home;
  • A pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
  • The possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
  • Help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you’re moving from abroad.

Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here.

About us

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 42,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The mission of the Informatics Institute (IvI) is to perform curiosity-driven and use-inspired fundamental research in Computer Science. The main research themes are Artificial Intelligence, Computational Science and Systems and Network Engineering. Our research involves complex information systems at large, with a focus on collaborative, data driven, computational and intelligent systems, all with a strong interactive component. IvI is renowned for its AI research, hosting an Ellis Unit and leading the national Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence.

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) is a research institute at the 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.

At Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics (KdVI) we are dedicated to finding new answers to fundamental mathematical challenges. Both questions arising from specific applications and from new conceptual insights are sources of inspiration for our research. Passionate and eager staff members share knowledge and experiences with young mathematicians in our PhD programme, as well as through our taught programmes at the Bachelor's and Master's level.

The Amsterdam Business School (ABS) aims to achieve top quality in research, teaching and impact. The DNA of the school is responsibility, sustainability, and the use of advanced analytics. The school consists of highly active researchers and students covering a wide range of topics. We are proud to be ranked among the best business schools globally. According to the Dallas ranking we belong to the top-100 schools for business research and to the 1% of schools that have earned the prestigious 'Triple Crown' status.

The Amsterdam School of Economics (ASE) is among the top economics research institutes in Europe. The school has a strong focus on producing outstanding research and world-class teaching and is highly active in international academic networks. Its researchers actively participate in the teaching and research activities of the Tinbergen Institute, the graduate school of the ASE. The ASE is known for its ambitious and supportive culture with ample opportunity for personal development in an attractive international work environment.

The Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics (ACLE) is a joint initiative of the Faculty of Economics and Business and the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam. The objective of the ACLE is to promote high-quality research at the interface of law and economics. The center functions as an interdisciplinary platform and hosts a variety of activities that seek to encourage fruitful co-operation across these fields at the University of Amsterdam in interaction with international academia, in keeping with its overall mission. The ACLE is organized in 5 research clusters: 1. Law & Economics of Corporate Governance, 2. Economics of Financial Regulation, 3. Competition Law & Economics, 4. Law & Economics of Digitalization, and 5. Law, Institutions, and Behaviour.

The Institute for Information Law (IViR), officially established in 1989, is one of the largest research centres in the field of information law in the world. The Institute’s mission is to further the development of information law within a legal framework that accommodates the needs and interests of the information society, its citizens and its industries in a just and balanced way, while respecting fundamental rights and democratic freedoms. The field of information law cuts across traditional legal boundaries and increasingly draws from research in other disciplines, such as economics, technology and the social sciences. IViR brings together all the key disciplines necessary to study the normative, legal and regulatory frameworks that define, govern and condition information. IViR research aims at producing scholarly output that lives up to rigorous academic standards, while feeding into societal discussions and policy debates on information law-related issues.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

Job application

If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including 21 May 2023.

Applications should include the following information (all files besides your CV should be submitted in one single pdf file):

  • A detailed CV including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience;
  • A letter of motivation, including an indication of the project number(s) in which you are interested and how they relate to your research background, and a motivation for applying for a position in this program (at most two pages);
  • A list of publications (in case of joint authorship, please clearly indicate your own contribution) or a link to a writing sample available online, such as a Master’s thesis;
  • A list of all Bachelor and Master-level modules you have taken, with an official transcript of grades;
  • The names, affiliations, and email addresses of two academic referees who can provide details about your academic profile in relation to this position (please do not include any reference letters in your application).

Please make sure to provide ALL requested documents mentioned above.
You can use the CV field to upload your resume as a separate pdf document. Use the Cover Letter field to upload the other requested documents, including the motivation letter, as one single pdf file.

Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered. Please don’t send any applications by email.

We will invite potential candidates for interviews soon after the expiration of the vacancy.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize 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.

If you encounter Error GBB451/ GBC451, please try using a VPN connection when outside of the European Union. Please reach out directly to our to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application.

Application form:

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