PhD Position in Systems for Data Quality in AI-driven Applications

Faculteit/Dienst:  Faculteit der Natuurw., Wiskunde & Informatica
Opleidingsniveau:  Master
Functie type:  Promotieplaats
Sluitingsdatum:  31 oktober 2023
Vacaturenummer:  12076



At the University of Amsterdam, we are establishing an “AI for Fintech” [1] community in which researchers from different institutes, together with external financial organisations, are developing innovative solutions for challenging problems related to data and AI in financial technology. 


As part of this initiative, we are looking for a PhD candidate to work on systems for data quality in AI-driven applications. You will explore data-centric research problems for AI applications in highly regulated environments, addressing questions such as:

  • How can we enable non-technical users (e.g., domain experts from finance) to validate the quality and regulatory compliance of their data?
  • How can we operationalise existing regulation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) with respect to data preparation in AI-driven applications?
  • How can we automatically “stress-test” the data pipelines of existing AI applications for regulatory compliance?
  • How can we design data validation systems that scale to datasets with billions of records?


The PhD position will be jointly supervised by Dr. Sebastian Schelter [2] and Prof. Paul Groth [3] from the Intelligent Data Engineering Lab at the Informatics Institute, together with Dr. Kristina Irion [4] from the Faculty of Law.


We will open source our research prototypes for these questions and validate them with our external partner ABN-AMRO.




What are you going to do?


Tasks and responsibilities: 

  • to perform research
  • to publish and present the results in international journals and leading conferences, and to write a PhD thesis;
  • to develop data engineering solutions to be applied in a finance context and validate them with external stakeholders;
  • to collaborate with other researchers in the AI for Fintech community as well as with the members 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?


We are looking for a candidate with:

  • an MSc in computer science or a related field;
  • a creative and independent mindset;
  • strong programming skills in Python and at least one additional language (Java, Scala, C++ or Rust);
  • experience in working with relational databases and/or scalable dataflow systems (e.g., Apache Spark);
  • a university-level understanding of machine learning (ML);
  • fluency in English;
  • the willingness to work collaboratively with other researchers and external stakeholders.


Not required, but helpful:

  • Industry experience with ML deployments and/or real world data processing systems (e.g., internship, work, entrepreneurial experience);
  • Experience with responsible ML (e.g. fairness, GDPR compliance);
  • Experience working with financial data and a basic understand of current financial technologies;
  • Contributions to open source projects.


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 € 2,770 in the first year to € 3,539 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.


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. 


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 31 October 2023. 


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

  • a detailed CV detailing your education and work experience;
  • a letter of motivation (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 Master-level modules you have taken, with an official transcript of grades;

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.


A knowledge security check can be part of the selection procedure.
(for details: National knowledge security guidelines).


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


The interviews will be held in the course of November.




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.


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