Postdoc Position in Conversational AI

Faculty/Services:  Faculty of Science
Educational level:  PhD
Function type:  Academic Staff
Closing date:  4 April 2023
Vacancy number:  10785



Come and join us to work on algorithmic solutions to challenges in conversational intelligence! We are a diverse team of researchers based at multiple universities in the Netherlands, with expertise in information retrieval, natural language processing, machine learning, and customer psychology. As part of the LESSEN project, which is funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), we will work together with industrial stakeholders to develop chat-based conversational agents for lesser resourced tasks, domains, and scenarios. Scientific challenges of the project are (i) the development of neural architectures that are compute and resource efficient; (ii) domain adaptation and data augmentation; and (iii) safety, privacy, and transparency.


This Postdoc project aims to (i) develop benchmark datasets within and across different research projects within LESSEN; (ii) develop a metrics for a holistic, fair, accessible, reproducible, and continuous evaluation; (iii) coordinate the evaluation process in the entire LESSEN project.


What are you going to do?


Tasks and responsibilities:

  • Conducting independent research in Conversational AI, resulting in academic publications in peer-reviewed international conferences and journals;
  • Co-supervising PhD students conducting their research at the IRLab;
  • Assisting in pursuing external funding for research;
  • Assisting in teaching courses in the bachelor and master programmes and supervising Bachelor and Master theses.


What do you have to offer?


Your experience and profile:

  • PhD in artificial intelligence or computer science;
  • An excellent publication record in AI, including publications in venues such as NeurIPS, ICML, ICLR, SIGIR, TheWebConf, WSDM, ACL, EMNLP, AAAI, IJCAI-ECAI;
  • Demonstration of open science output, such as open-source code and/or data;
  • Substantial knowledge of machine learning;
  • Eagerness to tackle complex scientific problems;
  • Eagerness to work with and guide a larger team of people to tackle important scientific problems;
  • Strong programming skills with experience using Python and deep learning frameworks;
  • The ability to communicate fluently in written and spoken English.

Our offer


We offer a temporary employment contract for 38 hours per week for a period of 12 months. If we assess your performance positive, your contract will be extended with 24 months.  The preferred starting date is as soon as possible.


The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between € 2,960 to € 4,670 (scale 10). This does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8,3% year-end allowance the UvA offers. The UFO profile Researcher 4 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;
  • 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 Faculty of Science (FNWI) has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 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 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 research of the Information Retrieval Lab Amsterdam (IRLab) focuses on information retrieval: technology to connect people to information. We work on search engines, on recommender systems, and on conversational assistants. There is a heavy emphasis on data-driven methods, for understanding content, for analysing and predicting user behaviour, and for make sense of context. We combine fundamental, experimental, and applied research, and we do so by using a broad range of data: text, images, structured information. We are involved in many projects with other groups, both within and outside academia. Our research is funded by NWO, KNAW, the EU and through a range of public-private partnerships. We are strong believers of great science with great impact and greatly value an entrepreneurial spirit.


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


Any questions?


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? 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 4 April 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;
  • a list of publications;
  • the names and email addresses of two references who can provide letters of recommendation (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.


No agencies please.