[Corpora-List] Open position: PhD position on Conversational Search and Recommendation

Mohammad Aliannejadi mohammad.aliannejadi at gmail.com
Sun Apr 24 20:23:09 CEST 2022

PhD position on Conversational Search and Recommendation

We at the IRLab at the University of Amsterdam (https://irlab.science.uva.nl/) seek a PhD student to work on converstaional search and recommendation.

Over the past few years, an increasing amount of attention has been directed toward developing methods that enable Conversational Information Retrieval (CIR) and research in this area has brought forward the initial development of CIR systems. As more and more users start using CIR systems, various user-related concerns and issues arise, e.g., biased and unfair behaviour against a certain group of users, exhibiting inappropriate behaviour towards vulnerable users, etc. Moreover, further development of mixed-initiative CIR systems that can effectively and proactively interact with users is of high interest. At the University of Amsterdam, we are looking for a PhD candidate interested in combining single-/mixed-initiative conversational search/recommendation and bias/fairness to identify, design, and evaluate CIR systems with an emphasis on increasing resilience of the systems towards numerous defined biases and imperfections of data.

What are you going to do

Tasks and responsibilities:

• create, evaluate, and describe novel CIR methods with a focus on improving resilience when faced with biased/imperfect data;

• present research results at national and international conferences, workshops and journals;

• become an active member of the research community and to collaborate with other researchers, both within and outside the Informatics Institute;

• pursue and complete a PhD thesis within the appointed duration of four years;

• assist in teaching activities, such as teaching labs and tutorials or supervising bachelor and master students.

What do we require

Your experience and profile:

• a Master’s degree in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, or a closely related field;

• proven experience of participating in a research project accompanied by a publication is a plus;

• a thorough understanding of machine learning techniques– IR knowledge is a plus;

• strong programming skills with experience using Python and deep learning frameworks;

• the ability to communicate fluently in written and spoken English.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of four 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 four years). 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 ranges between €2,443 to €3,122 (scale P). This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end allowance. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities 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.


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

• Dr. Mohammad Aliannejadi (m.aliannejadi at uva.nl), Assistant Professor

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 on the university’s vacancy page: https://vacatures.uva.nl/UvA/job/PhD-Position-in-Conversational-Search-and-Recommendation/745215602 <https://vacatures.uva.nl/UvA/job/PhD-Position-in-Conversational-Search-and-Recommendation/745215602>/. We will accept applications until 15 May 2022.

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;

• the names and email addresses of two references who can provide letters of recommendation.

Please 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.

The interviews will be held in early June.

About us

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 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 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.

IRLab focuses on bringing the right information to the right people in a fair and transparent way. IRLab works on data-driven methods to understand content, to analyse and predict user behaviour and to make sense of context and information, all in the setting of search engines, recommender systems and conversational assistants. Applications are ubiquitous: tools to find documents on the web, recommend products, discover music and much more. IRLab positions itself in the AI and Data Science research themes of the Informatics Institute.

Best regards, Mohammad Aliannejadi

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