PhD Position on Latent Multimodal Concept Analysis

PhD Position on Latent Multimodal Concept Analysis

Published Deadline Location
12 Oct 6 Dec Amsterdam

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Job description

Are you interested in doing cutting-edge research at the intersection of artificial intelligence, culture, and media? We are looking for a PhD candidate to investigate how to discover and analyse latent multimodal concepts found in multimedia.

The meaning of multimedia objects is influenced by the interactions between its constituent modalities. An image of a polar bear with a caption describing its hunting behaviour has a different meaning than an image of a polar bear next to an article on climate change. By modelling recurring patterns of interactions between modalities in large-scale datasets it becomes possible to discover latent concepts, thereby enabling analysis of their use and meaning. The aim of the project is to develop improved multimodal models for real world data by using new learning paradigms (e.g., contrastive, interactive, or self-supervised learning).

The position is at the Informatics Institute of the University of Amsterdam (UvA), in the Multimedia Analytics (MultiX) lab, with close ties to the Cultural AI lab. For this position you will be supervised by dr Nanne van Noord.

We strongly encourage applications coming from a unique perspective. Tell us how your background fits with the aims of the lab.

What are you going to do

You will carry out research in the areas of Multimedia Analysis, Deep Learning, and Cultural AI in the MultiX lab. Through this research you will develop new methods for discovering and analysing latent multimodal concepts in real world data

You are expected to:

  • develop Multimedia Analysis methods to discover and analyse latent multimodal concepts;
  • collaborate with researchers in the MultiX and Cultural AI labs, and UvA;
  • present intermediate research results at conferences and workshops, and publishing in proceedings and journals;
  • pursue and compete a PhD thesis within the appointment duration of four years;
  • assist in teaching activities.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


What do we require

  • A Master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Data Science or a closely related field;
  • a strong background in computer vision, natural language processing, multimedia and/or machine learning;
  • strong analytical and technical skills;
  • good programming skills preferably in Python, and proficiency with one or more deep learning framework;
  • proficiency in spoken and written English.

Affinity with Social Science and Humanities (SSH) research and an interest in working in an interdisciplinary environment is a plus.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 18 months.

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 salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,434 to €3,111 (scale P) gross per month, based on a fulltime contract (38 hours a week). This is 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 is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.


University of Amsterdam

With over 6,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad.  

The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.


Faculty of Science – Informatics Insitute

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 mission of the Informatics Institute 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.


  • PhD scholarship
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2434—€3111 per month
  • University graduate
  • 21-804


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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