PhD position in Ontology Enrichment using Intelligent Document Processing (1.0 FTE)

PhD position in Ontology Enrichment using Intelligent Document Processing (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
28 Nov 31 Jan Utrecht

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Join our interdisciplinary team to conduct research in the emerging field of Ontology Extraction and Enrichment!

Job description

Modern methodologies for knowledge extraction often produce taxonomies, vocabularies and ontologies that are incomplete, erroneous and lack in granularity, domain specificity and focus. In many domains, the knowledge extraction process can be enhanced, and its results improved through automated processing of typical documents that accumulate domain semantics in their structural, sequential and formatting patterns. In this 4-year PhD project, you will seek to develop a conceptual framework and a general approach towards utilisation of this thin layer of semantic information for the sake of extracting formal domain knowledge. The approach will be applied in the domain of law enforcement and cybercrime.

You will perform research on the topic of ontology extraction and enrichment using a variety of technologies from the fields of machine learning, natural language processing and information extraction. You will develop novel methods and algorithms, train, apply and validate them on real-life datasets, present and publish results at international conferences and in scientific journals, and complete your PhD thesis.

This position is a collaboration between the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and Utrecht University (UU). You will be employed by UU and join the Software Technology for Learning and Teaching group of Professor Johan Jeuring. You will work under the daily supervision of Dr. Sergey Sosnovsky. During the project you will work in close collaboration with Freek Bomhof and Dr. Maaike de Boer from the Data Science Department of TNO. At TNO you will get the opportunity to contribute to several ongoing TNO projects developing and applying ontology engineering technologies in practical applications.


Utrecht University


We are looking for an enthusiastic and dedicated candidate who has the following qualifications:

  • a Master’s degree in Computer Science, Information Science, Artificial Intelligence or a related field;
  • a strong motivation to get engaged in research in information or computer science;
  • demonstrable experience / hands-on knowledge in ontologies, machine learning, natural language processing, information extraction or a related domain;
  • proficiency in English & Dutch, both in speech and writing;

Conditions of employment

  • the opportunity to work in a collaborative, social, and dedicated team of researchers;
  • a full-time position for 4 years;
  • a full-time gross salary that starts at €2,541 and increases to €3,247 per month (scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao));
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow. For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.


A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

At the Faculty of Science there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes which work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects. For an impression, please watch Working at the Faculty of Science of Utrecht University.

The Department of Information and Computing Sciences is nationally and internationally renowned for its fundamental and applied research in computer science and information science. In our constantly changing (digital) society, the department of Information and Computing Sciences is constantly looking for new, realistic ways to push the boundaries of both science and social application. We contribute to innovative information technologies through the development and application of new concepts, theories, algorithms, and software methods. Relevant areas of interdisciplinary research include Game Research, Foundations of Complex Systems, Applied Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.

During the project you will work in close collaboration with the Data Science Department of TNO. The Data Science Department consists of a tight-knit team of 50 highly qualified and motivated women and men from all over the world, sharing a drive to develop innovative applications that focus on understanding and giving meaning to data.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1200746



Padualaan 8, 3584 CH, Utrecht

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