Two postdoctoral research positions on Machine Learning and Reasoning for medical decision making

Two postdoctoral research positions on Machine Learning and Reasoning for medical decision making

Published Deadline Location
22 Mar 1 May Amsterdam

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Do you have an interest in AI systems for medical decision making that interact with doctors and patients? Are you interested in medical decision systems that are explainable, and that take into account safety constraints and patient preferences? Do yo...

Job description

We are looking for two candidates:
  1. A candidate for the NWO-funded project PersON. The project aims to facilitate shared decision making for personalised care in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of oncological healthcare. For this position the emphasis will be on a decision support system that takes into account safety constraints and patient preferences, and on the explainability of the system's advice. We are aiming to use a combination of machine learning and symbolic knowledge representations.
  2. A candidate for a project on reinforcement learning for patient-centric decision making in the context of the Dutch national research programme on Hybrid Intelligence ( The project aims to develop training methods for a symbolically informed Reinforcement Learning agent to learn a strategy that is (i) cooperative with the expert, that (ii) displays behaviour which is coherent from the human point of view, and that (iii) takes into account the often conflicting goals that a medical treatment is expected to satisfy.
Note that this job opening is one of several job openings on the HI page with job openings. You can apply to more than just this one. If you do so, please inform the Hybrid Intelligence Centre's Project Manager via email of the projects you are applying to.
We aim to create hybrid intelligence for everyone, see also our Diversity Statement. To do this, we need an inclusive and diverse team of researchers. We especially encourage people from underrepresented groups to apply for this job.

Both projects are embedded in a stimulating ecosystem in which collaboration is encouraged, and are in collaboration with prof. Annette ten Teije and prof. Frank van Harmelen in the Learning and Reasoning group ( Project nr. 2 is in close collaboration with dr. Herke van Hoof from the University of Amsterdam.

Your duties
  • doing high-quality research and publish this research in international conferences and journals
  • supervision of bachelor/master projects
  • active participation in the Learning and Reasoning group and in the project team


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • You hold, or will hold soon a PhD degree in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science or another relevant area.
  • You have expertise in reinforcement learning or neuro-symbolic methods. Expertise in medical decision support and knowledge representation is a plus.
  • You have an interest in the medical application domain.
  • You have the ability to work in a team and independently.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,960 (scale 10) and a maximum €4,670 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile (Onderzoeker 4) is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The initial employment contract will affect a period of 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 3 years.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment,
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus,
  • solid pension scheme (ABP),
  • contribution to commuting expenses,
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor - from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
Working at the Faculty of Science means working together with students, PhD candidates and scientists who are focused on their discipline, yet also have a broad view of the world. We are proud of the collegial working environment within the faculty, which is characterised by an ambitious and pragmatic attitude with commitment to the bigger picture. At the Faculty of Science, scientists and students work on fundamental and complex social issues for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, from genetics to pharmaceuticals and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research cover the full breadth of the natural sciences. Scientific teaching and research is highly experimental, technical, computational and interdisciplinary in nature. This is why we collaborate extensively with leading research institutes and industry. The faculty has over 11,000 students studying across 40 educational programmes and employs over 1,600 staff spread over 10 scientific departments, making us the largest science faculty in the Netherlands.

About the department, institute, project
The VU Department of Computer Science has approximately 200 staff members, including approximately 110 PhD students. Lecturers form a critical and essential basis for the functioning of the department, providing foundational education that helps determine the future of our students.

Our research and our students are diverse, covering disciplines such as Social sciences, Humanities, Economics, and Bioinformatics. Currently, we offer programs in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Information Sciences (BSc and MSc), and Bioinformatics and Systems Biology (MSc), with a total of around 1000 new students each year.


  • Postdoc
  • 30.4—38 hours per week
  • €2960—€4670 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 15077


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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