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A fully funded PhD position is available at the Computer Science department of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam on methods of interaction for polyvocal knowledge graphs for Hybrid Intelligence in the cultural heritage.

Job description

Effective Hybrid Intelligence (HI) systems will need to be sensitive to and aware of the diversity of the users and their perspectives. Knowledge Graphs provide representation formats and mechanisms to represent multiple perspectives. This PhD position investigates how multi-perspective or polyvocal information can be elicited in HI scenarios through interaction with various end users.

This research project within the larger Hybrid Intelligence programme is a collaboration between VU and UTwente. The project will be situated in a number of ongoing digital cultural heritage and digital humanities collaborations such as Pressing Matter, InTaVia and Clariah. The PhD candidate will be able to collaborate with heritage partners through ongoing collaborations that are maintained in the context of the Cultural AI ( lab and similar collaborations spearheaded by UTwente.

Within the project, we will focus on the application domain of cultural heritage where several existing Knowledge Graphs describing tangible and intangible heritage data are available. Your research will investigate the effectiveness of various interaction design patterns to elicit polyvocal annotations of existing objects and enrichments of existing Knowledge Graphs in that domain. Here, the variety and the perspective of the users (cultural, geographical, gender etc) is to be taken into account. The research question on how to elicit such information in an ethical and responsible manner is a crucial part of this research.

If you are passionate about user interaction design patterns, cultural heritage information, and Hybrid Intelligence and curious to join us in this exciting research, then we are looking for you!

Your duties
In the project, you will investigate generic methods for eliciting polyvocal Knowledge Graphs enrichments in Hybrid Intelligence scenarios through interaction designs. As background knowledge, we have access to structured information in cultural Heritage Knowledge Graphs and unstructured information in text. During the interactions with different groups of users, a system can prompt/suggest enrichments that might be consistent or inconsistent with users' view. This way, we can connect different views to different groups of users. To determine where enrichments or annotations are useful, interaction patterns for user dialogs will need to be established to elicit this information. The research questions therefore are threefold:
  • How can knowledge graphs and textual information be combined with user contexts for graph enrichment?
  • What are effective and ethical interaction patterns to elicit user context and perspective?
  • What are effective and ethical interaction patterns to elicit graph enrichments, while retaining context and perspective?

The interaction patterns can be implemented in a variety of modalities, for example in an immersive Virtual Reality application, an interactive voice response system (IVR) or a mobile application. The research will result in general patterns, supporting tooling to implement this in the various modalities and evaluations of these two.

Your day-to-day duties will be to:
  • perform scientific research on polyvocal knowledge acquisition, including the design and execution of user experiments
  • collaborate with other researchers from VU and UTwente, the Hybrid Intelligence projects and the Cultural AI Lab
  • write scientific papers for international peer-reviewed conferences and journals

  • present your work in international and national, academic and non-academic venues 

  • finalize the work in a PhD thesis

  • a limited amount of teaching (e.g., helping with a lab course, max 10% of your time)


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • You hold or will soon hold a MSc degree in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Information Sciences or similar field.
  • You have an interest in human-computer interaction, intelligent user interfaces, hybrid human-AI intelligence or similar topics relevant to the position.
  • Interest in knowledge graphs, digital humanities are a plus.
  • You have good proficiency in English in speaking and writing.
  • You have good communication skills, take initiative, and have a strong interest in working in a multidisciplinary team.

Starting date of the position: 1 September 2024

As a university, we strive for equal opportunities for all, recognising that diversity takes many forms. We believe that diversity in all its complexity is invaluable for the quality of our teaching, research and service. We are always looking for talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences. This also means that we are committed to creating an inclusive community so that we can use diversity as an asset.

We realise that each individual brings a unique set of skills, expertise and mindset. Therefore we are happy to invite anyone who recognises themselves in the profile to apply, even if you do not meet all the requirements.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 18 months.

A challenging position in a socially engaged organisation. At VU Amsterdam, you contribute to education, research and service for a better world. And that is valuable. So in return for your efforts, we offer you:
  • a salary of minimum € 2.770,00 (PhD) and maximum € 3.539,00 (PhD) gross per month, on a full-time basis. This is based on UFO profile PhD candidate. The exact salary depends on your education and experience.
  • a position for at least 0.8 FTE. Your employment contract will initially last 18 months. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 4 years.

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and regulations. Some examples:
  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata.
  • 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

Faculty of Science
Researchers and students at VU Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science tackle fundamental and complex scientific problems to help pave the way for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, and from molecules to the moon: we cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. Our teaching and research have a strong experimentally technical, computational and interdisciplinary nature.

We work on new solutions guided by value-driven, interdisciplinary methodologies. We are committed to research, valorisation and training socially engaged citizens of the world who will make valuable contributions to a sustainable, healthy future.

Are you interested in joining the Faculty of Science? You will join undergraduate students, PhD candidates and researchers at the biggest sciences faculty in the Netherlands. You will combine a professional focus with a broad view of the world. We are proud of our collegial working climate, characterised by committed staff, a pragmatic attitude and engagement in the larger whole. The faculty is home to over 11,000 students enrolled in 40 study programmes. It employs over 1,600 professionals spread across 10 academic departments.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam stands for values-driven education and research. We are open-minded experts with the ability to think freely. - a broader mind. Maintaining an entrepreneurial perspective and concentrating on diversity, significance and humanity, we work on sustainable solutions with social impact. By joining forces, across the boundaries of disciplines, we work towards a better world for people and planet. Together we create a safe and respectful working and study climate, and an inspiring environment for education and research. Learn more about our codes of conduct

We are located on one physical campus, in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas business district, with excellent location and accessibility. Over 5,500 staff work at the VU and over 30,000 students attend academic education.

Diversity is the driving force of the VU. The VU wants to be accessible and receptive to diversity in disciplines, cultures, ideas, nationalities, beliefs, preferences and worldviews. We believe that trust, respect, interest and differences lead to new insights and innovation, to sharpness and clarity, to excellence and a broader understanding.

We stand for an inclusive community and believe that diversity and internationalisation contribute to the quality of education, research and our services.

We want to develop talent and creativity by bringing together people from different backgrounds and cultures. We recruit and select based on competencies and talents. We therefore encourage anyone who recognizes themselves in a vacancy, regardless of age, gender, origin, religion, philosophy of life, orientation, disability or chronic illness, to respond. Candidates with a jobs agreement indication (“doelgroepregistratie”) will be given priority if suitable. For these candidates applies:
  • A PhD candidate with a registration (“doelgroepregister”) may apply for a minimum of 0.7 fte
  • An extra supervisor is available for PhD students with target group registration and their supervisors.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 4061


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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