Post-doc candidate in Group Modeling and Explainable Group Recommender Systems

Post-doc candidate in Group Modeling and Explainable Group Recommender Systems

Published Deadline Location
3 Jul 14 Jul Maastricht

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Job description

Would you like to perform interdisciplinary research working on the edge between data science, computer science, and social psychology? Then apply for this position as a postdoc researcher in Group Modeling and Explainable Group Recommender Systems. The successful candidate will design and perform a series of user studies focused on understanding factors that influence how groups of people make decisions, in order to design novel transparent group decision-support systems.

Job Description
The candidate will be involved in the Explainable AI research group, within the Department of Advanced Computing Sciences (DACS) at Maastricht University, working together with students, PhD candidates, postdoctoral researchers and other senior researchers. The candidate will conduct research on group modeling and group recommender systems. More specifically, the activity will involve a series of user studies, focused on identifying factors playing a role in the group decision-making process. Investigating the impact of individual personality, type of relationships, and similar characteristics, the candidate will derive models of interactions to be used in decision-support systems targeted to groups of people. On parallel, the candidate will conduct research on explainability for group recommender systems. The final goal is to provide basis for the design of transparent AI tools that support groups in taking shared decisions.

We encourage collaboration and the candidate will also benefit from a supportive local research community as well as a strong industry and research network, e.g., via the large LTP ROBUST program “Trustworthy AI-based Systems for Sustainable Growth” consortium.

The tasks of the successful candidate include:
  1. Perform scientific research in explainable AI and explainable recommender systems;
  2. Publish results at top-tier (international) conferences and in international journals;
  3. Present the results in internal research group meetings as well as national and international scientific conferences;
  4. Work independently, as well as collaboratively in both research oriented and in applied settings;
  5. Assist with educational tasks (e.g., assist labs, supervise bachelor and master students, and internships);
  6. Participate actively in the activities of the Explainable AI research group such as grant acquisition and event organization.

  1. PhD (completed, or to be completed shortly) in Human-Computer Interaction, Computer Science, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, or a related field.
  2. At least one of the following and interest in developing skills in the other two:
    a. Experience with user-centered evaluation methodologies, design and development of user studies.
    b. Experience with data analysis and machine learning.
    c. Experience with user modeling, in particular modeling personality and social factors.
  3. Demonstrated (e.g., through publications, code, projects, etc.) interest and experience with the field of explainable AI, and at least one of the following fields: machine learning, recommender systems.
  4. Proficiency in English (oral and written).
  5. Excellent communication skills, and ability to collaborate in a multi-disciplinary and team-oriented research environment.

Additionally, we would like it if you have:
  1. Experience in programming (preferably in python).
  2. Experience in backend and frontend development.

What we offer
As Postdoc
at the Faculty of Science & Engineering, you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you:
  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale 11 according to UFO profile Researcher, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €4332,00 and €5929,00 gross per month (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An employment contract for a period of 24 months with a scope of 1.0 FTE.
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as 'acknowledge and appreciate'.

The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply. For more information, click here.

Maastricht University
Why work at Maastricht University?

At Maastricht University (UM), everything revolves around the future. The future of our students, as we work to equip them with a solid, broad-based foundation for the rest of their lives. And the future of society, as we seek solutions through our research to issues from all around the world. Our six faculties combined provide a comprehensive package of study programmes and research.

In our teaching, we use the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method. Students work in small groups, looking for solutions to problems themselves. By discussing issues and working together to draw conclusions, formulate answers and present them to their peers, students develop essential skills for their future careers.

With over 22,300 students and more than 5,000 employees from all over the world, UM is home to a vibrant and inspiring international community.

Are you drawn to an international setting focused on education, science and scholarship? Are you keen to contribute however your skills and qualities allow? Our door is open to you! As a young European university, we value your talent and look forward to creating the future together.

Click here for more information about UM.

Faculty of Science and Engineering
At the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), we focus on themes such as circularity and sustainability, future farming, digitisation and (scientific) instrument development. FSE's leading projects, like the Einstein Telescope Pathfinder, are sure to grab anyone's attention. The faculty is a vibrant hub of education and research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS). At FSE, over 450 staff members and 3700 students gather to explore e exciting interdisciplinary research and educational programmes. Feel welcome, be part of our team and put your brilliant mind to work!

FSE at the Brightlands Campuses
Maastricht, Sittard-Geleen, Heerlen, and Venlo, the home of four creative Brightlands campuses, are bustling with 30,000 entrepreneurs, researchers, and students working diligently to solve global challenges. The Faculty of Science and Engineering is active on all four Brightlands campuses, and this is where our impact reaches its peak. To give you an idea of what is happening at each campus: Sittard-Geleen is home to the largest chemical site in the Euregion, while Venlo is a large hub for agri-food innovation. Maastricht is the site of the Health Campus, and Heerlen is the place to be for Smart Services.

Department of Advanced Computing Sciences
The Department of Advanced Computing Sciences is Maastricht University’s largest and oldest department broadly covering the fields of artificial intelligence, data science, computer science, mathematics and robotics.
Over 100 researchers work and study in the Department of Advanced Computing Sciences, whose roots trace back to 1987. The department’s staff teaches more than 1,200 bachelor’s and master’s students in 4 specialized study programmes in Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science.

Are you interested in this exciting position but still have questions? Feel free to contact Dr. Francesco Barile at for more information. Do you have any questions regarding the procedure, please contact Patrick Claus (Recruiter) at

Or are you already convinced and ready to become our new Postdoc? Apply now, no later than July 14, for this position.

Application docs;
  • A curriculum vitae that includes the applicant’s publication list;
  • A maximum two-page research statement that:
    • Presents the candidate’s expertise directly related to the requirements listed above. Of particular interest are experience with either “user-centered evaluation methodologies, design and development of user studies”, “data analysis and machine learning”, or “user modeling, in particular modeling personality and social factors”.
    • Describes future research plans in the context of Group Modeling and Explainable Group Recommender Systems.
  • A (co)-authored publication most representative for the job description;
  • The names and contact details of at least two persons who can provide recommendation letters.

The vacancy is open for internal and external candidates. In case of equal qualifications, internal candidates will be prioritized.

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.


Maastricht University (UM)


  • Postdoc
  • Engineering
  • €4332—€5929 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1062


Maastricht University (UM)

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Paul-Henri Spaaklaan 1, 6229EN, Maastricht

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