PhD position: "AI Systems for Text Evaluation and Feedback"

PhD position: "AI Systems for Text Evaluation and Feedback"

Published Deadline Location
9 Jul 1 Aug Amsterdam

Job description

Human evaluations of text quality (e.g., thesis grades, book ratings, and scientific peer reviews) can be arbitrary and subjective. We believe that data science/machine learning techniques could improve the way we rate text quality. Therefore, we are now looking for a PhD candidate with a passion for psychometrics, coding, and machine learning to push the boundaries of mechanical text evaluations.

What are you going to do
The overarching goals for this PhD project are to:
  • develop and validate AI tools for automatic text assessment and feedback
  • compare human and machine performance on text evaluation tasks
  • amass evidence about responsible AI usage for text evaluation
  • explore the usefulness of LLMs in the grading process

The necessary research tasks will include text modeling with neural networks, behavioral experiments and surveys with students and teachers, participation in machine learning competitions, psychometric evaluations of different grading systems, and complex statistical analyses including mixture and latent variable models. New insights will be communicated via conference presentations and scientific publications. Teaching is limited to 5% of the contracted hours, by assisting in courses and supervising thesis students.

What do you have to offer
A promising candidate has experience in R and Python coding (optimally beyond mandatory course work), psychological testing, scientific writing, and training machine learning models. However, the main quality that a candidate needs is a strong desire to immerse themselves in the topic of mechanical text evaluation. We are looking for someone with the habit of teaching themselves new things that they are interested in. We are looking for someone who develops interests and new ideas in and around the main project and is motivated to pursue them. We are looking for someone who has fun building things with code, and sharing their products with others.

Do you have these qualities? If so, please apply!

Your experience and profile
  • A master's degree with a specialization in psychology, artificial intelligence, or a related discipline with a strong computational background.
  • Clear interest in quantitative psychology or psychometrics, cognitive psychology, and artificial intelligence
  • Advanced coding skills in R and Python.
  • Experience with machine learning methods (incl. neural networks)
  • Experience with data science methods for text processing
  • Excellent written and spoken command of the English language (plus points for a willingness to learn Dutch)
  • Team spirit/ability to collaborate in a team with supervisors & students

What can we offer you
The position concerns temporary employment of 38 hours per week. The initial employment is for one year. Following a positive assessment and barring altered circumstances, this term will be extended for a total duration of 4 years, which should result in the conferral of a doctorate. We will put together a curriculum which will also include the opportunity to attend training courses and both national and international events. For this position the University Job Classification profile 'Promovendus' applies. Your salary will be €2770 gross per month in the first year and will increase to €3539 in the final year, based on full-time employment and in keeping with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities. We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.

What else do we offer
  • a position in which initiative and input are highly valued;
  • four years of self-determined growth in technical areas that interest you;
  • an enthusiastic and warm team that is open to new colleagues;
  • an inspiring academic and international working environment in the heart of Amsterdam.

About us
The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

About the project team
The project is hosted by the Psychological Methods department at the University of Amsterdam, and led by dr. Hannes Rosenbusch (PI), dr. Raoul Grasman (co-supervisor), and dr. Ingmar Visser (promotor). Our expertise ranges from statistical modeling and neural networks to thesis grading and psychological assessment. We look forward to supporting the work of the incoming PhD student in any way we can.

About the faculty
A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organization. The social and behavioral sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future. Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

Job application
Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 1 August 2024. You may apply online by using the link below.

Applications should be a single .pdf file including:
  • a curriculum vitae (max 2 pages);
  • a cover letter (max 500 words) that demonstrates the candidate’s motivation and fit.

Tip: A previous passion project is one suitable way to showcase your eagerness to learn and build things.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

If you encounter Error GBB451/ GBC451, reach out to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application.

No agencies please.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences; Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 13221


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018WV, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 1 Aug 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).