PhD position in Hybrid Intelligence: monitoring and constraining adaptive systems (1.0 FTE)

PhD position in Hybrid Intelligence: monitoring and constraining adaptive systems (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
14 Feb 31 Mar Utrecht

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Interested in raising and educating a new generation of artificially intelligent agents who need to learn to abide by our rules in hybrid intelligent teams?

Job description

Why build AI systems that replace people if we can build AI systems that collaborate with people? Hybrid Intelligence is the combination of human and machine intelligence, expanding human intellect instead of replacing it. Our goal is to design Hybrid Intelligent systems, an approach to Artificial Intelligence that puts humans at the centre, changing the course of the ongoing AI revolution. The project will be recruiting 27 PhD or Postdoc positions in total, at six universities across the Netherlands. 

At the Department of Information and Computing Sciences of the Faculty of Science we are looking for an enthusiastic PhD candidate who is interested in raising and educating a new generation of artificially intelligent agents: adaptive agents who need to learn to abide by our rules in hybrid intelligent teams. Our project 'Monitoring and constraining adaptive systems' focuses on fundamental research into integrating interpretable knowledge representation and reasoning with learning in the context of adaptive systems.

Since an adaptive system is allowed to change itself, we need to trust that it does not evolve into a system that violates various constraints important for the environment at large in which the system operates. Building upon existing frameworks such as probabilistic graphical models and deep generative modelling, we aim to design a monitoring system that is able to detect and react to violations of constraints, to predict that violations are about to occur, issue warnings, and ultimately gets the adaptive system back on track. The monitoring system should allow for easily capturing constraints in a human-intuitive way, so that they can easily be inspected and changed. Being able to predict the behaviour of an adaptive system also allows for analysing and explaining it, which are important aspects to facilitate communication and collaboration between human and artificial adaptive agents.

The PhD candidate will be part of the Department of Information and Computing Sciences (Intelligent Systems group) in close partnership with the Department of Computer Science of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Computational Intelligence group). Daily supervision will be performed by Dr Silja Renooij (UU) and Dr Jakub Tomczak (VU).


Utrecht University


You are an enthusiastic, creative and highly motivated candidate who has:

  • a Master’s degree or equivalent in Computer Science, Mathematics, (technical) Artificial Intelligence, or related disciplines;
  • a solid background in maths and programming, demonstrated by successful completion of associated courses, and a keen interest in Artificial Intelligence;
  • skills and interest in both modelling and (machine) learning, with a desire to combine theoretical and applied research in an interdisciplinary setting;
  • excellent English communication skills (written and spoken);
  • a wish to contribute to the Department’s teaching programmes (15% at most);
  • a talent for planning and organizing your work, and for meeting deadlines.

Conditions of employment

  • a full-time position for 4 years;
  • access to a network of top AI Researchers through the Hybrid Intelligence Centre;
  • participation in the education programme of the Graduate School of Natural Sciences, as well as in the Hybrid Intelligence project Graduate School;
  • full-time gross salary starts at €2,325 and increases to €2,972 per month in the fourth year (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities). Salary is supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% per year.

In addition, we offer a pension scheme, a partially paid parental leave and flexible employment conditions. For more information about Utrecht University jobs, please click here.


The digital world is ever expanding. Digital technologies permeate every mundane aspect of our society, from phones to cars, from the internet to washing machines. Within the department of Information and Computing Sciences, novel methods for incorporating information technologies in our daily lives are developed. Sometimes these innovations are highly visible, often they are nearly invisible to the user. There is a focus on socially relevant and fundamental subjects. By applying innovative thinking and a strong fundamental knowledge, work is done on practical solutions and approaches within three themes:

  • interaction;
  • algorithms;
  • Intelligent Software Systems.

We seek out the boundaries of science, and educate students to become well equipped, enthusiastic professionals.

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 them 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.

Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do attitude of our people. This fundamental connection attracts researchers, professors and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the University and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.


  • Research, development, innovation
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1092032



Domplein 29, 3512 JE, Utrecht

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