PhD Position on Supporting Climate Change Deliberations via Artificial Intelligence

PhD Position on Supporting Climate Change Deliberations via Artificial Intelligence

Published Deadline Location
25 Feb 5 Apr Delft

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Challenge: AI-based decision support for climate change mitigation
Change: Design fair, interpretable, and human-centered AI tools
Impact: Trustworthy & unbiased AI support in real-world applications

Job description

Collective action by all stakeholders (e.g., public administrators, scientists, and citizens) is necessary to tackle a global societal challenge such as climate change. Collective action requires systematic deliberations and negotiations in each step of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Current, largely manual, approaches for deliberation and negotiation are subject to significant pitfalls, including limited participation, information overload, balkanization, and a variety of cognitive biases.

The goal of this PhD project to contribute toward the development of a hybrid-intelligence (HI) platform for supporting climate change deliberations and negotiations. The HI deliberation platform will support humans with AI (specifically, via natural language processing, and knowledge representation and reasoning techniques) in tasks such as recognizing the deliberative structure of discussions, clustering and visualizing arguments and perspectives, finding novel objectives, and modeling opinion dynamics over time.

This is a PhD position in the Hippo (Hyper-heuristics for interpretable public policy analysis) lab. The core goal of the Hippo lab is to advance multi-purpose decision support using collaborative and heuristic AI methods. You will work as part of an interdisciplinary team between the Interactive Intelligence section in the Intelligent Systems (INSY) department at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) and the Policy Analysis section in the Multi-Actor systems (MAS) department at the Faculty of Technology Policy and Management (TPM), tackling the following major scientific challenges:

  1. How can we integrate subjective notions of ethics and fairness into algorithmic design?
  2. How can we create an optimality taxonomy to find effective trade-offs in policy search?
  3. How can we develop interpretable AI methods to gain public confidence and provide unbiased support in real decision-making contexts?
  4. How can we support public policy deliberation via collaborative AI methods?

The Hippo lab is a Delft Artificial Intelligence Lab. Artificial Intelligence, Data and Digitalisation are becoming increasingly important when looking for answers to major scientific and societal challenges. In a DAI-lab, experts in ‘the fundamentals of AI technology’ along with experts in ‘AI challenges’ run a shared lab. As a PhD, you will work with at least two academic members of staff and three other PhD candidates. In total TU Delft will establish 24 DAI-Labs, where 48 Tenure Trackers and 96 PhD candidates will have the opportunity to push the boundaries of science using AI. Each team is driven by research questions which arise from scientific and societal challenges, and contribute to the development and execution of domain specific education. You will receive a 5-year contract and will be deployed for AI-related education for the usual teaching effort for PhD students in the faculty plus an additional 20%. The extra year compared to the usual 4-year contract accommodates the 20% additional AI, Data and Digitalisation education related activities. All team members have many opportunities for self-development. You will be a member of the thriving DAI-Lab community that fosters cross-fertilization between talents with different expertise and disciplines.

For description of other projects in Hippo lab, visit:


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


The candidate must have:

  • Completed an MSc degree in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, or a field relevant to the PhD research.
  • Demonstrated competence or strong interest in an artificial intelligence topic, preferably, natural language processing, text mining, or social media analytics.
  • Strong programming skills.
  • Good English language and communication skills (written and oral).
  • An affinity with teaching and guiding students.

Team spirit and open personality for cooperation with colleagues and co-supervision of students.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 5 jaar.

TU Delft offers DAI-Lab PhD-candidates a 5-year contract (as opposed to the normal 4-years), with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3217 in the fifth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health

insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible

work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to

Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact! 


Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) brings together three disciplines - electrical engineering, mathematics and computer science. Combined, they reinforce each other and are the driving force behind the technology we use in our daily lives. Technology such as the electricity grid, which our faculty is helping to make future-proof. We are also working on a world in which humans and computers reinforce each other. We are mapping out disease processes using single cell data, and using mathematics to simulate gigantic ash plumes after a volcanic eruption. There is plenty of room here for ground-breaking research. We educate innovative engineers and have excellent labs and facilities that underline our strong international position. In total, more than 1,100 employees and 4,000 students work and study in this innovative environment.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 32—38 hours per week
  • €2395—€3061 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD00858


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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