PhD on EdgeAI with a Focus on Transformer Models for Resource-Constrained Devices

PhD on EdgeAI with a Focus on Transformer Models for Resource-Constrained Devices

Published Deadline Location
28 Apr 31 May Amsterdam

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Job description

The Informatics Institute is looking for an ambitious PhD candidate. Your research will part of the PCS group ( In this role, you will delve into the cutting-edge field of Edge Artificial Intelligence (EdgeAI), focusing specifically on the optimization and implementation of transformer models on resource-constrained devices. This research aims to discover and implement creative methods to enhance the function, deployment, and operation of transformer models in environments constrained by processing power, memory, and energy availability. Your contributions will be pivotal in advancing AI technologies, making them more available and efficient, and paving the way for smarter, streamlined applications designed for the very edge of technological capability.

Are you eager to challenge the limits of AI, enabling it to function in places where traditional computers fall short? Have you ever dreamed of being at the forefront of technology that transforms how AI is intertwined into everyday gadgets like smartphones and IoT devices? This PhD position offers the chance to not only push technological boundaries but also to be part of pioneering research that integrates deep learning into our daily devices, enhancing how we live and interact with technology. If you're passionate about making a significant impact and driving innovation in AI, we invite you to apply for this position.

What are you going to do?
Your primary challenge is to explore the inherent limitations of hardware resources while maintaining, or even enhancing, the efficiency of transformer models. You will tackle the complexities of adapting large-scale AI models to work under stringent power, memory, and processing constraints. This may involve technical adjustments in the architecture of the models themselves, and a rethinking of traditional AI deployment strategies.

Tasks and responsibilities:
Perform high quality research in the field of edgeAI. Specifically, we foresee the following tasks:
  • Design, develop, and test transformer models tailored for devices with limited computational resources.
  • Explore, implement and invent techniques to make transformer-deployment at the Edge more efficient.
  • Simulate various deployments and analyze the performance metrics of models under various constraints.
  • Publish findings in top-tier journals and conferences, contributing to the academic and practical knowledge base of the scientific community.

How we support you:
  • State-of-the-Art Resources: Access to computing clusters and other advanced computing resources as required.
  • Academic and Professional Development: Besides the technical skills, you will enhance your professional skills through workshops, seminars, and conferences.
  • Personalized Mentorship: You will work closely with a supervisor who actively invests in your development, providing guidance tailored to your research interests and aspirations.

Your profile

Your experience and profile
  • MSc in Computer Science or Artificial Intelligence, or a related field with a strong focus on AI and machine learning.
  • Strong analytical and programming skills.
  • Proficiency in Python, and frameworks such as TensorFlow or PyTorch. Experience with implementing deep learning models.
  • Curiosity driven approach to research and ability to take ownership of your work.
  • Professional command of English.

It is a bonus if you have some experience in working with transformers and/or neural network architecture modifications.

Our offer
A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). The preferred starting date is the 1st of September 2024 but this is negotiable. The 4-year trajectory should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between € 2,770 to € 3,539 (scale P). This does not include 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end allowance. The UFO profile ‘PhD Candidate’ is applicable. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands is applicable.

Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park we offer you multiple fringe benefits:
  • 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime) and extra holidays between Christmas and 1 January;
  • multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
  • a complete educational program for PhD students;
  • multiple courses on topics such as leadership for academic staff;
  • multiple courses on topics such as time management, handling stress and an online learning platform with 100+ different courses;
  • 7 weeks birth leave (partner leave) with 100% salary;
  • partly paid parental leave;
  • the possibility to set up a workplace at home;
  • a pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
  • the possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
  • help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you’re moving from abroad.

Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here.

About us
The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

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

Job application
If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including 31 May 2024.

Applications should include the following information (all files besides your cv should be submitted in one single pdf file):
  • a detailed CV including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience;
  • a letter of motivation;
  • the names and email addresses of two references who can provide letters of recommendation.

A knowledge security check may be part of the selection procedure.
(for details: National knowledge security guidelines).

Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.

The interviews will be held in the course of month of June 2024.

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, please try using a VPN connection when outside of the European Union. Please reach out directly to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application.

No agencies please.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


  • PhD
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 12913


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Science Park 904, 1098XH, Amsterdam

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