Postdoctoral researcher on Simulation Environment

Faculty of Science – Faculty of Law

13 maart 2018
€2,588 to €4,747 gross per month
12 juni 2018
38 hours per week

The Informatics Institute is one of the research institutes within the Faculty of Science. The Leibniz Center for Law is one of the research institutes within the Faculty of Law. Both institutes are running broad research programs with an overlapping interest in simulation based policy analysis.

Data from different organizations could provide significantly more value when combined and processed using algorithms from yet other organizations. However, data are frequently too large, sensitive or valuable to travel outside the home organisation. Federated data science solutions address this problem by either collecting the data at secure data hubs that enforce access control, protection and auditing or bringing algorithms to the data and applying distributed learning. These solutions should respect the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles.

The VWData project develops a proof-of-principle architecture for a network of FAIR secure data-hubs and services, combining federated data science methods with fully auditable processes. The developed services aim at offering non-trivial learning and reasoning on the data with full transparency. Moreover, the project will deliver a quantitative assessment of the reliability and integrity of the data and results given different types of data quality and heterogeneity of inputs. The proof-of-principle will be demonstrated by a health use case (UL/TNO), but can also be applied in Astronomy (VU, ASTRON, NLR), Logistics, Smart-Industry (UvA/UL/Air France KLM). The health case is based on H2020 project RECAP coordinated by TNO, where 20 national cohort non-uniform data sets need to be analysed.

Project and job description

While 100% data quality is the imposed target level, it is recognized that this is an unrealistic number from a practical perspective. Missing from a data analytics perspective, are scientific tools that treat residual data failures and mistakes as systematic uncertainties, and that propagate these systematic effects in the predictions coming from the models. In other words tools that are able to quantify the accuracy and reliability of the predictions of models and algorithms under the assumption that the data is not 100% correct.

The postdoctoral researcher will contribute to a simulation framework that allows simulation of (historic) data and systematic effects to test the robustness and reliability of algorithms and models. The framework should be able to autonomously identify and extract relevant correlations from any given dataset and simulate a dataset that reproduces these correlations. Furthermore, the framework should be able to generate distortions to these (simulated) datasets that reflect in various levels the impact of known and measured data quality issues. The distorted datasets are fed into risk models to study the robustness of an algorithm or model and to assess the impact of (systematic) uncertainties. It should also be possible to simulate alternative scenarios, i.e. (business) policies or decisions, within this framework. The goal being to identify the optimal scenario according to an arbitrary set of criteria from e.g. an economical or societal point of view.


Candidates should have completed a PhD in artificial intelligence, computer science or a related field, or will do so on short term. The candidates must have knowledge of data science, statistics, model building, mathematics and strong coding abilities. Knowledge of representation of norms and normative reasoning is considered as a pre. The candidates must have the ability to communicate their ideas and results to scientific and business audiences. Their grades demonstrate their knowledge and ambition, their PhD thesis their ability to independently contribute to research in Computer Science and/or Artificial Intelligence.

Further information


The appointment will be full-time (38 hours a week) on a temporary basis. Initial appointment will be 18 months. Periodic evaluation will be held and upon positive evaluation, the appointment will be extended to a total of 48 months.

The gross monthly salary will be in accordance with the university regulations for academic personnel, and will range from €2,588 up to a maximum of €4,757 (salary scale 10/11) based on a full-time appointment depending on qualifications, expertise and on the number of years of professional experience. There are also secondary benefits, such as 8% holiday allowance per year and the end of year allowance of 8.3%. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities is applicable.

Among other things, we offer:

  • competitive pay and good benefits;
  • top-50 University worldwide;
  • one of the best deep learning ecosystems in the world;
  • interactive, open-minded and a very international city;
  • excellent computing facilities.

English is the working language in the Informatics Institute. As in Amsterdam almost everybody speaks and understands English, candidates need not be afraid of the language barrier.

Job application

Applications should include the following information, in separate pdf files (not zipped), using surname, initials and a self-evident word as file names, e.g. , Smith J CV:

  • a letter of motivation explaining why you are interested in this position;
  • curriculum vitae (mention the months and years when referring to your education and work experience), (max 4 pages);
  • a link to (a draft of) your PhD thesis;
  • a research statement (at most 2 pages), explaining your research interests and how you think they can be related to the topics mentioned in the Job Description above;
  • a list of all university courses taken, including a transcript of grades;
  • the name and contact details (including email address) of two of three referees who can provide details about your profile (one of them should be the main supervisor of your PhD thesis).

All these should be grouped in one PDF attachment.

Completed applications should be submitted via and should state your name and vacancy number 18-112 in the subject field. The committee does not guarantee that late or incomplete applications will be considered.

The selection process commences immediately and continues until a suitable candidate is found.

We will accept applications until 12 June 2018 (extended as long as no suitable applications have been received). #LI-DNP

No agencies please

Gepubliceerd door  Universiteit van Amsterdam