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Two post-docs at TU/e and at UU on Human-Centred Artificial Intelligence (V51.4078)

Two post-docs at TU/e and at UU on Human-Centred Artificial Intelligence

Two post-doctoral (3-years) positions at the Eindhoven University of Technology and at Utrecht University on Human-Centred Artificial Intelligence
(Post-doctoral) Researcher
Department of Industrial Design
Date off
Reference number

Job description

Project Background: Utrecht/Eindhoven Alliance on Human-AI

In recent years AI has been making strides and is becoming embedded in our daily life, empowering humans and enhancing their autonomy and quality of life. By the same token, AI can potentially reduce human autonomy when it acts autonomously, when it monitors and interprets human actions and emotions, and by its sheer complexity which makes it hard for users to understand and anticipate its operation.

This tension between human and machine autonomy poses major scientific, technological and ethical challenges to the design of AI systems, and failing to consider this tension challenges social stability and democratic constitutions. It is thus vital to develop models and methods that can predict and evaluate how people respond to changing interactions with such a social and technological environment and that can guide the design of AI to be transparent and intelligible, and safeguarding people’s autonomy. This challenge is particularly acute for artificial autonomous systems that understand, predict, and respond to our internal states (thoughts, feelings, and goals) to recommend and/or take action within the emerging technological landscape of the Internet of things (IoT).

The Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Utrecht University (UU) and the University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMC Utrecht) are developing an alliance program on Human-centred Artificial intelligence (HAI) with the aim to harness technological advances to enhance rather than threaten human autonomy, while enabling human performance. The program proposes an innovative and integrated approach that brings together researchers from the TU/e, UU & UMC combining specialized expertise in engineering and design in technology with high-class expertise in social, behavioral, cognitive, information and computing sciences, ethics, healthcare and public health.

As part of this program two post-doctoral researchers will be hired for a period of 3 years. The two will work in tandem with their focus will be respectively upon:

- Design and engineering of HAI

- Modeling and experimentation of HAI

Main tasks

Both Post-docs will spend 80% of their time on research and 20% of their time in related educational activities.Their activities will include:

  • Developing a paradigmatic HUMAN-AI system that addresses the tension between promoting and undermining human autonomy
  • Collaboration with scientific staff across the three partner sites  
  • Participate in grant writing efforts for funding (national and European)
  • Contribute to a joint training program for Masters students on HAI
  • Contribute to sustainable relationships with stakeholder networks and industry collaboration

Job requirements


Profile 1 (TU/e, Faculty of Industrial design) Design and engineering of HAI

The candidate should hold a PhD in AI related field with a design and engineering background in, e.g., explainable AI, affective computing, persuasive technology, recommender systems, and intelligent user interfaces.

Profile 2 (UU, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences) Modeling and experimentation of HAI

The candidate should hold a PhD in AI related field with a background in behavioural or cognitive science, and with an expertise in computational modelling and empirical research with humans on a relevant topic such as intelligent autonomous systems, knowledge representation and reasoning, intelligent cognitive assistants, and machine learning.

Furthermore, both candidates (1) should demonstrate a clear affinity for working and designing with people, aspiring to combine an innovative hands-on approach with a scientific grounding and insight in cognitive and social aspects of AI; (2) should have strong professional and communication skills in order to work together with remote partners in a multi-national and multi-disciplinary research team; and (3) should be fluent in spoken and written English; fluency in Dutch will weigh positively to facilitate field-work and collaboration with domain experts in healthcare and education.   

Conditions of employment

  • Starting: January 2020 (negotiable)
  • A full-time temporary appointment for a period of 3 years
  • A gross monthly salary between € 2.972 and € 4.274 (on a full-time basis), depending on experience and knowledge
  • A yearly holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary
  • A yearly end-of-year allowance of 8.3% of the yearly salary
  • Excellent employment conditions (including excellent sport facilities and child care).

Information and application

More information about the project and Postdoc positions can be obtained from prof.dr. Panos Markopoulos, +31(0)40 247 5247, p.markopoulos[at] (Profile 1) or prof.dr. Henk Aarts, +31(0) 30 253 4904, h.aarts[at] (Profile 2)

For questions about the application procedure, please contact HR Services Industrial Design, tel. +31(0)40 247 5336, email: HR-IndustrialDesign[at]

Candidates are kindly asked to submit their application (a cover letter explaining your motivation for this project and the preferable profile, an extensive curriculum vitae, academic transcripts and any other supporting documents (e.g. publications, awards) by using the "apply for this job" button by Sept 27, 2019.

Please note that a maximum of 5 documents of 2 MB each can be uploaded. If you have more than 5 documents you will have to combine them.

Applications sent by e-mail will not be accepted.

Interviews are planned between October 7-9, 2019. Preferable starting date of the postdoc positions would be January 1, 2020.