PhD Position on Full Page Personalization in Recommender Systems

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  • Posted 1 month ago

University of Amsterdam

Come and join us to work on algorithmic solutions to challenges in personalized recommender systems! We are a diverse team of researchers based at multiple universities in the Netherlands, with expertise in information retrieval, recommender systems, and science and technology studies.

As part of the Trustworthy AI for Media (TAIM) Lab, which is a collaboration between Maastricht University, RTL Nederland B.V., and the University of Amsterdam, we are working together to help improve diversity and inclusion in the media. Scientific challenges addressed by the lab are (i) methods for eliciting and identifying bias; (ii) metrics for diversity; and (iii) development of generation, summarization, and sub-titling technologies.

The Information Retrieval Lab Amsterdam (IRLab) at the Informatics Institute of the University of Amsterdam invites applications for a fully-funded, four-year PhD position on full page personalization in recommender systems.

The position is aimed at personalizing a full page of video content, containing both short and long videos. Therefore, the main scientific challenge for this work package is how to best generate a personalized, unique, and broad mix of content which also maintains diversity. In this position you will develop new algorithms and novel metrics, both for engagement and diversity, which are suitable for mixed categories of content (e.g., combination of short and long form of videos). Research for this opening will be conducted within the IRLab under supervision of Prof. Maarten de Rijke.

What are you going to do?

In this position, you will be conducting innovative theoretical and experimental algorithmic research in trustworthy personalized recommender systems towards obtaining a PhD.

Tasks and responsibilities
You are expected:

  • to perform research in new methods for trustworthy personalized recommender systems;
  • to publish and present the results at leading conferences and in international journals, and to write a PhD thesis;
  • to work, and play an active role, in an environment that is not only multi-disciplinary, but that also has multiple types of stakeholders, with academic and industrial researchers; and
  • to assist in teaching courses in the bachelor and master programs and supervising Bachelor and Master theses.

What do you have to offer?

Your experience and profile:

  • A MSc in artificial intelligence or computer science;
  • Substantial knowledge of machine learning;
  • Eagerness to tackle complex scientific problems;
  • Strong programming skills with experience using Python, deep learning frameworks, reinforcement learning frameworks;
  • The ability to communicate fluently in written and spoken English.

Ideally, you have worked with ranking and recommendation algorithms.

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 as soon aspossible. This 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, ranges between € 2,541 in the first year to € 3,247 in the last year (scale P). UvA additionally offers an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8.3%. 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, 42,000 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 (FNWI) 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.

The mission of the Informatics Institute (IvI) is to perform curiosity-driven and use-inspired fundamental research in Computer Science. The main research themes are Artificial Intelligence, Computational Science and Systems and Network Engineering. Our research involves complex information systems at large, with a focus on collaborative, data driven, computational and intelligent systems, all with a strong interactive component.

The research of the Information Retrieval Lab Amsterdam (IRLab) focuses on information retrieval: technology to connect people to information. We work on search engines, recommender systems, and conversational assistants. We participate in the TAIM Lab , which is a collaboration between Maastricht University, RTL Nederland B.V., and the University of Amsterdam, and which is part of the ROBUST LTP program run by ICAI , the national Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence.

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:

  • E: Maarten de Rijke , Distinguished University Professor in Artificial Intelligence & Information Retrieval.

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 15 May 2023.

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;
  • A list of publications;
  • The names, affiliations, and email addresses of two academic referees who can provide details about your academic profile in relation to this position (please do not include any reference letters in your application).

Please make sure to provide ALL requested documents mentioned above.
You can use the CV field to upload your resume as a separate pdf document. Use the Cover Letter field to upload the other requested documents, including the motivation letter, as one single pdf file.

Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered. Please don’t send any applications by email.

The interviews will be held during late May/early June (week 21/22).

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 to our HR Department  directly. They will gladly help you continue your application.

No agencies please.

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