Fully funded PhD Position in Neural Architecture Search for Conversational Agents

Deadline: Sept. 25, 2022, 11:59 p.m.

The Faculty of Science and the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) are looking for a :

PhD Candidate, Neural Architecture Search for Conversational AgentsVacancy number: 22-541
[URL] https://www.medewerkers.universiteitleiden.nl/vacatures/2022/kwartaal-3/22-542phd-candidate-neural-architecture-search-for-conversational-agents?cf=bestuursbureau-expertisecentra&amp%3Bcd=bestuursbureau&cd=bestuursbureau
Key responsibilitiesThis position is embedded in the soon-to-be-launched project “Low-Resource Chat-based Conversational Intelligence (LESSEN)”, which is funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). The project’s consortium brings together a diverse set of academic researchers and industrial stakeholders from across The Netherlands. Together, the project partners will develop, implement and evaluate state-of-the-art safe and transparent chat-based conversational AI agents based on state-of-the-art neural architectures (https://lessen-project.nl).
This specific PhD project is aimed at making neural networks for conversational agents more efficient. The main research question is: “How can we reduce their data and compute footprint, both at training time and at inference time?” In this project you will develop methods that utilize data beyond the particular dataset to improve the efficiency of neural architecture search methods.
You will be embedded in the ADA research group (ada.liacs.nl) and supervised by Jan N. van Rijn (Leiden University) and Maarten de Rijke (UvA).
Selection Criteria

  • A master’s degree in Computer Science or Artificial Intelligence
  • Knowledge of Machine Learning, Neural Architecture Search or Natural Language Processing is a plus
  • Good research skills
  • Good programming skills

Research at our facultyThe Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.
The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2.300 staff and almost 5,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.
For more information, see  www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science  and  https://workingat.leiden.edu/
Terms and conditions We offer a  full-time 1 year term position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary range from € 2,541,-  to €3,247,-  gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).
Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.
All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science www.graduateschools.leidenuniv.nl. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.
D&I statementDiversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.
InformationEnquiries can be made to Jan N. van Rijn [email protected]. If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Alice Bisschop, email: [email protected].
ApplicationsTo apply for this vacancy, please send an email to [email protected]. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • Resume
  • Application letter, including your applicability to aforementioned selection criteria
  • Grade list (preferably for both bachelor's degree and master's degree)
  • Examples of Scientific Writing (e.g., scientific publication or master’s thesis)
  • Reference of earlier scientific collaboration(s), that can be contacted by us
  • In case you are interested also in other PhD positions within the LESSEN project, please let us know whether we can share your application to other vacancies.

Only applications received before September 25th , 23:59 can be considered

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