Computational Reasoning for Socially Adaptive Electronic Partners (CoreSAEP)

JOB OPENING: PhD and Postdoc position

with Dr. M. Birna van Riemsdijk and Prof. Dr. Catholijn Jonker, Delft University of Technology
Open for applications


The purpose of this announcement is to solicit applications for one PhD and one postdoc position (PhD: 4 years, postdoc: 2 years), attached to the NWO Vidi grant obtained by Birna van Riemsdijk. Vidi is a highly competitive grant programme that funds innovative lines of research. Birna van Riemsdijk was awarded the Dutch Award for ICT research 2014.

The project is entitled Computational Reasoning for Socially Adaptive Electronic Partners (CoreSAEP). The vision underlying the project has been outlined in a publication in the AAMAS "Blue Sky Ideas" track in 2015. The research lies in the intersection of theoretical computer science (formal semantics, temporal logic) and multi-agent systems (agent programming, normative systems). The overall aim of the project is to develop a reasoning framework that combines logic and quantitative techniques for Socially Adaptive Electronic Partners (SAEPs) that adapt their behavior to norms and values of people. This becomes more and more important as technology becomes an integral part of our daily lives. The computational reasoning techniques are aimed at determining when and to what extent norm-compliance can be guaranteed, and deciding what to do if in exceptional situations a norm cannot or should not be complied with. We will implement the reasoning framework to evaluate its run-time behavior. We develop the reasoning techniques through a scenario-based approach in cooperation with users and other stakeholders, grounding the formal work in real-world use cases.

The associated research posts will be in the following areas:

POST 1 - formal semantics, temporal logic & normative agents (vacancy number: EWI2016-61)
POST 2 - quantitative reasoning, logic & normative agents (vacancy number: EWI2016-60)

Salary for a PhD position is EUR2191 to EUR2801 per month gross, and for a postdoc position EUR2552 to EUR4028 per month gross.


The applicant:


If you are interested in one of these positions, please get in touch with Birna van Riemsdijk via email (m dot b dot vanriemsdijk at tudelft dot nl). Note that applications must follow the formal application procedure as detailed below.


Applications will be accepted until all positions have been filled.

To apply, please submit the following application material to and state the vacancy number in the subject line of the email:

  1. Curriculum Vitae (with publications if you have any).
  2. Course lists with grades and degree certificates
  3. A letter of application in which you explain both your motivation and the relevance of your skills and experience for this research project. The motivational letter should be on-topic, generic letters will cause your application to be rejected immediately.
  4. A list of 3 (academic) references that we can contact
  5. When applying for a PhD position: your MSc thesis in English (or alternatively if your MSc thesis is not in English, a 5-page summary of your MSc thesis in English). When applying for the postdoc position: a copy of your PhD thesis (or a draft thereof) and a detailed list of your publications.