Job: Postdoc in Socially Adaptive Behaviour Support Agents at TU Delft

Postdoc position in Socially Adaptive Behaviour Support Agents
Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Level: Doctorate (PhD)
Working hours: 32-40 hours weekly
Contract: until 31-12-2022
Salary: 3303 – 4166 euros monthly (full-time basis)

This vacancy is available until the position is filled, the new deadline for applications is January 6, 2019.


This position is part of the programme “Pride & Prejudice – Tackling chronic disease prevention through real-life monitoring and context-aware intervention design”, which is financially supported by the 4TU federation (see!/84378/awarding_hightech/).

Central to the Pride & Prejudice programme is the combination of monitoring in real-life through sensors (food intake, physical activity and health parameters) with the development of design interventions at different levels of the system (person, group, society), and evaluation of the (long-term) effectiveness of these combined interventions.

This position focuses on the development of a behaviour support agent that helps people to establish and maintain a healthy lifestyle (e.g., eating habits and physical activities). Specifically, we investigate how we can design a conversational agent that takes into account the norms and values of both the supported person and their social environment (such as nuclear families and caregivers). For this, the agent should be able to engage into a conversation with various stakeholders to elicit their norms and values, be able to reason about them, and seek or coach towards solutions in case of a conflict. We will empirically investigate through user studies whether norm- and value-tailoring makes the lifestyle interventions more effective.

As a postdoc your tasks concern the following activities:

  • perform scientific research
  • develop research prototypes using a situated cognitive engineering approach (iterative development cycles, empirical evaluation of prototypes with its users, scenario- and claim-based analysis, and focus group reviews)
  • present results in scientific conferences
  • publish in renowned scientific journals
  • participate in activities of the research group and project team
  • limited participation in teaching activities of the research group


The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) is known worldwide for its high academic quality and the social relevance of its research programmes. The faculty’s excellent facilities accentuate its international position in teaching and research. Within this interdisciplinary and international setting, the faculty employs more than 1100 employees, including about 400 graduate students and has about 2100 students. Together they work on a broad range of technical innovations in the fields of sustainable energy, telecommunications, microelectronics, embedded systems, computer and software engineering, interactive multimedia and applied mathematics.

The department of Intelligent Systems (INSY) conceptualises computer science methodologies to sense, abstract, learn, reason, elicitate and adapt data and their meaning in ways that respect human values in order to increase human effectiveness in well-being and social innovation. At the heart of the department is, therefore, the research and teaching in computer science theory, algorithms and solutions for information processing systems that support humans (e.g. robotics), new products (e.g. internet services), and science (e.g. biology).

The Interactive Intelligence group focuses on interaction of users with intelligent systems. In particular, we have a strong track record on the development of smart interactive agents.  Such agents possess capabilities including learning, reasoning, social skills, emotions, and norms and can interact with humans. These agents typically function as a coach, artificial actor, or companion, and are used in a wide variety of applications including therapy, health and entertainment.


We are looking for candidates who meet the following requirements:

  • a PhD degree in computer science, human-technology interaction, artificial intelligence or a closely related field
  • good programming skills
  • excellent communication skills, both spoken and written Dutch and English; non-Dutch speakers should be willing and able to learn Dutch within the first year in order to be able to conduct user studies
  • you have an open mind and are inspired by the opportunity to contribute to shaping the digital society of the future
  • some expertise in or affinity with ethics of information technology is advantageous

The ideal candidate is interested in conducting applied research and has expertise both in AI as well as in human-computer interaction (HCI). Candidates without HCI background should be interested in and willing to acquire this expertise during the postdoc, as it comprises an essential part of the research.

You will be part of the project team, which consists of experts in cognitive engineering and agent-based modelling, in particular, Prof.dr. M.A. Neerincx, Prof. dr. C.M. Jonker, Dr. M.B. van Riemsdijk, and W.-P. Brinkman


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.


For information about this vacancy, you can contact Dr. ir. Willem-Paul Brinkman, email:

For information about the selection procedure, please contact Karin Reijenga, HR Advisor, email:

To apply, please e-mail:

  • Curriculum Vitae (with publications).
  • 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.
  • a list of 3 (academic) references that we can contact.
  • your PhD thesis in English (or alternatively if your PhD thesis is not in English, a 5 page summary of your PhD thesis in English).

You can send these documents to When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number EWI2018-66.

This vacancy is available until the position is filled, the new deadline for applications is January 6, 2019.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ISPR Presence News

Search ISPR Presence News: