[PlanetKR] Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (Marie Curie Experienced Researcher) at IIIA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain

Marco Schorlemmer marco at iiia.csic.es
Tue Jun 9 18:34:16 EST 2015


Start Date: 1st September 2015 (or later)
Duration: 24 months
Salary: €51,471 - €54,988 per annum
Application deadline: 19th July 2015

We have an opening for one 2-year Research Fellow (Experienced Researcher) position as part of the ESSENCE (Evolution of Shared SEmaNtics in Computational Environments) Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN), a 4-year international collaborative research training project. This is a high-profile position that offers exceptional benefits ideally suited for top candidates. 

ESSENCE conducts research and provides research training in various aspects of translating human capabilities for negotiating meaning to open computational environments such as the web, multi-robot systems, and sensor networks. The network supports 15 pre- and post-doctoral fellows that will work toward a set of different research projects within this overall theme, ranging from symbol grounding and ontological reasoning to game-theoretic models of communication and crowdsourcing. 

The position we are advertising will focus on continuing the development of an overall architecture for integration of the components developed by the different sub-projects. This task involves both theoretical and practical work, and involves a strong element of aligning heterogeneous methods with each other. The position also has a strong career development focus, as the Experienced Researcher will be trained in research management and coordination, and will have the opportunity to spend extended periods of time with non-academic consortium partners.  


Marie Curie eligibility rules require Experienced Researchers to have at least four and at most five years' research experience, including the time spent toward doctoral studies. You will normally hold a PhD (or expect its completion by the starting date), though equivalent research experience may be acceptable. 

To satisfy Marie Curie mobility criteria, you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the start date (short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account).


Humans exhibit strong skills in resolving communication problems by re-negotiating what they mean. ESSENCE aims to translate these abilities of natural communicating systems to computational systems in order to improve their resilience and robustness, and by doing so to also make these systems more comprehensible to human users. 

ESSENCE maintains a transnational virtual research centre that brings together researchers from computational systems that take inspiration from human-based models and vice versa. Within this centre, we train a new cadre of researchers in the state of the art of both fields, adopting a holistic approach that spans across existing disciplinary boundaries. 

ESSENCE is a collaboration between top European universities, research labs, companies, and government institutions from the United Kingdom (University of Edinburgh, Scottish Government, Selex ES, DSTL, and Heriot-Watt University), Spain (IIIA-CSIC Barcelona and Taiger), Italy (University of Trento and Engineering SpA), France (SONY Labs), Belgium (VU Brussels), and the Netherlands (ILLC Amsterdam). The consortium includes world-leading researchers in areas such as as language evolution, robotics, ontological engineering, computational logic, and multiagent systems.


This position is based in the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (IIIA) of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) located in Bellaterra (Barcelona), Spain. You will join a research team with interests on computational concept systems, multiagent systems, ontological reasoning, and machine learning. You will be expected to work with other researchers of the network, both at IIIA-CSIC and at the other network nodes; and to take a leading role in advancing the theoretical framework and software platform that will enable the integration of the network's research results. Willingness to travel within Europe for secondments, meetings, and training events is essential.

Specific duties for this position include:
- to incrementally integrate the functional components produced by individual projects of the overall ESSENCE network into the a coherent overall architecture, building on the ESSENCE challenge scenario and framework developed so far in the ESSENCE network, and ensuring integrability, comparability, and software quality control
- to help crystallise meaningful objectives for joint software development, raise challenging algorithmic issues, and promote high engineering standards
- to support reuse of the platform within and beyond the ESSENCE network
- to carry out system documentation and packaging, final evaluations and outreach
- to produce high-quality research publications and to present them at relevant meetings and conferences 
- to help with non-research aspects of the project, e.g. planning, dissemination, organisation of training events, development of commercialisation plans, coaching of PhD students

These duties will be carried out in collaboration with investigators and PhD students at IIIA-CSIC, and interaction with other sites where appropriate. 


You will normally hold a PhD in Artificial Intelligence or a related discipline, or equivalent research experience, and ideally have experience in at least two of the following areas: symbolic AI, agent technology, knowledge representation and reasoning, robotics, natural language processing, computational logic, game-theoretic AI. As the focus is on integration, a broad understanding of Artificial Intelligence and related fields will be considered more important than any single area of specialisation. 

The ideal candidate will have a proven ability to formalise, analyse, implement, and evaluate (analytically/experimentally) models of intelligent systems, and experience in designing reasoning algorithms and heuristics. This implies solid software engineering and programming skills to be able to design platforms for heterogeneous components and to produce and test prototypical implementations within tight timeframes. You will have excellent teamwork and communication skills, and be enthusiastic about collaborating with a diverse range of international partners. 

ESSENCE aims for a minimum of 40% females among the recruited researchers. Female applicants are explicitly encouraged to apply and will be treated preferentially whenever they are equally qualified as other male candidates.


Research Skills:
- research experience in AI techniques, preferably in agent technology, knowledge representation and reasoning, computational logic, or machine learning
- early-career track record of high-quality publications in areas relevant to the ESSENCE network
- ability to formalise and analyse heterogeneous computational methods
- knowledge of software and knowledge engineering methodologies

Programming and/or System Administration Skills:
- advanced software engineering, preferably in an industrial or industrially-oriented context
- multiagent systems
- graph databases
- knowledge bases
- natural language processing
- Python, Java
- Linux system administration

Personal Skills:
- excellent communication and teamwork skills
- experience of working in larger teams, ideally with some responsibility for tasks or individuals


All potential applicants are requested to express their interest in this position by filling in a pre-application form at http://www.essence-network.eu/application/experienced before 19th July 2015.

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Marco Schorlemmer (marco at iiia.csic.es).

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