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Post Doctoral Researcher in Deep Learning and Biodiversity

Maastricht University - Department of Advanced Computing Sciences

Do you want to contribute to the transition to a nature-positive economy? 

Job Description

The Institute of Data Science, part of the Department of Advanced Computing Sciences at Maastricht University is looking for a post-doctoral researcher to work on projects in the application of data science and AI methods, particularly machine learning/deep learning methods. You will join the BioFIN project which is developing new tools and techniques to redirect financial resources from environmentally destructive economic activities towards nature-positive investment and interventions. There will be the opportunity to collaborate with a number of partners across Europe, including leading research and technology organisations, as well as specialists in biodiversity and finance. The focus of the research at Maastricht will be on a) developing predictive modelling approaches to quantify potential risks associated with a given biodiversity investment; b) the integration of large-scale distributed data sets related to climate and biodiversity in order to underpin the predictive models. 

Of particular interest are candidates with an interest in the application of data science for the climate-agriculture-biodiversity nexus writ large. 

The position responsibilities will include:

  1. Conducting data-driven research in data science, knowledge representation and machine learning/deep learning.
  2. (Co-)authoring scientific, peer-reviewed papers for top conferences and journals.
  3. Initiating and participating in research proposal writing.
  4. Contributing to department teaching activities. 


We’re looking for:

  1. PhD degree in Computer Science or a closely related field.
  2. Strong computational and data science skills evidenced by peer-reviewed publications.
  3. Experience working with heterogenous datasets, good knowledge of semantic technologies.
  4. Ability to program in Python.
  5. Excellent ability to write, present and communicate in English (C1 level). 

What we offer

As Post doctoral researcher at the Faculty of Science & Engineering, you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you: 

  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale 11 according to UFO profile Researcher, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €4,332 and €5,929 gross per month (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An employment contract for a period of 24 months with a scope of 1.0 FTE. Renewal beyond the initial 2-year appointment possible subject to existence of funding and satisfactory performance.
  • The intended starting date of this position is after 15 August 2024 or as negotiated.
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as 'acknowledge and appreciate'.
  • The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply. For more information, click here

Maastricht University

Why work at Maastricht University?

At Maastricht University (UM), everything revolves around the future. The future of our students, as we work to equip them with a solid, broad-based foundation for the rest of their lives. And the future of society, as we seek solutions through our research to issues from all around the world. Our six faculties combined provide a comprehensive package of study programmes and research. 

In our teaching, we use the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method. Students work in small groups, looking for solutions to problems themselves. By discussing issues and working together to draw conclusions, formulate answers and present them to their peers, students develop essential skills for their future careers. 

With over 22,300 students and more than 5,000 employees from all over the world, UM is home to a vibrant and inspiring international community. 

Are you drawn to an international setting focused on education, science and scholarship? Are you keen to contribute however your skills and qualities allow? Our door is open to you! As a young European university, we value your talent and look forward to creating the future together. 

Click here for more information about UM. 

Faculty of Science and Engineering 

At the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), we focus on themes such as circularity and sustainability, future farming, digitisation and (scientific) instrument development.  FSE's leading projects, like the Einstein Telescope Pathfinder, are sure to grab anyone's attention.  The faculty is a vibrant hub of education and research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS).  At FSE, over 450 staff members and 3700 students gather to explore e exciting interdisciplinary research and educational programmes. Feel welcome, be part of our team and put your brilliant mind to work!  

FSE at the Brightlands Campuses 

Maastricht, Sittard-Geleen, Heerlen, and Venlo, the home of four creative Brightlands campuses, are bustling with 30,000 entrepreneurs, researchers, and students working diligently to solve global challenges. The Faculty of Science and Engineering is active on all four Brightlands campuses, and this is where our impact reaches its peak. To give you an idea of what is happening at each campus: Sittard-Geleen is home to the largest chemical site in the Euregion, while Venlo is a large hub for agri-food innovation. Maastricht is the site of the Health Campus, and Heerlen is the place to be for Smart Services.  

Department of Advanced Computing Sciences

The Department of Advanced Computing Sciences is Maastricht University’s largest and oldest department broadly covering the fields of artificial intelligence, data science, computer science, mathematics and robotics. 

Over 100 researchers work and study in the Department of Advanced Computing Sciences, whose roots trace back to 1987. The department’s staff teaches more than 1,200 bachelor’s and master’s students in 4 specialized study programmes in Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science. 

Institute of Data Science

The Institute of Data Science is a research unit within the Department of Advanced Computing Sciences. IDS offers a highly collaborative, convivial environment with a large portfolio of research projects covering life sciences, health, food, agriculture, law and social sciences where the application of data science techniques can make a significant contribution. Colleagues will include developers, PhD Students, Postdocs and academics all working on a variety of data science research challenges. 


Are you interested in this exciting position but still have questions? Feel free to contact Professor Christopher Brewster via for more information. 


Or are you already convinced and ready to become our new Postdoc? Apply now, no later than April 28th, for this position. 

Applicants are asked to send their application with: 

1. A curriculum vitae that includes the applicant’s publication list.
2. A maximum two-page research statement that:

    • Presents the candidate’s expertise directly related to the requirements listed above. Of particular interest are experience with knowledge representation, FAIR data principles, and machine/deep learning.
    • Describes future research plans in the context of knowledge representation and machine/deep learning.

3. A (co)-authored publication most representative for the job description.
4. The names and contact details of at least two persons who can provide recommendation letters. 

The vacancy is open for internal and external candidates. In case of equal qualifications, internal candidates will be prioritized. 

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.

Location: Maastricht - Netherlands
Salary: €4,332 to €5,929
£3,767.96 to £5,157.02 converted salary* gross per month
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 2nd April 2024
Closes: 28th April 2024
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