Assistant Professor in Computational Intelligence
VU University of Amsterdam Department of Computer Science

We welcome applications from scientists who would like to join us in our endeavors to develop deeper understanding of adaptive embodied intelligence, construct appealing demonstrators and publish papers in premier venues. 


FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

The research of the Computational Intelligence Group ( addresses fundamental issues about how to design, use, and understand autonomous machines that can evolve, learn, and self-organize. A crucial aspect is that of embodiment. Thus, we are interested in embodied intelligence that is not hosted in an abstract digital entity, but has a ‘body’ and agency that make it capable of acting in the world, producing its own behavior and generating its own experiences. One of our long-term motivational scenarios concerns the development of a group of robots for complex tasks in unstructured environments like rain forests or other planets. Fundamental research issues include: Can embodied artificial intelligence be evolved mimicking the evolution of natural intelligence? Can we produce powerful learning machines that adapt to changing circumstances and previously unknown situations? Can we empower collective behavior that makes a group more capable than a bunch of individuals? Working on such questions we aim to develop deeper understanding of adaptive embodied intelligence, construct appealing demonstrators and publish papers in top journals, e.g., Nature Machine Intelligence, Science Robotics.

Our facilities include a robot lab with different hardware platforms, such as e-puck, Thymio II, Robobo, and our custom-made robot system with evolvable robot bodies and brains. Furthermore, we have a cluster of powerful computers designated to simulation experiments and our own simulator called Revolve ( Our robots and computers are used for research as well as teaching. The teaching tasks of the CI Group include Bachelor courses, Master courses, and student project supervision with a focus on students of Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, and Business Analytics.

Your duties

The tenure track position starts at the level of assistant professor. It involves the areas of research, education and management (40%:40%:20%) and contains the following duties:

  • For research you are expected to deepen and widen our evolutionary intelligence research line and cross-fertilize it with advanced learning approaches (e.g., neuro-evolution), to help advance our experiment infrastructure (software & hardware) and to write research grant proposals for obtaining external funding. Collaborations with roboticists, biologists or movement scientists is highly appreciated
  • Educational tasks include teaching our existing courses, supervising Bachelor and Master student projects and the possibility to develop new courses
  • Be active in outreach, seek collaboration with other groups (nationwide as well as worldwide) and contribute to publicizing the outcomes of our research
  • Last but not least, you are expected to be a valuable ‘departmental citizen’ and contribute to management tasks

We especially encourage female applicants. In the case of equal suitability of candidates, preference will be given to a female candidate. 


  • Given the increasing interest from our Bachelor and Master students, the growing number of PhD projects and research proposals under development, we are seeking a new colleague with a PhD degree and preferably some years of scientific experience to strengthen the CI Group
  • The primary expertise required is in evolutionary algorithms in the broad sense, encompassing a range of techniques for population-based stochastic search for optimization, design, and modelling
  • Affinity with evolutionary robotics or developmental robotics is a pre and experience with real (not simulated) robots will be positively recognized

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €3,746 (scale 11) and a maximum €5,127 (scale 11), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

This is a tenure track position; the initial appointment will be for a period of five years. Based on performance indicators agreed at the start of the appointment, a tenure track position will lead to a tenured position of assistant professor 1 (scale 12)  in a period of maximally 5 years. In the fifth year of the appointment the tenure decision will be taken and a midterm review will take place in 2,5 years’ time after the starting date.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.


We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

About the department, institute, project

The VU Department of Computer Science has approximately 150 members, including 90  PhD students. Lecturers form a critical and essential basis for the functioning of the department, providing foundational education that helps determine the future of our students.

Our research and our students are diverse, covering disciplines such as Social sciences, Humanities, Economics, and Bioinformatics. Currently, we offer programs in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Information Sciences (BSc and MSc) as well as Bioinformatics and Systems Biology (MSc), with a total of around 1000 new students each year.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until April 30, 2021. 

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions

If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Agoston Eiben
Position: Full Professor
Telephone: +31 (20) 59 87758

Relocation support

If you have any questions regarding moving to Amsterdam, and working at VU Amsterdam, you may contact:

Name: Sara Veldhorst
Position: Relocation Advisor
Telephone:  +31 (20) 59 86212

No agencies

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Computeroxy


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