PhD Position in Real-Time Video Surveillance Search
VU University of Amsterdam Faculty of Science

Are you interested in developing and evaluating next-generation software for analyzing video data at scale? Then we would like to get to know you. Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.


FTE: 0.7 - 1

Job description

This project studies the video understanding and high performance distributed computing aspects of real-time video surveillance in the real-world setting of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Nowadays, deep learning has become the standard approach for video data analytics due to its high analytics accuracy. However, it also is very computation intensive and requires powerful computing infrastructures. Therefore, this project combines unique expertise from AI and high-performance computing, from the University of Amsterdam and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

The Software Engineer (Scientific Programmer) will work together with three PhD students on the development of software and experimental evaluations in this project. The PhD students will develop new algorithms for activity surveillance and anomaly surveillance and new systems to optimize real-time response (using “edge computing”) and scalability (using GPU-based clusters). The SE will assist the PhD students with their advanced programming tasks and do quality control of the software. Also the SE plays a leading role in the empirical evaluation of our new solutions and in developing demonstrators that integrate these solutions.

The SE will formally be employed at the VU but will work intensively with the PhD students from both VU and UvA and with experts at Schiphol Airport. The VU High Performance Distributed Computing group ( has decades of experience with programming environments for large-scale distributed systems. The UvA Video & Image Sense Lab ( has a long tradition in visual recognition algorithms and their utilization.

Your duties

  • work with three PhD students on various programming tasks for this project
  • perform external academic evaluations, where we repeatedly measure the advancement of the project’s algorithms and systems and compare them against the international state-of-the-art
  • perform internal use-case evaluations, using realistic video surveillance data and annotations provided by our partners
  • develop interactive real-time video surveillance demonstrators, which will apply all research results on either external or internal surveillance video
  • help with scientific publications


  • a Master's degree in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Computational Science or related field; we also accept applications from students who have not finished their master project yet but plan to do so in the next months (the latest possible starting date for this project is 1 September)
  • excellent programming skills (e.g., C++, Python) and systems/network programming experience
  • interest in video analytics or machine learning systems in general
  • good collaboration and communication skills

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 €2,656 (scale 8) and a maximum €4,012 (scale 9), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: Technician O&O level 3 (scale 8) or 4 (scale 9)  is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.7 FTE.

The initial employment contract will affect a period of 1 year, with the possibility of extension to a maximum of 3 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • 8% holiday allowance
  • 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge
  • good paid parental leave scheme
  • child daycare facilities available on campus

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.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until May 6, 2021.
Please include:

  • a detailed CV
  • a list of courses (with grades obtained) for your Bachelor and Master programs
  • a short motivation letter
  • contact details of at least two references

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

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

Name: Prof.dr. Henri Bal
Position: Full professor

No agencies

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


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