Post Doc Position in Visualisation of Ontologies for Learning
University of Twente Department of Geo Information Processing


Job description

The Department of Geo Information Processing (GIP) is a vibrant, multi-disciplinary scientific team, specializing in methods and techniques for processing (acquiring, organizing, analyzing) spatio-temporal data and information, and in building tools (models, algorithms, visualizations) that improve our understanding of complex and dynamic spatial systems and help in decision-making at multiple spatial and temporal scales.

The Living Textbook is an ontology-based learning tool. Students can be guided through this ontology-based concept map by means of linear learning pathways defined by the teacher. From literature, we found that non-linear or tree-like structures for learning pathways might be more suitable.

Currently, this ontology is visualised as a concept map that can become very large and cluttered when the number of concepts and relationships in the ontology are high. Different visualisation methods exist to enhance the readability of concept maps and network diagrams in general. At this moment, it is unknown which type of visualisation will support learning and understanding knowledge graphs in the best possible way.

You will:

  • develop ideas to improve the visualisation of the concept map and of the learning paths.
  • prototype those ideas in the Living Textbook and conduct research on their effectiveness for learning.
  • select suitable visualisation type(s) taking into account different types of learners and teaching approaches.
  • address the problem of cluttering in the diagram, through methods of clustering/filtering.
  • determine the type of learning which is triggered by using ontologies, as implemented in the Living Textbook.
  • design a method to integrate ontologies of different knowledge fields in the Living Textbook to support students’ knowledge integration and knowledge transfer.

You have to conduct a literature review on these topics and come up with a state-of-the-art proposal for implementing new functionality in the Living textbook. This has then to be tested through a prototype with different groups of students in the ITC usability lab and improved based on its findings. The final prototype needs to be implemented in small scale education settings and then research can be done on the learning outcomes of the students working with this.

Your profile

  • A PhD in a related field, such as Network Visualisation, Cartography, or Technical Education Science.
  • Key knowledge: Network analysis, Semantic web, Learning analytics, Usability analysis.
  • Programming skills in web development, specifically in JavaScript. Knowledge of D3.js is welcomed.
  • Highly motivated and interested in educational research
  • Excellent communication skills and fluent spoken and written English.


Additional information regarding the position can be obtained from Dr. Rob Lemmens (e-mail: or Ellen-Wien Augustijn ( You are also invited to visit our homepage.

Please submit your application before 15 March 2020 (choose “apply now” below). Your application has to include (i) a motivation letter clearly stating how you meet the selection criteria, and (ii) a detailed CV.

Our offer

We offer an inspiring international environment. You will be employed for two years.

  • Gross monthly salary between € 2,927.-- and € 4,274.-- depending on experience and qualifications (job profile Researcher level 4).
  • A holiday allowance of 8 % of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3 %
  • Facilities for professional and personal development.
  • A solid pension scheme
  • Possibilities to save up holidays for sabbatical leave
  • Minimum of 41 holiday days in case of full-time employment.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of the University of Twente provides international postgraduate education, research and project services in the field of geo-information science and earth observation using remote sensing and GIS. The aim of ITC's activities is the international exchange of knowledge, focusing on capacity building and institutional development in developing countries and emerging economies.

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