Postdoctoral Researcher in Video Understanding
University of Amsterdam Informatics Institute

Postdoctoral Researcher on Video Understanding from Few Examples

Publication date 27 May 2020

Closing date 1 July 2020

Level of education PhD

Hours 38 hours per week

Salary indication €2,709 to €4,274 gross per month

Vacancy number 20-319

Are you passionate about machine understanding of streaming video, operating in an international research environment and co-supervising several PhD students? We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher on video understanding from few examples.

While large amounts of cameras have been installed and even bigger amounts of video streams are being generated, the interpretation of these data is becoming an unsurmountable, error-prone and highly labor-intensive task. Automating the interpretation task through computers is the only way forward to survive this data deluge, but unfortunately it also is one of the hardest problems in artificial intelligence. To study this grand challenge, we will explore computer vision and deep learning, using tactics less demanding in terms of labeled examples. We will consider few-shot, cross-modal and active learning strategies able to recognize known activities of interest from limited amounts of human supervision. We also search for unknown and unforeseen activities by defining such anomaly recognition as a weakly-supervised spatiotemporal learning problem.

All research results will be evaluated in international competitions aiming for few-shot activity understanding and anomaly recognition, as well as in an integrated streaming video search engine for Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

What are you going to do?

You are expected to:

  • show independence in achieving research goals and willingness to collaborate and to supervise multiple PhD students working on video understanding;
  • invent, evaluate and describe novel few-shot learning algorithms for spatiotemporal activity and anomaly recognition in video streams;
  • contribute to a real-time video understanding showcase with our project partners;
  • present research results at international conferences, workshops, and journals;
  • become an active member of the research community and to collaborate with other researchers, both within and outside the Informatics Institute;
  • contribute to teaching activities, such as lectures, lab courses, or supervising bachelor and master students.

What do we require?


  • possess a PhD degree in Computer Vision, Machine Learning or a closely related field;
  • are able to invent and evaluate novel algorithm, and present these orally and in writing;
  • have a record of publishing in relevant high-quality conferences or journals in the above fields;
  • are eager to tackle scientific problems in the area of video understanding;
  • are able to implement and evaluate few-shot learning algorithms, e.g. using Python deep learning toolkits;
  • are able to work well in teams and communicate fluently in written and spoken English.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week, preferably starting at 1 September 2020 for the duration of 36 months. Initial employment is 12 months and after a positive evaluation, the contract will be extended further with 24 months. 

The salary will be €2,709 to €4,274 (scale P) gross per month, based on full-time employment (38 hours a week). These amounts are exclusive 8 % holiday allowance and 8,3 % end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Then find out more about working at the Faculty of Science.

About the Faculty of Science and the Informatics Institute 

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 6,500, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The mission of the Informatics Institute is to perform curiosity-driven and use-inspired fundamental research in Computer Science. The main research themes are Artificial Intelligence, Computational Science and Systems and Network Engineering. Our research involves complex information systems at large, with a focus on collaborative, data driven, computational and intelligent systems, all with a strong interactive component.

The postdoctoral researcher will be employed full-time at the University of Amsterdam, working with prof. Cees Snoek within the Intelligent Sensory Information Systems Lab. The lab consists of about 30 people working on various topics within video and image understanding, including spatiotemporal-learning, cross-modal learning, self-supervised learning, weakly-supervised learning, etcetera. Within the lab, collaboration is stimulated, as is interaction between group members in formal settings (e.g. seminars) as well as informal setting.


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:

  • Prof. Cees Snoek

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

The Informatics Institute strives for a better gender balance in its staff. We therefore strongly encourage women to apply for this position.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 1 July 2020. Applications must include:

  • a motivation letter explaining why you are the right candidate;
  • a curriculum vitae including all publications, (max 3 pages)
  • a link to your PhD thesis;
  • a complete record of Bachelor and Master courses (including grades);
  • a list of projects you have worked on (with brief descriptions of your contributions, max 2 pages);
  • the names and contact addresses of at least two academic references.

All these should be grouped in one PDF attachment.

You may apply online by using the link below. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

Apply now

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