Professor in Hybrid Artificial Intelligence - Cognitive Systems that Integrate Learning and Reasoning
University of Leuven, Department of Computer Science




In the Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven, Faculty of Engineering Science, Department of Computer Science, there is a full-time academic vacancy in the area of hybrid artificial intelligence. The new member of staff will be embedded within the lab for Declarative Languages and Artificial Intelligence (DTAI) of the Department. We are looking for internationally orientated candidates with both educational competence and excellent research experience in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science, and with extensive expertise in the field of learning and reasoning.




Recent breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI) have created unprecedented opportunities for developing technology beneficial to mankind, but also false expectations. Purely data-driven approaches such as deep learning can make incredibly accurate predictions, but they are brittle: they require enormous amounts of data and they do not provide explanations. There is an increasing awareness that not only learning but also reasoning is needed in AI. Reasoning has, independently from learning, been studied in AI for decades with significant progress in, for instance, logical, relational and declarative methods. But also knowledge-based systems are limited, as manually encoding all the required knowledge is often impossible. Some knowledge should be learned instead. What is needed is an integrated learning and reasoning approach in which the functional, possibly black-box models are integrated with logical, relational, declarative knowledge-based approaches (yielding hybrid models). This will pave the way towards better cognitive systems, which are AI systems that perform human-like tasks in natural environments requiring also perception (e.g. vision) and acting (e.g. robots or agents). They combine subconscious processes with processes that humans perceive as more conscious - the “fast” and “slow” thinking of Kahneman. Such systems will not only be able to make predictions, but also to explain their predictions.You develop a research programme at an international level in the area of hybrid AI. You work on the integration of learning and reasoning, and on applications of hybrid learning and reasoning to cognitive systems.  For the execution of the research, you rely on, extend and complement the well-founded expertise in knowledge-based approaches and machine learning at DTAI.You publish at the highest scientific level, acquire competitive research funding, and supervise PhD projects at an international level. You endorse the international research strategy and contribute to the further strengthening of the scientific reputation of DTAI, by taking a key role in the network of scientific and international collaborations in the aforementioned research domain.


You provide high-quality education in computer science and artificial intelligence in the Faculty of Engineering Science and the Faculty of Science, in the bachelor, master and advanced master programme, with a clear commitment to the quality of the programme as a whole.
You contribute to the faculty’s and the university’s pedagogical project by guiding student projects (for example bachelor’s and master’s theses) and supervising PhD students.
You develop your teaching in accordance with KU Leuven’s views on activating and researched-based education, and make use of the possibilities for educational professionalization offered by the faculty and the university.


You are prepared to provide scientific, societal and internal services.You play an active part in profiling the Department of Computer Science towards new students and the wider professional field by participating in open days, networking events, fairs, etc.


You have a PhD in Artificial Intelligence or Computer Science, or an equivalent degree.

You have a strong research profile. The quality of your research is proven by publications in leading international journals and conferences. International experience is an important advantage.

You have demonstrable qualities related to academic education. The ability to immediately take on a wide range of educational tasks is an advantage.

You possess organisational skills and have a cooperative attitude. You also possess leadership competencies in a university context.

A good command of English is required.

The official administrative language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of your employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in meetings.

Before teaching courses in Dutch, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch to the required level.


We offer full-time employment in an intellectually challenging environment. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research. It is highly focused on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research and strives for international excellence. The university actively works together with research partners in Belgium and abroad and provides its students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research.


You will work in Leuven, a historic, dynamic and lively city located in the heart of Belgium, within 20 minutes from Brussels, the capital of the European Union, and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam.

KU Leuven is well set to welcome foreign professors and their family and provides practical support with regard to immigration & administration, housing, childcare, learning Dutch, partner career coaching; etc. To facilitate scientific onboarding and accelerate research in the first phase a starting grant of 100.000 euro is offered to new professors without substantial other funding, appointed for at least 50%."

Depending on your record and qualifications, you will be appointed to or tenured in one of the grades of the senior academic staff: assistant professor, associate professor, professor or full professor. In principle, junior researchers are appointed as assistant professor on the tenure track for a period of 5 years. At the end of this period and a positive evaluation, they are permanently appointed (or tenured) as associate professor.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Stefan Vandewalle, tel.: +32 16 32 76 54, mail: or Prof. dr. Luc De Raedt, tel.: +32 16 32 78 34, mail: For problems with online applying, please contact


For more information on the department and the lab, please check the websites: and


You can submit your application until XXXX, only through our online application system. If you have problems submitting your application online, please contact [name of ZAP consultant] (email, tel.).


Add to your application the following documents (more information is available on the KU Leuven job site):
- your biosketch in which you indicate your added value as an academic for research, education and service to society of your past career and of your future activities (maximum 2 pages);
- a file on your five most important publications or realizations;
- an extensive cv including a full publication list;
- your research plan with focus on the development of your research line and research team in relation with the colleague-researchers of the entity of employment (maximum 5 pages);
- your vision on academic education and its organization (maximum 2 pages);
- your contribution to society by outreach and public communication on science and technology, internal representation in boards and councils and service activities directly in relation to your developed expertise (maximum 1 page);
- your vision on leadership (maximum 1 page).

KU Leuven is committed to creating a diverse environment and is therefore an equal opportunity employer. It explicitly encourages candidates from groups that are currently underrepresented at the university to submit their applications.


You can apply for this job no later than September 15, 2019 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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


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