Research Professor in Representation Learning for Natural Language and Multimedia Processing (BOFZAP)
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 in natural language and multimedia processing. We seek applications from internationally oriented candidates with an outstanding research track record and excellent didactic skills. The successful candidate will perform research in the Human-Computer Interaction research group, and teach and engage in an appropriate amount of service in the Department of Computer Science. The appointment is expected to start on October 1, 2020.




Learning meaningful and useful representations of unstructured language and multimedia data is a research topic of large current interest. The representations, which are often continuous in nature and realized with deep learning techniques, make it easier to extract useful information from language and multimedia data. They have the potential to be integrated in innovative models for interaction with machines, for instance, in human-machine communication, or in automated search, classification, mining and recommendation of Web data. Possible application areas to valorize the research regard automated understanding of language, natural language and multimodal interaction with machines, chatbots, cross-lingual and cross-modal machine translation, information retrieval and question answering, content-based recommendation, online retail, and the mining of text and multimedia data in Web, social media and professional settings. Research in representation learning also provides possibilities to outreach to the domain of computer graphics where this approach becomes increasingly important. 
The successful candidate will acquire competitive funding and actively participate in the development of future research projects resulting in a coherent research programme that extends an existing research line on the above themes in the Human-Computer Interaction group of the Department of Computer Science at KU Leuven. Research collaboration especially with the Processing Speech and Images research group of the Department of Electrical Engineering is encouraged. The recruitment and supervision of doctoral students are equally part of the research assignment. 


Although the position regards a research professorship, the candidate is expected to gradually provide state-of-the-art teaching on the above research topics (for instance, in the Master of Engineering: Computer Science, the Master of Artificial Intelligence and the Master of Applied Informatics at KU Leuven) as well as to take up some educational tasks in bachelor programmes over the years. 
You develop your courses in accordance with KU Leuven’s vision on activating and researched-based education and make use of the possibilities for the educationalist professionalization offered by the faculty and the university.  Your teaching task will be determined in consultation and based on your specific profile. The scope of this is limited in the first years of your appointment, to give sufficient time to build out an international research career. In your further career, the faculty pays a great deal of attention to the balance between research and teaching time.


You are prepared to provide scientific, societal and internal services.


You hold a PhD in Computer Science (or a relevant equivalent degree) with focus on natural language and multimedia processing. You have interest and demonstrable expertise in the fundamental principles of learning representations (including deep learning) of unstructured data and more specifically of language and multimedia data. Good knowledge of statistical machine learning, inference and optimization will be considered as an asset. You possess outstanding didactic skills and have an excellent track record in research evidenced by publications in top-tier conferences and journals. You possess excellent organizational skills and a strong sense of team spirit. Proficiency in 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 standard.



We are offering 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 inter- and multidisciplinarily focused and strives for international excellence. In this regard, it actively works together with research partners in Belgium and abroad. It 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.

Depending on your record and qualifications, you will be appointed to or tenured in one of the ranks of the professorial 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; after this period and a positive evaluation, they are permanently appointed (or tenured) as an associate professor.

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.

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, … 

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%."



For more information please contact prof. Hendrik Blockeel, academic contact person (email: or prof. dr. ir. Stefan Vandewalle, department of Computer Science (email:, tel.: +32 16 32 76 54)  or prof. dr. ir. Philip Dutré, head of the Human-Computer Interaction research group (email:, tel.: +32 16 32 76 67- or Prof. dr. Marie-Francine Moens (email:, tel. +32 16 32 53 83).

For more information on guidelines and application procedure please contact Mrs. Kristin Vermeylen ( , tel. +32 16 32 09 07) or Mrs. Christelle Maeyaert ( , tel. +32 16 31 41 94). 

More detailed information is available on following website

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

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