Multiple vacancies: fully funded PhD studentships and postdoc positions

We are soliciting applications for multiple fully-funded PhD student vacancies in the FORSIED research group. Applications by top postdoctoral candidates will be considered as well.

Topics of interest:

  • Network and knowledge graph embedding.
  • Visual analytics, information visualization.
  • Representation learning.
  • Nonlinear dimensionality reduction (variants of UMAP, t-SNE,…).
  • Data mining algorithms on graphs / networks.
  • Topological data analysis.
  • Recommender systems.
  • Natural language processing (word embedding, conversational agents).
  • Deep learning approaches for these tasks.
  • Privacy, fairness, and explainability in machine learning and data science.
  • Applications to areas including biology (single-cell data), human resources (job-applicant matching), media and entertainment (catalog management).


For PhD applicants:

  • Required:
    • A relevant Master’s degree (data science, artificial intelligence, computer science, physics, electrical engineering, mathematics).
    • Top-of-class performance (at least top 5% from top-100 institutes, at least top-1% from other institutes).
    • Three positive reference letters (solicited by us, no need to include these in your application).
    • Proven programming experience in Python.
    • English language level: C1 (CEFR), 95 (TOEFL), 7 (IELTS), or assessed as equivalent during the interview.
    • A solid background in at least three of the following: linear algebra; machine learning; deep learning; information theory; advanced algorithms; data mining; topological data analysis; information visualization / visual analytics; human computer interaction; recommender systems; natural language processing; privacy, fairness, and explainability in data science and machine learning.
  • Desired:
    • Strong programming skills in Python and other languages as proven by open source software projects.
    • Experience with machine learning frameworks (pytorch, keras, etc).
    • Experience with Spark.
    • Prior publications in top conferences or journals.

For Postdoctoral research positions:

  • Required:
    • Same as for PhD positions, additionally including:
    • A PhD in a relevant subject.
    • A strong publication track record (in top conferences and journals such as ICLR, KDD, NeurIPS, VIS, ICML, Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, IEEE PAMI, JMLR, Machine Learning journal, etc.) on one of the relevant topics.
    • An eagerness to co-advise PhD and Master student projects.


These positions are funded in the context of three large research projects:

The research team currently consists of around 10 researchers, and is led by Prof. Tijl De Bie. The reputation of our research team is evidenced by substantial amounts of prestigious funding, high impact publications, and the organization of major international conferences in the area, including as general and program chairs. It is embedded within the IDLab of Ghent University, as well as the UGent Artificial Intelligence institute.

Ghent University:

Ghent University is the largest university in Belgium, and a leading research-intensive university world-wide, ranking consistently within the top-100 in international rankings that value research.

The city of Ghent in Belgium, at the heart of Europe:

Belgium is a small country at the heart of Europe, benefiting from one of the best social security and healthcare systems in the world.
Ghent is a picturesque historical but vibrant town, with an international mindset and an active startup scene. It is home to a large expat community. You will find it easy to get around speaking just English.
Brussels (30 mins), Amsterdam (2 hours), Paris (2.5 hours), London (3 hours) are all within a short train ride’s distance.

Application procedure:

Applications are welcome until all positions are filled. A first cut-off date is Sunday 23 June, with Skype interviews scheduled to take place end of June and early July. To be considered, applications must include:

  • A Concise CV (any format).
  • A motivation letter (~1 page).
  • A list of 3 referees with their contact details, and whether they can be already contacted.
  • For PhD applicants: a transcript of your Masters degree.

Applications should be sent by email to IMPORTANT NOTE: the subject line of your email should be structured as follows (whichever applies):

  • “[PhD application 2019] first name, last name”
  • “[Postdoc application 2019] first name, last name”

Emails with different subject lines will probably be overlooked.