Postdoctoral stipend (2 years) in socially intelligent autonomous systems

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Umeå University announces one stipend for postdoctoral research on socially intelligent autonomous systems. The stipend is part of a massive effort on autonomous systems for industry and society of the future, with eight postdoctoral stipends in eight separate subprojects. Welcome with your application!

The Department of Computing Science ( is a dynamic department with about 100 employees from over twenty countries. We are providing research and education within a broad spectrum of areas, and offer education on basic, advanced, and PhD levels. The research is internationally well recognized and includes basic research, methods development, and software development, but also research and development within various application domains.

The currently announced stipend is one out of two stipends that will be connected to the research group in user, interaction and knowledge modeling, whose research primarily addresses interactive intelligent systems and environments. The group includes around ten people with six researchers and three PhD students. The research is to a large extent funded by external resources. Research is frequently performed in a multi-professional research environment in collaboration with a number of research groups in the health domains and societal organisations like county councils, municipalities and industry. For a presentation of the research group and environment, please see The stipend project will also benefit from and collaborate within the expanding research environment on autonomous systems, where other advertised stipend projects have closely related focus.

Project description
We are opening a postdoctoral stipend for research on socially intelligent autonomous systems aimed to support human activity and wellbeing.

The future intelligent environments will be socio-technical systems where autonomous software agents and people are cooperating to reach different goals. The software agents will need social capacity similar to a human, i.e. be socially intelligent, both when collaborating with professionals in a work environment e.g. in the mining industry, and in the form of social robots and ambient assisted living environments for older adults. Such systems that aim to reinforce the human’s capacity, ability and wellbeing are sometimes denoted digital companions. Such socially intelligent systems will in the future aggregate dynamic computational models of the human actor’s capacity, goal-driven activities, needs, motives, norms and preferences, and integrate methods for cooperative reasoning and decision making in interaction with the human actors. Agreement technologies, computational social norms and methods for personalisation are key ingredients in future socially intelligent digital companions, and will be in focus for research. Scientific methods from different fields within artificial intelligence need to be developed and combined as part of this project in order to generate a more sophisticated socially intelligent autonomous behaviour in software agents, e.g. methods for planning, learning, reasoning and decision making.

The project is part of a major effort including eight postdoctoral stipends in autonomous systems. For more information, see the following link.

Each stipend is for two years with a starting date to be negotiated. The stipend, provided by the Kempe Foundations, amounts to 300 000 SEK per year. The stipend is not subject to tax.

A qualified applicant is required to have a PhD degree or a foreign degree that is deemed equivalent in Computer Science, Cognitive Science, or another subject of relevance for the project. The PhD degree shall not be more than three years old by the application deadline unless there are special reasons. The applicant should be strongly motivated and interested to develop new competences, as well as to act in an international environment.

Documented knowledge and proven research experiences in at least one of the areas machine learning, formal methods for knowledge representation and reasoning, user modeling and user adaptation, personalization, higher-level cognitive functions and human behavior is required. Experience in multi-disciplinary research projects aiming at supporting human occupation, health and wellbeing is meriting. Good research merits and scientific publications in the area of the position are strongly meriting. International research experience is also a merit.

A successful candidate should be capable of performing practical implementations of theoretical models as well as producing scientific publications in English. Very good knowledge in the English language, both spoken and written, is required.

The application, preferably written in English should include:

  • An introductory letter summarizing your qualifications, research interests, and motivation for applying (max 2 pages)
  • CV with list of publications
  • Copies of PhD thesis and relevant publications
  • Copies of degree certificates
  • Name and contact information for two or three reference persons

Umeå university is an equal opportunity employer, therefore, we welcome female applicants in particular.

Further information is provided by Assoc. Prof. Helena Lindgren at

Your complete application, marked FS 2.1.6-2282-16, should be sent electronically (in pdf-format) to (provide the reference number on the email’s subject line). Application deadline is 2017-02-15.

We look forward to your application!

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