PhD Position (TV - L13) - reference number 321/2019

In cooperation with the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (GEI) in Braunschweig, the Faculty of Computer Science (FIN) at the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg invites applications for a three-year PhD Position (TV-L13) in the field of Machine Learning for User Modelling and User-Adaptive Interaction, to start at the earliest possible opportunity.

Salary Scale: 13 TV-L

Date commencing: 01.01.2020

Fixed term until: 3 years

Contract status: 50% OVGU / 50% GEI

The position is a joint appointment by the two above-named institutions. The GEI is an internationally renowned, non-university research institution and member of the Leibniz Association that brings together research, research infrastructure and knowledge transfer services in the field of international educational media analysis and documentation in their socio-cultural and historical contexts. At the GEI, the position will be that of research fellow in the department “Digital Information and Research Infrastructures”, which conducts research and provides research infrastructure services. At the FIN the position will be in the research group on ‘Digital Transformation and Digital Humanities’, which is intended to strengthen the cooperation in the field of digital research infrastructures between the two institutions.

The holder of the position will work at the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg (OVGU) in Magdeburg as well as at the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (GEI) in Braunschweig. The successful candidate will support the chair of research infrastructures for digital humanities at the OVGU in teaching and research for both institutions. Moreover, the holder of the position will be involved in the planning of a joint “mobile Usability-Lab” and must therefore be proficient in several of the following areas: Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI) - Artificial Intelligence – Machine Learning – Natural Language Processing (NLP) - Information Visualization – Software Engineering.

The research focus of the „mobile Usability-Lab” is on the personalisation of information as well as on state of the art methods, techniques and tools for software development. Its aim is to drive the development of the artificial intelligence of tomorrow including a systematic user monitoring. The mission of the joint “mobile Usability-Lab” at the GEI is to work out the foundations of usability for evaluating existing information services, and to develop intelligent user interfaces in a cultural heritage environment. By utilising machine learning techniques, the research focuses on HCI, personalisation and multimodality.

In addition to his/her function at the GEI, the holder of the position is also expected to contribute to the university’s key research areas, working with a number of university faculties, in particular the Faculty of Humanities, to contribute to the research priorities of the university and to the further development of teaching at the FIN. Courses will be taught in both German and English. Pursuing a PhD within the given employment period is encouraged and will be positively supported, and there would be an option in this case to extend the employment period. The targeted research work provides many possibilities for publication in international journals and participation in conferences.

Duties and responsibilities will include:

  • Developing machine learning architecture for user modelling and user-adaptive interaction
  • Implementation of personalised multimodal systems for cultural heritage environments
  • Analysis of the current state of research and of findings in the field
  • Training based on data and creating models independent of domains used
  • Research on Personalisation and Recommender Systems
  • Co-organising workshops for internal and external partners
  • Publication at top conferences and journals in the field of Intelligent User Interface, Human-Computer-Interaction, Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning

Required qualifications and skills:

  • A high-quality master’s degree or equivalent in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science or a related technical discipline
  • Excellent knowledge of machine learning (algorithms and approaches) and human-computer-interaction (methodologies and technologies)
  • Experience and practical proficiency with programming languages (e.g. Python, Java, Eclipse, Git, Matlab)
  • Analytical thinking as well as the ability to work independently and with structure
  • Initiative, commitment, and enthusiasm for new tasks
  • Excellent communication and teamwork skills
  • Very good knowledge of English or German, both spoken and written

What we offer:

  • An exciting and inspiring open research environment as well as the chance to take on new responsibilities
  • The opportunity to participate in a PhD programme
  • A dynamic work environment in two institutions with highly qualified and motivated colleagues
  • Close collaborations with other leading research groups and industrial technology leaders in research and industrial applications
  • Opportunities for personal and professional development
  • Remuneration according to the collective wage agreement for public service in the German states (TV-L)

Any questions should be addressed to Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ernesto William De Luca, c/o Mr. Christian Knopke, secretary to the chair, on Tel: +49 391/6758386, or via e-mail to

The Otto von Guericke University aims to increase the proportion of women researchers within the university and specifically encourages women to apply. The GEI is a family-friendly organisation and promotes the professional equality of all people. We expressly welcome applications from international applicants or from applicants with a minority background. Severely disabled applicants with equal qualifications and aptitude will be given preference. Proof of disability should be included with the application.

Your personal data will be stored according to the policy outlined under:

Please send your complete application (cover letter, curriculum vitae, references) quoting reference number 321/2019, to the address below. Your application should arrive no later than December 10th, 2019.

Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg
Dezernat Personalwesen
Postfach 4120, 39016 Magdeburg (Germany)