Postdoc Machine Learning for Personality Assessment

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Postdoc Machine Learning for Personality Assessment
  • Doctorate
Are you a research-oriented Postdoc with a PhD in computer sciences/cognitive sciences and knowledge of machine learning to develop algorithms for automatic personality assessment in selection and assessment situations.  Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

FTE:         0.8

Job description

The Automatic Personality Assessment project is an ambitious multidisciplinary effort to create algorithms to automatize personality assessment based on a person’s verbal (text), paraverbal (voice), and nonverbal (facial) behaviours. Whereas most assessment in the world are conducted using traditional questionnaires and tests, this project sets out to revolutionize personality assessment by developing a tool that combines empirically and theoretically derived behavioural cues from these three modalities indicative of a person’s personality trait levels. The overarching goal of this project is to develop a non-invasive, real-time, efficient, and cost-effective multi-modality assessment tool to measure personality and to test its reliability and validity to predict selection and work outcomes.
The project is part of a larger grant awarded to Prof. dr. Reinout E. de Vries and also includes a PhD and an external consultant. For this project, we are searching to fill a 30 months full-time equivalent research-oriented Postdoc with a PhD in computer or cognitive sciences. Expertise in machine learning algorithms, statistics and programming languages such as Python or R are required.  The Postdoc project is expected to result in several international peer-reviewed (conference) publications about automatic personality assessment. Research and conference travel expenses will be reimbursed through the project grant. The Postdoc is expected to liaise with computer science departments, both locally (VU), nationally, and internationally, in order to optimally integrate the available computer science expertise that is needed to make this project a success.


  • PhD in Computer Sciences, Cognitive Sciences, or a closely related discipline
  • solid scientific record as expressed through peer-reviewed publications
  • firm understanding of Machine Learning algorithms and statistics
  • good knowledge of programming languages such as Python and/or R
  • knowledge of signal processing techniques is an advantage
  • excellent command of written and spoken English

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,709 (scale 10)
and a maximum €4,274 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

Funding is available for a three year (0.8 fte) Postdoc position or its full-time equivalent (2.5 years fte), starting in January 2020 or asap. The appointment will be initially for 1 year. After satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, it can be extended for an additional 1.5 or 2 years.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. And to be a university where personal education and societal involvement play a leading role. Where people from different disciplines and backgrounds work together on innovations and on generating new knowledge. Our teaching and research embrace the whole spectrum of science – from the humanities, the social sciences and the pure sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 24,500 students. We employ more than 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible, located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

Diversity is one of our university’s core values. We are an inclusive community, and we believe that diversity and international activities enhance the quality of education and research. We are always looking for people who can enhance diversity on our campus thanks to their background and experience.

Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences
The Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences focuses on the broad domain of behaviour and health. Our teaching and research programmes are devoted to current developments in society, from healthy aging to e-health, from juvenile crime to dealing with depression, from training for top athletes to social media as a teaching tool. We are unique in that we combine three academic disciplines: psychology, movement sciences and education.

Working at Behavioural and Movement Sciences means working in an ambitious organization that is characterized by an informal atmosphere and short lines of communication. Our faculty offers tremendous scope for personal development. We employ more than 600 staff members, and we are home to around 3,400 students.

About the department
The Department of Experimental and Applied Psychology provides a vibrant, international research climate with high quality academic staff, PhDs, and (research master) students who are supported by excellent research facilities (e.g., multiple labs for experimental research, equipment for neuroscience measures), industrial partners, and expertise in statistics. The Department has a top international reputation in psychological science, as indicated by excellent research assessments, high quality publications, high standards for teaching and mentoring, and frequent visits by international scientists.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 2 January 2020.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Reinout E. de Vries
Position: Project leader
Telephone: +31-20-5988718

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