Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Doctorate
A full-time research position is available at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam on improving access to confidential research data in the context of the national ODISSEI project.

FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

Together with our partners in the ODISSEI project, we aim to make all research data in the social sciences FAIR: findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. We know how to achieve these goals on open data, but how to do this on confidential data is still an open research area. How do you make confidential data findable without making it public? How do you assess whether data is applicable to your research question without being allowed to inspect it? How do you verify the outcome of your data analysis if you are not allowed to see even a sample of the data? How would you develop virtual research environments supporting reproducible scientific data analysis on such data? If you are passionate about these topics and curious to find answers, then we are looking for you!

Your duties
  • You will develop and evaluate techniques to make a wide variety of potentially confidential research datasets from different data providers FAIR
  • You improve access by designing semi-automatic data extraction and linkage methods to enrich the metadata without revealing confidential data
  • You will do data science research with a focus on the role of human factors, in close collaboration with researchers from the humanities and social sciences
  • You will collaborate with Dr. Jacco van Ossenbruggen and Dr. Tobias Kuhn in the User-centric Data Science group


  • Candidates are expected to have a PhD in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, or similar field
  • Candidates have to have a strong record of publications in fields relevant for the position. The exact research topic will depend on the expertise and background of the candidate
  • Experience with (meta) data standards, data integration and managing research infrastructure projects is a plus

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 €2.790 and a maximum of €4.402 (scale 10). The job profile: researcher 4 is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 3 years (or slightly longer if employed at less than 1.0 FTE.

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. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavour – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

About the department, institute, project
The VU Department of Computer Science has approximately 170 members, including 35 tenured staff members and 40-50 PhD students. The tenured staff members form the essential basis for the functioning of the department. A tenured staff member is required to make significant contributions to the research and education programmes, and to spend effort on specific tasks at the department level.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until November 1, 2020. 

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

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

Name: Tobias Kuhn
Position: Assistant Professor
Telephone: 020 59 87449

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