Three PhD students and one postdoc

Start date: 01 September 2024
Advertised on: 03 June 2024 / Application deadline: 21 June 2024

The Research Training Group 2853 “Neuroexplicit Models of Language, Vision, and Action” is looking for

Three PhD students - September 2024

One Postdoc - September 2024 or later

Neuroexplicit models combine neural and human-interpretable (“explicit”) models in order to overcome the limitations that each model class has separately. They include neurosymbolic models, which combine neural and symbolic models, but also e.g. combinations of neural and physics-based models. In the RTG, we will improve the state of the art in natural language processing (“Language”), computer vision (“Vision”), and planning and reinforcement learning (“Action”) through the use of neuroexplicit models. We will also develop novel machine learning techniques for neuroexplicit models (“Foundations”). Our overarching aim is to contribute to a better understanding of the cross-cutting design principles of effective neuroexplicit models.

The RTG is scheduled to grow to a total of 24 PhD students and one postdoc by 2025; the first six PhD students started in late 2023, and three more have already accepted our offers to start in September 2024. Together with the PIs and associated PhD students and postdocs who are funded from other sources, the RTG will include ~50 researchers and be one of the largest research centers on neuroexplicit or neurosymbolic models in the world.

The RTG brings together researchers at Saarland University, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, the CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security, and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). All of these institutions are colocated on the same campus in Saarbrücken, Germany.

The positions are funded as follows:

  • PhD students will be funded for up to four years at the TV-L E13 100% pay scale. You should have or be about to complete an MSc degree in computer science or a related field and have demonstrated expertise in one of the research areas of the RTG, e.g. through an excellent Master’s thesis or relevant publications.
  • The postdoc will initially be funded for three years, with a possibility of extension, at the TV-L E13 100% pay scale. As the RTG postdoc, you will pursue your own research agenda in the field of neuroexplicit models and work with the PhD students to identify and pursue opportunities for collaborative research. You should have or be about to complete a PhD in computer science or a related field and have demonstrated your expertise in one or more of the RTG’s research areas through publications in top venues.

The RTG is part of the Saarland Informatics Campus, one of the leading centers for research in computer science, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing in Europe. The Saarland Informatics Campus brings together 900 researchers and 2500 students from 81 countries. The CISPA Helmholtz Center, located on the same campus, is home to an additional 350 researchers and on track to grow to 800 by 2026. Researchers at SIC and CISPA are part of the ELLIS network and have been awarded more than 35 ERC grants.

Each PhD student in the RTG will be jointly supervised by two PhD advisors from among the Principal Investigators. Each student will freely define their own research topic; we encourage the choice of topics that cross the traditional boundaries of research fields. Students may be affiliated with Saarland University or with one of the participating institutes.

Please send your application by 21 June 2024 to Include the reference number W2488 for the postdoc position and the reference number W2487 for the PhD positions. We aim to conduct job interviews in July 2024, ideally in person in Saarbrücken, Germany. Please see the FAQ for details on the selection process and what materials to include in your application.

The legally binding version of this job ad is here for the postdoc and here for the PhD students.