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Assistant Professor in Theoretical Philosophy and AI

Universiteit Utrecht

Job category Junior faculty / Fixed term
AOS Theoretical Philosophy and AI
AOS categories Philosophy of Religion
AOC Open
Workload Full time
Vacancies 1
Organization's reference number 20201246
Location Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
Start date mid October 2020
Job description

Assistant Professor in Theoretical Philosophy and AI (1.0 FTE)

Job description
The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Utrecht University is looking for an Assistant Professor in the field of Theoretical Philosophy, with a research focus on Artificial Intelligence, logic, or formal social epistemology and a broad teaching competence in formal methods in Theoretical Philosophy. This position includes both teaching (70%) and research (30%). The position is part of the 'Theoretical Philosophy' group within the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.

The group's teaching tasks are within four programmes: the Bachelor's and Master's programmes Artificial Intelligence, the Bachelor's Philosophy and the Research Master's Philosophy. The Assistant Professor's teaching will mainly, but not exclusively, be within the first two programmes. At Utrecht University, the Bachelor's and Master's programmes Artificial Intelligence are run by research groups from four departments: Languages, Literature and Communication; Experimental Psychology; Information and Computing Science; and Philosophy and Religious Studies. 'Theoretical Philosophy' at the last department is responsible for teaching in the Artificial Intelligence programmes. Together with  the 'History of Philosophy' and the 'Ethics Institute' groups, this group is responsible for the department’s research and teaching in philosophy.

The 'Theoretical Philosophy' group has research foci in foundations of mathematics, mathematical logic, logic for AI, philosophy of AI, metaphilosophy, philosophy of science, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and in philosophy of language. In both the group and the department there are various lecture series and other activities that contribute to a lively and stimulating work environment.

We are looking for a colleague who can make a substantial contribution to research and teaching in the field of AI and formal methods. Research in the field of AI can either concern foundational issues in AI, the philosophy of AI, or applications of AI technology in philosophy (think of the use of computer simulations in social epistemology). The specific research accentuation will depend on the candidate’s expertise. Close cooperation with the Utrecht University 'strategic themes' and/or 'focus areas' is desired, as well as cooperation with the other groups within the department.

The Assistant Professor will teach on both Bachelor's and Master's level, contribute to interdisciplinary teaching activities, supervise theses, and will be available for administrative tasks regarding teaching, such as the development of teaching curricula or the participation in relevant committees. In particular the candidate is expected to contribute to the group’s teaching in logic, epistemology, and philosophy of language. The candidate is also expected to be available for other administrative tasks in the department and/or faculty.


  • have finished your PhD in Philosophy;
  • have a strong international track record in research in the field of Artificial Intelligence, logic, or social epistemology, as documented by publications in international journals or with the important publishers in the field;
  • have proven your ability to perform innovative research on a high level, and are willing and able to compete for national and international research grants;
  • are an inspiring teacher who can develop and teach courses on both Bachelor's and Master's level in a wide range of topics in Theoretical Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence, including introductory courses on mathematics in AI, modal logic, or finite automata and Turing machines in the AI Bachelor's curriculum;
  • have a Basic Teaching Certificate (basiskwalificatie onderwijs = BKO) or equivalent, or the willingness to acquire one (within two years after the initial appointment);
  • have the ability to play an appropriate role in departmental management and to contribute fully to the academic life of the department;
  • are able and willing to teach in Dutch as well as in English (foreign candidates are expected to master the Dutch language within two years).

We offer a temporary position (1.0 FTE) for a period of two years, starting mid October 2020. Upon satisfactory performance in the two-year probationary period, this position will become a permanent appointment. The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience  - ranges between €3,475 and €4,757 (scale 10-11 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

About the organization
A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

The Faculty of Humanities has around 6,000 students and 900 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city center of Utrecht, where the Faculty is housed, contribute to an inspiring working environment.

How to apply
Application type Online
For more information, please contact Prof D. Cohnitz, email: d.cohnitz@uu.nl. Apply Written applications should address the criteria mentioned under “Profile”, and include the following documents: • letter of motivation; • curriculum vitae; • description of the candidate’s teaching experience; • statement of research (max. 1,000 words); • teaching statement (max. 1,000 words). Candidates who make the shortlist will be interviewed online in the week of 13 July. During the second round candidates may be asked to deliver a lecture (dates will be set in communication with the candidates). Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Are you interested? Please use the application button below to apply. The application deadline is July 5, 2020
Web address to apply https://ssl1.peoplexs.com/Peoplexs22/CandidatesPor...
Hard deadline Yesterday, 11:59pm CET
Web address for more information https://www.uu.nl/
Contact name Prof D. Cohnitz
Contact email
Time created June 5, 2020, 9:28am EST
Scheduled expiry date Yesterday, 11:59pm CET
Last updated June 9, 2020, 8:27am EST
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