Post Doc in Explainable Machine Learning

Catholic University of Leuven


Itec is a research group at KU Leuven and imec, Flanders’ high-tech research and innovation hub for nanoelectronics and digital technologies. On the campus Kortrijk of the KU Leuven, itec unites researchers from three different faculties (Psychology & Educational Sciences, Arts and Medicine) and four disciplines (educational psychology, statistics, applied linguistics, computer science). Researchers at itec conduct both fundamental and applied research on the design, development, and evaluation of personalized and adaptive digital solutions, aimed at helping experts and end users to make effective decisions informed by data analysis and visualizations. Primary application domains include education and training, and health and care. The main focus of the AI and machine learning subgroup of itec is to apply existing and develop new machine learning algorithms to advance the application domains. In particular, we focus on supervised, unsupervised and semi-supervised learning. Key activities in the group relate to multi-label/target prediction, recommender systems, active learning, survival analysis (i.e., time-to-event prediction) and longitudinal data analysis; always with a specific attention to interpretability to increase trust in the AI models.


In interaction with the principal investigators (professors) and research management team at itec, the candidate co-supervises and further develops the AI and machine learning research within the different application domains, and carries out pioneering research him/herself. This will involve collaboration across the disciplines within itec, and may also involve collaboration with companies (hospitals, training organizations, as well as technology companies).In this context, the candidate will co-supervise itec's PhD students in AI and machine learning, and will interact with post-docs in the other disciplines at itec (in particular in statistics). The candidate is expected to actively participate in the recruitment of projects, and to publish the results of the research in scientific journals and present them at international and local conferences.

The candidate will interact with researchers active in health and education. In the health domain, we are primarily focusing on clinical decision support systems. These tools often involve risk prediction models for medical conditions, where both accuracy and interpretability are of high importance. In the domain of education and training, we focus on decision support for learners and teachers/experts, and develop novel techniques for recommending learning tasks matched to the skills and interests of learners, for automated assessment of learning tasks that involve multiple skills, and for predicting dropout in learning environments that require high self-regulation (e.g. MOOCs). The candidate interacts both with researchers within itec and and with other research groups affiliated with imec.


  • The applicant must have obtained a PhD in machine learning, artificial intelligence, computer science, statistics or related fields.
  • Research experience in one of the key activities investigated in itec's AI and machine learning subgroup (see above) is a must and it is mandatory to clearly indicate this in the motivation letter.
  • Research experience in machine learning applications for health or education is considered a strong asset.
  • Excellent command of English is necessary (both written and orally). Knowledge of Dutch is considered an asset.
  • Strong publication record.
  • Experience with grant writing is considered an asset.
  • Strong communication skills, leadership skills, high flexibility and a real team player.


In this role you will represent a prestigious research institute that focuses on excellence in research and tries to bring about positive social effects. You get the opportunity to develop yourself by interacting with the educational and/or health technology ecosystems, within the (international) network in which we operate (a.o. through imec and Leuven.AI). This position offers flexibility, the opportunity to work in a multicultural and multidisciplinary environment and to learn continuously. Your home office is located at the KU Leuven campus Kulak in Kortrijk.

We offer a full-time employment as a postdoc researcher for 1 year, extendible to at least 3 years after a positive evaluation. Given the broad network in which itec operates and the dynamic atmosphere within the team, more opportunities for extending these 3 years can of course also be sought.

In addition to a competitive salary, KU Leuven also offers a number of additional benefits, such as hospitalisation insurance, eco-vouchers, reimbursement of commuting expenses by public transport, inexpensive meals, a KU Leuven bicycle, the possibility of flexible working...


The vacancy remains open until a suitable candidate has been found. No applications via e-mail, please use the KU Leuven jobsite.

You can apply for this job no later than June 01, 2022 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Kortrijk
  • Apply before: June 1, 2022
  • Tags: Computerwetenschappen
  • Download: file

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