EngD in Interactive AI and Dementia Care

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 19 May 2024


Engineering Doctorate (EngD)

Irène Curie Fellowship



Industrial Design

Reference number


Job description

The Department of Industrial Design of the TU/e is offering a fully-funded 2-year position to master graduates leading to the award of an EngD (Engineering Doctorate) degree in Conversational AI in Dementia Care. This position is in the context of the project WECARE  (Warm Eindhoven Care Assistance and Responsible Engineering) at Eindhoven Engine . The appointment is for two years starting at the earliest possible date, but latest in August 2024.

Currently, there are 55 million people with dementia worldwide; this is expected to grow to 78 million in 2030 and 138 million in 2050 according to WHO. Additionally, a medical solution is not available and we already have a shortage of care personnel. Technology should and can provide much-needed support for people with dementia and their caregivers; this alleviates pressure on the care system. Our aim is to augment, not replace, human care with technology. Unfortunately, technology is often not designed for the dementia care context, causing failure to adopt the technology properly, frustration and resistance. In our project, warm technology focuses on 1) what people can do, not what they cannot do; 2) non-stigmatizing designs and 3) addressing people’s social and emotional skills, not just cognitive and physical skills. As fundamental research, we apply warm technology principles to interactive agents, e.g., chatbots, companion robots, or other representations of AI, to assist in dementia care (both for people with dementia and their caregivers).

In this project, we believe that interactive agents are powerful storytellers that can contribute to people’s well-being. There is potential for interactive agents (like robots or chatbots) in terms of their appearance, behavior, and identity to assist in dementia care. Combining new developments, such as conversational AI, and a deep understanding of dementia can offer opportunities to design and engineer a diverse array of interactive agents.

The EngD candidate will collaborate closely with the project partners (Tinybots, Philips, SARA robotics, and Fontys) and researchers already working on this topic. The candidate’s specific focus will be on conversational AI within a chatbot or a robot to augment dementia care. Candidates should have a technical background and we welcome mixed academic disciplines (e.g., industrial design, computational linguistics, software engineering, human-computer interaction, computer science, electrical engineering). 

Engineering Doctorate Program 
The EngD program is for those already with a Master’s degree and looking to develop competences that are related to specific application areas and societal issues. Check out more information here.  In our case, the candidate will be embedded in the Expertise Center Dementia and Technology (ECDT ), which has a track record of numerous design and technology projects centered on dementia care.

Job requirements

We are looking for a candidate who is:

  • knowledgeable about current developments, e.g., LLMs, and  has the ability to apply their technical skills in building practical applications for dementia care,
  • wish to broaden their skill sets through the project and work with various stakeholders such as caregivers, people with dementia, and researchers,
  • able to speak and write Dutch, and
  • able to speak and write in English.

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an international setting with a close relationship to industry. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:

  • A fixed-term, 2-year position in a research group with an excellent reputation. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, including.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale TOIO  (€2,618).
  • Additionally, 8% holiday and 8.3% end-of-year annual supplements.
  • A minimum of 41 holidays per year (excluding bank holidays, for a full-time employment of 40 hrs/week).
  • Additional benefits, including excellent technical infrastructure, childcare, holiday savings schemes, and sports facilities.
  • Assistance for finding accommodation is offered.
  • To support you during your EngD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will have free access to a personal development program for EngD trainees.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's daycare and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team  and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.

Information and application

About us
Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. 

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact [email protected]  and [email protected] .

Visit our website for more information about the application process  or the conditions of employment.  You can also contact HR Services: [email protected]

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page .

We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button.
The application should include:

  • A cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • A curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • Copies of relevant BSc and MSc diplomas and grade transcripts.
  • The result of an English proficiency test such as IELTS or TOEFL.

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.

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