Assistant Professor in Optimization

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 20 Jun 2023

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The Faculty of Science and the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) are looking for a:

Assistant Professor in Optimization
Vacancy number: 13783

The Faculty of Science, Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS), is looking for candidates for a position at the level of Assistant Professor in Optimization (0.8-1.0 FTE).
The rapid evolution and expansion of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science and the increasing integration with other disciplines creates new challenges in developing and understanding modern computation in its foundations, applications, and societal consequences. Our institute is at the center of this transformation, and we aim to strengthen our research and education in artificial intelligence and computer science. We are looking for a candidate with expertise in Optimization and Machine Learning in general and (Bayesian) Optimization in particular.

The ideal candidate will have a track record in research that connects optimization and machine learning with engineering applications, for example in structural mechanics. Research areas of particular interest include Bayesian optimization, efficient global optimization, and multi-objective optimization. The connection with automated machine learning through the development of novel hyperparameter optimization techniques is also of strong interest.

There are more opportunities than boundaries at LIACS; you will be a member of a vibrant research group, and are expected to work well in our culture of cross-group collaboration. Researchers teach courses about their research topics, supervise students, and are expected to develop connections inside and outside our institute, with other stakeholders inside and outside Leiden University. Social values of LIACS are fun, inclusivity, openness, and teamwork.

Positions at LIACS have a good balance between teaching and research, giving the candidates time to write research proposals and further build their research lines and their careers. The level of the position will be commensurate with your level of experience.


  • Conducting independent research in your field;
  • Teaching relevant courses (BSc and MSc);
  • Supervising BSc and MSc students;
  • (Co-)supervising PhD students;
  • Securing external funding for research;
  • Engaging in committees and organizing activities in your research group, the institute, and in the relevant initiatives in Leiden and the Netherlands.

Selection criteria

  • PhD degree in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, or a related field;
  • Proven independence in doing research at the postdoc level or beyond;
  • Good publication record in (Bayesian) Optimization and experience in raising research funds;
  • Proven track record in teaching;
  • Able to work independently, in a team, and in a student (co-)supervisory role;
  • Experience in industrial collaborations and an understanding of industrial optimization tasks;
  • An academic, creative, and open mindset.

Research at our Faculty/Institute
The Leiden Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. Our people are driven by curiosity to expand fundamental knowledge and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is diverse, ranging from artificial intelligence, computer science, mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 1,300 staff and almost 4,000 students. We are located at the heart of one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

The Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) is the Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science Institute of the Faculty of Science of Leiden University. We offer courses at the Bachelor and Master of Science level in the core areas of Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, and Data Science, and in the interdisciplinary areas of ICT in Business, Media Technology and Creative science, and Bioinformatics. We are a highly international place to do research, and we strive for excellence in a caring institute, where excellence, fun, and inclusiveness go hand in hand. We offer a clear and inviting career path to young and talented scientists with the ambition to grow.

Terms and conditions
We offer a position commensurate with your level of experience, initially for 12 months, and permanent afterwards. Pay scales in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career program. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

Diversity and inclusivity
Fostering an inclusive community is a central element of the values and vision of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.

Enquiries can be made to prof.dr. Thomas Bäck, email .
If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact

Please submit online your application no later than June 20, 2023 via the blue button in our application system. Please ensure that you attach the following additional documents, quoting the vacancy number:

  • A short cover letter (1 page) detailing your motivation to apply for the position,
  • A brief description of your research plan,
  • A brief description of your teaching experience,
  • A full CV including a list of publications, grant acquisition, community service, and a link to your Google Scholar page,
  • Links to key publications and PhD thesis when appropriate,
  • The names and addresses of at least two persons that can be contacted for reference (who have agreed to be contacted).

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