PhD Research Fellow in ICT – Sustainable fashion with deep learning: “The stAIlist”

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PhD Research Fellow in ICT – Sustainable fashion with deep learning: “The stAIlist”
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About the position

A fixed-term 100% position is available at the University of Agder, Faculty of Engineering and Science as a PhD Research Fellow in ICT for a period of three years. The position is affiliated to the Department of Information and Communication Technology and is located at Campus Grimstad. The starting date is as soon as possible or by agreement with the Faculty.

The Department of ICT  has three large and active research groups in Information and Communication Technology including eight Professors, 20 Associate Professors/Assistant professors and about 30 Research Fellows on the PhD programme in ICT. The Department of ICT pursues a variety of research interests, focusing especially on ICT, artificial intelligence, eLearning and eHealth. The department has successfully led a number of large research projects funded by the Research Council of Norway, the EU research programmes FP7 and H2020 as well as national and international industries.

This open position is with the Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAIR) at the University of Agder and in close collaboration with FJONG – one of Europe’s largest clothes sharing platforms. The project is motivated by the desire for a more sustainable fashion industry. It aims to build an advanced recommendation model, a digital stylist, that matches inventory data with the users' needs. The position is located in Grimstad, Norway, but the candidate is expected to substantial time with research partners in Oslo, Norway.

A successful Ph.D. project will improve the rental experience for FJONG’s renters and lenders, enable optimization of supply through in-depth knowledge of demand in a sustainable manner, and optimize user experiences for both renters and lenders. This Ph.D. will particularly explore the use of deep learning-based recommendation models that combines customer predictions and desires with a minimal environmental footprint. 

The work will, more concretely, focus on recommendation engines optimized for sharing of clothes. A successful AI-model will improve the sharing experience for FJONG’s users with user-based and model-based collaborative filtering. Unlike most recommendation engines based on extensive historical data for measuring similarity between products and users, this project needs to support a sharing marked with new products frequently introduced and replaced. Deep learning-based analytics with limited spatiotemporal customer data, consumer reports, and machine vision are central technologies. 

Collaboration with FJONG and other industry partners is fundamental to the Ph.D. project. 

Research topic

The candidate should address artificial intelligence issues for a sharing economy and, in particular, deep learning recommendation models for complex user scenarios. 

Required qualifications
  • The successful applicants should hold a Master’s degree in a related field (e.g., computer science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, data mining). To be considered for the position, the applicant must have submitted their Master’s thesis by the closing date of the announcement.
  • Relevant academic credentials
  • Written and spoken English proficiency. International candidates that are not exempt from the English language requirements pursuant to the guidelines of the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) must document this through one of the following tests with the stated results or better:
    • TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language with a minimum score of 600 for the Paperbased Test (PBT), or 92 for the Internet-based Test (iBT)
    • IELTS - International English Language Testing System, with the result of 6.5
  • The ideal candidate will have technical expertise in one or more of the following areas:
    • Software development
    • Machine Learning in general, and Deep Neural Networks in particular, including Recurrent, Convolutional, and Transformer-based Networks 
    • Generative Models
    • Recommendations models targeting customers
  • The ideal candidate will also have:
    • A strong academic background in machine learning
    • Interest in utilizing the power of machine learning and software development to achieve sustainability goals
    • Industry and project experience across academia and industry
    • Ability to collaborate and contribute in interdisciplinary teams 

Applicants will be assessed on the basis of academic background and results, attainment, and any previous research and development work.

A prerequisite for employment is that the candidate is to be admitted to UiA’s PhD programme at the Faculty of Engineering and Science, Specialisation in Information- and Communication Technology (ICT).

Further provisions relating to the positions as PhD Research Fellows can be found in the Regulations Concerning Terms and Conditions of Employment for the post of Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Research Fellow, Research Assistant and Resident.

Personal qualities

Personal suitability, good teamwork and communication skills, inventiveness, and a proactive approach, will be emphasized in the evaluation as well as relevant practical experience. The PhD Research Fellow will be expected to contribute to an active research community that promotes the personal and professional growth of the doctoral candidate. The position places great demands on the applicant’s capacity for independent goal-oriented work, ability to concentrate and attention to detail. 

We offer
  • Training to publish in the top journals and conferences in the covered areas.
  • Professional development in a large, exciting and socially influential organisation
  • A positive, inclusive and diverse working environment
  • Modern facilities and a comprehensive set of welfare offers 
  • Membership of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund

More about working at UiA.

The position is remunerated according to the State Salary Scale, salary plan 17.515, code 1017 PhD Research Fellow, NOK 482 200 gross salary per year. A compulsory pension contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund is deducted from the pay according to current statutory provisions.

General information

UiA is an open and inclusive university. We believe that diversity enriches the workplace and makes us better. We, therefore, encourage qualified candidates to apply for the position independent of gender, age, cultural background, disability or an incomplete CV.

Women are strongly encouraged to apply for the position. 

The successful applicant will have rights and obligations in accordance with the current regulations for the position, and organisational changes and changes in the duties and responsibilities of the position must be expected. The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology . Appointment is made by the University of Agder’s Appointments Committee for Teaching and Research Positions.

Short-listed applicants will be invited for interview. With the applicant’s permission, UiA will also conduct a reference check before appointment. Read more about the employment process .

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act § 25 (2), applicants may request that they are not identified in the open list of applicants. The University, however, reserves the right to publish the names of applicants. Applicants will be advised of the University’s intention to exercise this right. 


The application and any necessary information about education and experience (including diplomas and certificates) are to be sent electronically. Use the link "Apply for this job".

The following documentation must be uploaded electronically:

  • CV with a complete list of scientific publications
  • Master’s thesis or link
  • Up to 5 representative publications or links
  • A description of the applicant’s research interests, the relevance of your expertise to the advertised position and a preliminary work plan
  • Applicants who are required to document their English proficiency must submit their TOEFL or IELTS test results (these may be forwarded after the closing date)

The applicant is fully responsible for submitting complete digital documentation before the closing date. All documentation must be available in English or in a Scandinavian language.

Application deadline: 10.06.21


For questions about the position:

  • Professor Morten Goodwin, tel. +47 37 23 31 05 , email:
  • Head of Department Folke Haugland, tel. +47 37 23 31 12, e-mail  

For questions about the application process:

  • HR Consultant Lise Askbo Fylkesnes, tel. +47 37 23 31 25, e-mail:  
  • HR Advisor Nina Rønningen, tel. +47 38 14 20 16, e-mail

University of Agder

The University of Agder has more than 1400 employees and 13 000 students. This makes us one of the largest workplaces in Southern Norway. Our staff research, teach and disseminate knowledge from a variety of academic fields. Co-creation of knowledge is our common vision. We offer a broad range of study programmes in many fields. We are situated at two modern campuses in Kristiansand and Grimstad respectively.

We are an open and inclusive university marked by a culture of cooperation. The aim of the university is to further develop education and research at a high international level.

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10th June 2021


University of Agder




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