PhD Decentralised Machine Learning

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: 01 Jul 2023

31 May 2023
Job Information

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
Research Field

Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

1 Jul 2023 - 21:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Not Applicable
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

Billions of mobile devices mean unprecedented computing power and a surge in generated data. And whoever ‘owns’ the data, can build better and more personalised services using machine learning. With all the inherent privacy risks and massive data breaches as a result. At TU Delft’s Tribler Lab, we want users to take back control and take Tech Giants out of the equation to drive societal benefits of machine learning. As a PhD candidate you will show the viability of decentralised machine learning. Are you ready for applied research, building an alternative to the likes of YouTube and TikTok that could potentially benefit billions of users?

Although federated learning is a step in the right direction, you will take decentralised machine learning even further, eliminating servers and harnessing the massive computing power available. Your research will be geared to putting the system architecture in place, and you will build a video search engine to show it works. The spadework has been done by the team that has created Tribler . Thanks to well over two million users, you have access to a sizable user base and data. In addition, you will coach master students and participate in relevant communities, possibly even attend and speak at conferences.

Your home base with be our twelve-strong, internationally diverse team of developers, postdocs, PhD candidates, academic staff and ethicist. Embracing the principles of fairness, openness and democracy, we share a mission to transform the Internet into a global brain for the benefit of all mankind. We conduct fully funded and groundbreaking research, covering topics like the digital European passport and the digital euro. You’ll be joining a group of peers trained in computer science, which makes for riveting sparring and knowledge sharing. Fostering a highly collaborative and friendly atmosphere, we will give you all the support you need to develop and grow.

Specific Requirements

You thrive on bridging research and the development of groundbreaking architecture, potentially benefiting billions of users. Your scientific writing skills are well honed. And although you don’t need to be an extrovert networker, you do know how to collaborate with the developers in your team. You get the freedom to take decisions, but understand the importance of first discussing your ideas and initiatives with your fellow team members, to ensure our research stays aligned.

You also have:

  • An MSc in Computer Science, and in your master thesis work you have preferably focused on distributed systems or a broader systems-oriented subject.
  • The ability to engineer operational systems.
  • Experience with GitHub open source projects.
  • A good command of spoken and written English, as you’ll be working in an internationally diverse community.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements .

Additional Information

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

Selection process

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 1 July 2023 via the application button and upload:

  • Motivation letter.
  • Detailed CV.
  • Copies of your BSc and MSc degrees and transcripts.
  • Names and contact information of at least three relevant references. We will not contact references without your consent.

After the first selection, video interviews will be held in July 2023. The interviews at TU Delft will take place in late Aug 2023 and beyond.

Please note:

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

Additional comments

If you would like more information about this role, please contact Dr Johan Pouwelse, Associate Professor, .

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Delft University of Technology
Postal Code
2628 CD
Mekelweg 2

Where to apply



Mekelweg 2
Postal Code

2628 CD

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