PhD position: Combining Large Language Models and Knowledge Graphs

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 31 Mar 2023

PhD position: Combining Large Language Models and Knowledge Graphs
PhD position: Combining Large Language Models and Knowledge Graphs
Published Deadline Location
today 31 Mar Amsterdam

Are you interested in the combination of symbolic AI techniques with the Large Language Models that have emerged in recent years? Please apply for this PhD position at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Job description
The Learning and Reasoning Group (L&R, ) at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers a for a fully-funded, four year PhD position in the the MSCA European Doctoral Network LEMUR (LEarning with MUltiple Representations) under the supervision of Prof. Frank van Harmelen and Dr. Jan-Christoph Kalo.
The Large Language Models (LLMs) that have emerged in recent years have shown impressive performance in a variety of tasks, but they also fail in many, and often unpredictable ways. The hypothesis underlying this PhD position is that LLMs and Knowledge Graphs have complementary strengths and weaknesses. The goal of this project is to design a set of empirically well-grounded methods for combining LLMs and KGs, in both directions: the use of LLMs to complement the incomplete knowledge in KGs, and the use of KGs to improve the unsound answers that are often produced by LLMs. Furthermore, KGs and LLMs may create a mutually beneficial construction cycle: using KGs to specialize pre-trained LLMs to a specific domain, and using LLMs to increase the coverage of KGs.
Your duties
  • Research on natural language processing and knowledge graphs.
  • Development of methods that combine LLMs and KGs.
  • Publishing your results towards obtaining a PhD degree.

  • 30.4—38 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • Amsterdam View on Google Maps

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

  • You have not resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the recruitment date (mobility rule of the EU).
  • You do not yet possess a doctoral degree.
  • You are comfortable programming in Python.
  • Excellent communication skills in English.
  • A (prospective) MSc. degree in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Mathematics (or an equivalent thereof).
  • Background knowledge in natural language processing, machine learning, knowledge representation, or knowledge graphs.
  • Ability and willingness to work in a collaborative team.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 18 months.

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,541 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,247 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile (promovendus) is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.
The preferred starting date is 1 July 2023 or earlier.
The appointment will initially be for 18 months. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a 2,5 years. (total duration 4 years)
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment,
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus,
  • good paid parental leave scheme,
  • contribution to commuting expenses,
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor - from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.
We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.
The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.
Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to more than 11,000 students.
Additional information
Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button by 31/03/2023 and upload: a cover letter, a CV, a list of courses and grades at the MSc level, a (draft) MSc thesis if available, and the names and e-mail addresses of two references.
As part of your application, please indicate whether your profile can be forwarded to potentially interested partners within the LEMUR network.
Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.
Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:
Name: Dr. Jan-Christoph Kalo
No agencies
Working at VU Amsterdam

Working at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam means contributing to a better world. Working beyond the confidence of your own field, working with an open mind and working for the benefit of society.

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