PhD position in philosophy and computer science

at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)
Published April 8, 2023
Location Eindhoven, Netherlands
Category Machine Learning  
Job Type Scholarship  


Job description

We seek to fill in a joint PhD position in the Philosophy and Computer Science at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).
You will work on an exciting interdisciplinary VACE project funded by EAISI's Exploratory Multidisciplinary AI Research program, developing philosophical and computer science foundations of value alignment for actionable counterfactual explanations in machine learning-based decision making.  You will participate in cutting-edge research, publish your work in leading conferences and journals on fairness and transparency in machine learning and AI, including philosophical venues, contribute in open-source tools and their application in the real world scenarios. You will travel to present your work at high-profile scientific meetings and conferences.
You will work under supervision of Emily Sullivan, co-director of the Eindhoven Center for the Philosophy of AI and Mykola Pechenizkiy, leader of the Data and Artificial Intelligence Cluster, which will be your base and where you will join a vibrant and diverse team of 15 faculty and over 40 PhD students and postdocs advancing the science and engineering of data, machine learning, and AI systems and applications. Several researchers in the cluster work on fairness and explainability in AI (see project).

Your main activities will be to:

  • Advance the state-of-the-art in counterfactual explanations in AI from the philosophy and computer science perspectives.
  • Create working software prototypes.
  • Publish and present papers in top conferences and journals.
  • Develop your professional network and collaboration with other PhD candidates in the DAI cluster and the Eindhoven Center for the Philosophy of AI and beyond.

Job requirements

  • MSc degree in philosophy, computer science, data science, machine learning, AI or similar; ideal candidates would have interest and relevant background in both philosophy and machine learning.
  • Good knowledge of at least one programming language for machine learning, e.g. Python.
  • A solid background in science or engineering.
  • Excellent command of English. If English is not the native language of the candidate, TOEFL or similar with high grade and/or evidence of academic writing in English.
  • Self-motivated, enthusiastic, proactive, goal-oriented.
  • Capability and willingness to work independently, as well as in an interdisciplinary team;
    • Capability and willingness to facilitate and co-supervise MSc thesis projects related to the project will be considered an advantage.
  • Publications in top-tier conferences and journals (in philosophy or in machine learning) will be considered additional advantages.


Conditions of employment

We offer

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

  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • 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 27 (min. €2,541 max. €3,247).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care 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.

Curious to hear more about what it’s like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the video.


For more information about the position and the project, please contact prof. dr. Mykola Pechenizkiy and dr. Emily Sullivan by email (email m.pechenizkiy[at] or e.e.sullivan[at]

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact HR Services via e-mail, HRServices.MCS[at]


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

  • Cover letter explaining your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae, including contact details of referees.
  • Writing sample (e.g. a publication or a chapter from your Masters thesis).
  • A transcript of your grades.
  • Copies of your degrees and diplomas.
  •  A copy or a link to your Master thesis. If you have not completed it yet, please explain your current situation.

Selected candidates may be invited first for an online interview and then for onsite visits to TU/e. Original degrees or certified copies will be requested at a second stage, for selected candidates.  The selection process will start at the beginning of April 2023 and will continue until the position is filled. The positions are fully funded and available immediately. It is expected that the successful candidate would be able to start by summer 2023.

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.