PhD Positions in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Optimisation

at KU Leuven
Published August 27, 2023
Location Leuven, Belgium
Category Machine Learning  
Job Type Scholarship  


All positions are in the Machine Learning group of the Section for Declarative Languages and Artificial Intelligence (DTAI), which is part of the Department of Computer Science at KU Leuven and part of the KU Leuven institute for AI (Leuven.AI). The DTAI lab is one of the leading research groups for machine learning, artificial intelligence and data mining. DTAI’s machine learning group currently has six faculty members (Hendrik Blockeel, Jesse Davis, Luc De Raedt, Tias Guns, Angelika Kimmig, Giuseppe Marra), two research managers (Wannes Meert and Jessa Bekker), about 10 post-docs and over 35 doctoral students. The Machine Learning group follows an artificial intelligence approach to the analysis of data. It investigates a wide variety of machine learning and data science problems. It mostly concentrates on problems that involve complex and structured data and background knowledge. It has expertise in areas such as Learning and Reasoning, Automated Data Science, Learning Constraints and Optimisation Criteria, (Constrained) Clustering, Probabilistic Programming, Statistical Relational Artificial Intelligence, Neural Symbolic Computation, Predictive Learning, Verification and Machine Learning and it is applying its expertise in areas such as Anomaly Detection, Sports Analytics, Sensor data, Action and Activity Learning and Operations Research (see for more information).

You will work under the supervision of and be mentored by one of Prof Hendrik Blockeel, Prof. Jesse Davis or Prof. Tias Guns, together with our research managers Dr. Wannes Meert and Dr. Jessa Bekker. You will be part of a dynamic team that performs cutting-edge research in artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science. You will play an active role in the research team, publish papers, take part in workshops, public events and other activities.

We are currently looking to hire:


  • A PhD student working with Prof. Hendrik Blockeel on "machine learning with tensors for hyper spectral imaging for agrofood and medical applications". The objective is to develop efficient learning strategies for high-dimensional, spectral images. Tensor-based compression algorithms will be implemented for reducing the complexity of the data, and a generic approach for efficient model building, maintenance and transfer will be developed. This project is in collaboration with researchers from the faculty of bioengineered and from the Numerical Analysis and Applied Mathematics research unit at the dept of computer science.
  • A PhD student working with Prof. Jesse Davis on the topic of "automating data science" (e.g., automated feature construction).
  • A PhD student working with Prof. Tias Guns on the topic of "explanation-based optimisation for trustworthy planning and scheduling".

The candidates should have a Master's degree in Computer Science or Artificial Intelligence. Candidates must have excellent theoretical and programming skills, be proficient in oral and written English, possess excellent communication skills, multi-tasking skills, and be team-oriented, proactive and result driven. The positions can start immediately, and positions will be filled as soon as suitable candidates are found. Interested candidates should send their résumé, contact information of 2 or 3 referees, and a motivation letter using the KU Leuven system.

The motivation letter should clearly identify the topic(s) the candidate wants to work on, it should clearly specify the reasons for these choices, as well as possible past experience in the area.


A PhD position (bursaal or scientific collaborator barema 43), initially for one year, but extendible until max. 4 years. A stimulating environment at a European top university in a well-equipped, experienced and internationally oriented research unit.

The research will be based at the Department of Computer Science at the Arenberg Campus in Heverlee (close to the center of Leuven).

For more information, please check the website or contact prof. dr. ir Hendrik Blockeel, mail:, prof. dr. Jesse Davis, mail: or prof. dr. ir. Tias Guns, mail:
You can apply for this job no later than November 30, 2023 via the online application tool
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