PhD student in Sparse Training for Deep Neural Networks

at University of Luxembourg
Published April 11, 2023
Location Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Category Machine Learning  
Job Type Scholarship  


The University of Luxembourg is seeking to hire a PhD student in the Department of Computer Science within the newly established group in Machine Learning led by Prof. Decebal Mocanu.

Solving today’s scientific and real-world problems requires a new generation of Artificial Intelligence algorithms.

The newly established group in Machine Learning at the University of Luxembourg is currently composed by Prof. Decebal Mocanu, five PhD students spread across three universities (University of Luxembourg, Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Twente), and three affiliated members on distant time zones. Hybrid is the usual way of working and the language of communication is English. The group performs fundamental research in:

  • sparse neural networks
  • scalable and energy-efficient deep learning
  • supervised, unsupervised, reinforcement, and continual learning
  • various machine learning tasks

while occasionally addressing also other scientific fields (e.g., evolutionary computing, network science), core programming challenges, and various application areas (e.g., autonomous driving, healthcare, communication networks, robotics) for the benefits of science and society.

In addition, the group has excellent collaborators world-wide and publishes regularly in top scientific venues for Artificial Intelligence such as NeurIPS, ICML, ICLR, IJCAI, AAMAS, ECMLPKDD, GECCO, UAI, Neurocomputing, Machine Learning journal, Transactions on Machine Learning Research, Nature Communications, and so on.

Your Role...

To this end, one PhD student will be hired to conduct the following tasks:

  • Perform high-impact research in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning through the means of Artificial Neural Networks and Sparsity
  • Perform teaching activities at the bachelor and master levels (30-60 hours/year) within the group teaching activities
  • The concrete PhD topic is flexible (within the group expertise boundaries) and it will be decided in the first six months together with the hired candidate

The PhD student will be supervised by Decebal Mocanu. For informal enquiries, please contact

What we expect from you…
  • BSc (graduated) and MSc (graduated or close to graduation) in Computer Science or related fields (e.g., Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Applied Mathematics, etc.)
  • Experience in a research environment is a plus
  • Communication skills, scientific curiosity, and creative thinking
  • Commitment, team working, interpersonal skills and a critical mind
  • Good written and oral skills in English

We Offer...

An interesting, diversified, and challenging work in a pleasant environment. The University offers competitive salaries, social security benefits, 32 days of paid vacation, and is an equal opportunity employer with an exciting international environment.

In Short...
  • Contract Type: Fixed Term Contract 36 Month (extendable up to 48 months if required)
  • Earliest starting date: 1 July 2023
  • Work Hours: Full Time 40.0 Hours per Week
  • Employee and student status
  • Location: Belval
  • Job Reference: UOL05700

The yearly gross salary for every PhD at the UL is EUR 39953 (full time)

How to apply...

Your application (in PDF format) should include:

  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae (in your preferred format), including your contact details, educational record, work experience (if available), publications (if available), and English language test results (optional).
  • Letter of intent (1-2 pages max), including (a) the personal motivations for applying to this position, (b) self-assessment of your strongest and weakest points (optional), and (c) personal research preferences and aims (optional).
  • Certified copies of degree certificates, including a transcript of courses taken (with grades).
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 referees (just the referees of the short-listed candidates will be contacted).

We ensure a full consideration for applications received by 15 May 2023. Please apply ONLINE formally through the HR system. Applications by email will not be considered.

The University of Luxembourg embraces inclusion and diversity as key values. We are fully committed to removing any discriminatory barrier related to gender, and not only, in recruitment and career progression of our staff.

In return you will get…
  • Multilingual and international character. Modern institution with a personal atmosphere. Staff coming from 90 countries. Member of the “University of the Greater Region” (UniGR).
  • A modern and dynamic university. High-quality equipment. Close ties to the business world and to the Luxembourg labour market. A unique urban site with excellent infrastructure.
  • A partner for society and industry. Cooperation with European institutions, innovative companies, the Financial Centre and with numerous non-academic partners such as ministries, local governments, associations, NGOs …
Further information...

The University of Luxembourg is an international research university with a distinctly multilingual and interdisciplinary character. The University was founded in 2003 and counts more than 6,700 students and more than 2,000 employees from around the world. The University’s faculties and interdisciplinary centres focus on research in the areas of Computer Science and ICT Security, Materials Science, European and International Law, Finance and Financial Innovation, Education, Contemporary and Digital History. In addition, the University focuses on cross-disciplinary research in the areas of Data Modelling and Simulation as well as Health and System Biomedicine. Times Higher Education ranks the University of Luxembourg #3 worldwide for its “international outlook,” #20 in the Young University Ranking 2021 and among the top 250 universities worldwide.

The Faculty of Science, Technology and Medicine (FSTM) contributes multidisciplinary expertise in the fields of ; MathematicsPhysicsEngineeringComputer ScienceLife Sciences and Medicine. Through its dual mission of teaching and research, the FSTM seeks to generate and disseminate knowledge and train new generations of responsible citizens, in order to better understand, explain and advance society and environment we live in.