[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] Open PhD/PostDoc positions at CITEC, Bielefeld University (Germany)

Helge Ritter helge at techfak.uni-bielefeld.de
Tue Dec 17 07:34:41 PST 2013

Open PhD/PostDoc positions in cognitive robotics
CITEC, Bielefeld University
Project FAMULA

The Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) at
Bielefeld University, Germany, seeks research assistants (PhD student
or PostDoc level) for the core team of its new large scale project 
FAMULA (Deep Familiarization and Learning Grounded in Cooperative Manual 
Action and Language).

Centered around an advanced robot platform combining rich
actuation through anthropomorphic hands, touch sensing and vision, the
project aims to understand how an agent can acquire
familiarity with novel objects as a result of integrating self-generated
experiences that combine touch, vision and language.

The project consortium comprises teams from computer science/robotics,
psychology and cognitive neuroscience which bring together
strong expertise in the fields of robotics (sensing, learning and 
control) and cognitive science (action, learning and language).

To complement the project core team, we seek applicants with the 
following profiles and research interests:

(A) haptics/learning for conducting experiments involving human subjects 
to investigate and model visuo-haptic object exploration and learning. 
This position will be primarily associated with the research groups 
Cognitive Neuroscience (Marc Ernst) and Neurocognition and Action 
(Thomas Schack).

(B) action cognition/language for conducting experiments involving human
subjects to investigate and model the acquision of mental 
representations during object familiarization. This position be 
primarily associated with the research groups Neurocognition and Action 
(Thomas Schack), Neuropsycholoy and Emotion (J. Kissler) and Emergentist 
Semantics (K. Rohlfing).

(C) tactile sensing/hand control for developing and implementing
control strategies enabling a robot hand to interactively
manipulate objects. This position will be primarily associated
with the research groups Neuroinformatics (Helge Ritter) and
Cognitive Neuroscience (Marc Ernst).

(D) manipulation planning/learning algorithms for developing and 
implementing manual interaction and exploration strategies to acquire 
and store knowledge about object properties in re-useable form. This 
position will be primarily associated with the research groups 
Neuroinformatics (Helge Ritter) and Semantic Computing (Philipp Cimiano).

(E) learning/language for developing representations and
algorithms that enable the robot to establish experience-driven 
associations between the sensorimotor and the language level that 
support high-level prediction of and reasoning about regularities and 
events. This position will be primarily associated with the research 
groups Semantic Computing (Philipp Cimiano), Sociable Agents (Stefan 
Kopp) and Neuroinformatics (Helge Ritter)

Candidates should have an excellent qualification (M.Sc. or PhD.) in one 
of the fields of computer science/robotics (C,D), psychology, 
neuroscience or linguistics (A,B). For positions (A,B) we are looking 
for candidates with experience in planning and conducting experimental 
studies with human subjects and the computational modelling of the 
obtained empirical data.
For positions (C-E) we are looking for candidates with strong
software engineering skills (C++/Python/Java) and the
willingness to develop software in a strong team context.

Additionally, all candidates should have a keen interest in
computational and modeling aspects and the ability to work creatively in 
a team context requiring to communicate also across discipline borders. 
Candidate should have very good English language skills,
a knowledge of German is not mandatory.

The positions (PhD student or Post-Doc level) are offered
for the duration of up to three years (two years with one year 
prolongation) and can start in the 2nd quarter of 2014. The salary is in 
accordance with the salary guidelines of the German Science Foundation 
(DFG), based on E13 TV-L West, with a full project position for PostDoc 
qualification and, depending on discipline, up to a full E13 TV-L 
position at the PhD level.

Research environment: CITEC (https.//www.cit-ec.de) was established
in 2007 at Bielefeld University in the context of the highly competitive 
German Excellence Initiative. It is bringing together more than 40 
groups from computer science/robotics, linguistics, mathematics, 
neurobiology, psychology and sports science working
on basic and applied aspects of Cognitive Interaction Technology.
A new research building designed around dedicated Central Lab Facilities
that include several high-end robot platforms, motion capture and VR 
systems provides an excellent research environment. It will host the 
main FAMULA research platform and most of the participating groups of 
the project.

Applications should comprise a cover letter describing background, 
motivation and special expertise, the targetted position (A-E),
a CV, list of publications (if applicable),
transcripts and contact details of 2-3 referees.
Please submit your application in a single pdf file via e-mail to

Helge Ritter
Coordinator CITEC
Bielefeld University
email: sstrunk at techfak.uni-bielefeld.de
subject: FAMULA project job application

We will start the selection process beginning from Jan-24 2014.
Applications will be considered until the position is filled.
Applications from suitably qualified
handicapped and severely handicapped persons are expressly encouraged.

Bielefeld University has received a number of awards for its 
achievements in the provision of equal opportunity and has been 
recognised as a family friendly university. The University welcomes 
applications from women. Applications are handled according to the 
provisions of the state equal opportunity statutes

Bielefeld, a friendly and green city located 200km north of
Frankfurt/Main, is among the 20 largest German cities and offers
a good living environment.

Prof. Dr. Helge Ritter
CITEC - Cluster of Excellence
Cognitive Interaction Technology
Bielefeld University, Germany

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