PostDoc Fellowship in Explainable Artificial Intelligence

Trondheim, Norway
14 Jan 2020
End of advertisement period
03 Feb 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

This is NTNU

At NTNU, creating knowledge for a better world is the vision that unites our 7 000 employees and 40 000 students.

We are looking for dedicated employees to join us.

About the position

The Norwegian Open AI Lab (see currently has a vacancy for a 3 to 4 year PostDoc in the field of Explainable Artificial Intelligence, connected to the EXAIGON project.

Most of the recent AI breakthroughs can be attributed to the subfield of deep learning (DL), which has achieved state-of-the-art performance in tasks traditionally challenging for machines, such as object and speech recognition, and beating human champions at the game of Go. However, the complex and unintuitive black-box nature of DL models results in lack of interpretability, lack of robustness, and inability to generalize to situations beyond those encountered during training. These issues must be addressed in order to make AI systems trustworthy and deployable in social environments, industry and business-critical applications.

In the EXAIGON project, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), SINTEF Digital and international research partners will address these challenges by developing user-centric Explainable AI (XAI) methods for understanding how black-box models make their predictions and what are their limitations. Due to the data-driven nature of the topic, the research within EXAIGON will be driven by use cases (including datasets, models, and expert knowledge) provided by seven industry collaborators: DNB, DNV GL, Embron, Equinor, Kongsberg, Telenor and TrønderEnergi. The main focus areas are supervised learning, deep reinforcement learning, deep Bayesian networks and human-machine co-behaviour.

The position reports to Prof John Krogstie (Head of the Computer Science Department

Main duties and responsibilities

  • Take an active role in the EXAIGON project, both towards the industrial collaborators and academic staff
  • Be on top of research trends and developments in XAI
  • Produce high-level research contributions in XAI, and also disseminate such results outside the scientific community
  • Teaching duties can be part of the position if desired

Qualification requirements

Postdoctoral fellow:

A postdoctoral research fellowships is a qualification position in which the main objective is qualification for work in academic positions. Completion of a Norwegian doctoral degree in [subject area] or corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree is required.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, postdoctor and research assistant

The candidate should have the following qualifications:

  • Strong background in artificial intelligence or machine learning documented by publications in the field
  • Significant experiences in communication of research/outreach
  • Strong knowledge in explainable AI, documented through either publications or outreach activities
  • Excellent written and oral Norwegian language skills are a plus but not a strict requirement
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively

The following qualifications will be considered as an advantage:

  • Experience with interdisciplinary research
  • Experience from working in industry as well as an extended industrial network (e.g. documented through participation industrial events)
  • Experience from teaching and supervising students from MSc or PhD level

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

Personal characteristics

  • Curious
  • Team player
  • Goal focused
  • Persistent

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement

We offer

Salary and conditions

Postdoctoral candidates are remunerated in code 1352, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 523 200 per year. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund. The period of employment is 3 to 4 years.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criterias in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

General information

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. Under the Freedom of Information Act (offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

The national labour force must reflect the composition of the population to the greatest possible extent, NTNU wants to increase the proportion of women in its scientific posts. Women are encouraged to apply. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life ( Having a population of 200 000, Trondheim is a small city by international standards with low crime rates and little pollution. It also has easy access to a beautiful countryside with mountains and a dramatic coastline.

Questions about the position can be directed to Kerstin Bach, +47 73 59 74 10, or Helge Langseth, +47 73 59 64 88,

About the application:

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

The application must contain:

  • Curriculum vitae (CV) with information about the candidate’s prior training, exams, and work experience
  • Certified copies of transcripts and diplomas
  • Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement or a similar describes in detail the study and grading system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree
  • Research statement (max. 3 pages) including
    • A short presentation of the motivation for the position
    • How the applicant sees his/her background suitable
    • The applicant’s view of research challenges within the area of the position
    • How the competence of the applicant can contribute to solving these challenges
  • Names and contact information of at least 2 reference persons

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI):

Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number 2020/572 when applying.

Application deadline: 03.02.2020

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Computer Science 

We are the leading academic IT environment in Norway, and offer a wide range of theoretical and applied IT programmes of study at all levels. Our subject areas include hardware, algorithms, visual computing, AI, databases, software engineering, information systems, learning technology, HCI, CSCW, IT operations and applied data processing. The Department has groups in both Trondheim and Gjøvik. The Department of Computer Science is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering .

Deadline 3rd February 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Trondheim

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