Post-Doctoral Associate in the Division of Science, Social Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
02 Jun 2023
End of advertisement period
02 Jul 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time


The Social Machines and Robotics (SMART) Lab at New York University Abu Dhabi focuses on the development of socially intelligent machines (computer applications, robots, Virtual Agents) that are capable of interacting and communicating in a natural way with humans, expressing through their figure a high degree of social intelligence, with a focus on applications in education and healthcare.

The SMART lab seeks to recruit a motivated and passionate postdoctoral associate to work under the supervision of Dr. Hanan Salam on the topics: 1) Computational models for human social behavior perception, 2) Social behavior generation for machines, 3) Application of Artificial Social Intelligence for healthcare or education. The researcher will work on the development of new approaches in areas:

  • Personalized models for human social behavior perception by machines;
  • Multimodal machine learning approaches for social and affective computing tasks;
  • Bias detection and mitigation in social and affective computing tasks;
  • Social machines and robots as tools for the diagnosis and therapy of individuals affected by neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. ADHD, Autism, Depression, Bipolar disorder, etc.).

Key Responsibilities:


  • Support the supervisor in developing and implementing the SMART lab research agenda;
  • Conduct high-quality and innovative research in the areas of focus of the lab;
  • Propose novel high-impact ideas based on gaps and limitations of the state-of-the-art (SOTA);
  • Design and implement experiments to compare proposed work with SOTA baselines;
  • Publish research findings in high-impact journals and conferences;
  • Communicate and present research findings at international academic conferences;
  • Create, maintain, and document high-quality research code for reproducibility;
  • Assist the supervisor in the preparation of grant applications;
  • Co-supervise PhD students and undergraduate research assistants (as appropriate);
  • Collaborate with researchers internationally and locally on topics within the focus area of the lab.

Training & professional development*

  • Attend trainings and workshops for career development;
  • Actively participate in events and committees at NYU Abu Dhabi, such as the Postdoctoral Council Steering Committee;
  • Gain experience in applying for local research grants (subject to eligibility);
  • Transition to independence to pursue a career of choosing following the appointment.

The researcher will create a personalized training and development plan with the supervisor.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Currently has or is in the process of completing a PhD, MD/PhD, DPhil or equivalent terminal degree from a recognized institution (no more than 5 years since completing the doctoral degree);
  • Relevant research experience in at least one of the following: Social Robotics, human-robot interaction, human-computer interaction, Machine Learning, Affective Computing, Social Signal Processing, Computer Vision and speech processing, multimodal signals processing and fusion;
  • Proficient programming experience in Python and libraries (e.g., Pytorch, TensorFlow) with several years of practice;
  • First-author peer-reviewed published papers (or under review);
  • Excellent communication skills in English (oral and written communication)
  • Willingness and capacity to work in a multidisciplinary environment consisting of PhD-level scientists, graduate students and undergraduate students
  • Self-motivated with an ability to work independently and in a team to get the work done
  • Willingness to learn and confront new challenges.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Outstanding robotic programming skills and being familiar with frameworks such as ROS and/or YARP.
  •  Prior experience with social robotics, development of experimental setups, and experimental testing;
  • Deep knowledge of Deep Learning techniques and experience in  conducting experiments for training and evaluating deep neural networks.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and candidates will be considered until the position is filled. For consideration, applicants need to submit in PDF format:

  • Cover letter;
  • Curriculum Vitae with full publication list;
  • Research statement highlighting past and current research experience (1 page);
  • Research project (1 page) explaining how the candidate sees their research fit in the research axes of the lab. Note, Dr. Hanan does not supervise research outside of the scope of the lab research axes;
  • At least two letters of reference.

The appointment will be for two years, with the option to renew further depending on performance (in total not to exceed 5 years).

If you have any questions, please email Prof. Hanan Salam at        

The terms of employment are very competitive and the position provides salary higher than internationally competitive rates for Post-Doctoral positions, in addition to substantial benefits (generous housing, transportation and travel allowances, educational subsidies for children), together with full health insurance and retirement contributions. The UAE does not levy income tax.


NYU Abu Dhabi is a degree-granting research university with a fully integrated liberal arts and science undergraduate program in the Arts, Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Engineering. NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU New York, and NYU Shanghai, form the backbone of NYU’s global network university, an interconnected network of portal campuses and academic centers across six continents that enable seamless international mobility of students and faculty in their pursuit of academic and scholarly activity. This global university represents a transformative shift in higher education, one in which the intellectual and creative endeavors of academia are shaped and examined through an international and multicultural perspective. As a major intellectual hub at the crossroads of the Arab world, NYUAD serves as a center for scholarly thought, advanced research, knowledge creation, and sharing, through its academic, research, and creative activities.

UAE Nationals are encouraged to apply.


This position is not located in the United States. You must be willing to relocate to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Application Process

This institution is using Interfolio's Faculty Search to conduct this search. Applicants to this position receive a free Dossier account and can send all application materials, including confidential letters of recommendation, free of charge.

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NYU is an equal opportunity employer committed to equity, diversity, and social inclusion.

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