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PhD Position in Complex Systems

Advisors: Anil Yaman, Eliseo Ferrante

Computational Intelligence Group, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

A fully funded PhD position (four years) is available at the Computational Intelligence Group (, VU Amsterdam, focusing on self-organization in complex systems. The project aims to study the principles of self-organization in diverse collective systems such as, biological models of neural networks, swarms of animals, and application/demonstration of this property in artificial intelligence (e.g. new learning property in neural networks and/or collective robotics), starting from synthetic ones that can be simulated. Understanding this property and the mechanisms that allow its emergence is highly relevant to many scientific fields that involve collective systems such as: neuroscience (collection of neurons), human/animal societies (biology, anthropology) and social networks (social sciences). Overall, the results are likely to have a high impact in multiple scientific and engineering fields, and provide the possibility of publishing in top-tier interdisciplinary journals.

Candidate profile: we invite candidates with a strong background in computer science, artificial intelligence or computational sciences (neuroscience, physics and social sciences) to apply by emailing (a.yaman [at] with attached CV and transcript. For questions please also contact the same email address.

The position will be filled as soon as an ideal candidate is found. Starting date is negotiable, but we expect to start this project around Sep 2023 or earlier. 

Research in the Computational Intelligence Group

The Computational Intelligence Group is specialized in the nature-inspired computational methods where fundamental research questions concern how to design, use, and understand intelligent systems consisting of autonomous agents that can self-organise, evolve, and learn. In particular, we work in evolutionary computing, machine learning and complex systems for optimization, modeling, robotics and sensory data processing.  The group hosts researchers, PhD and master’s students with diverse background, and is connected to a large collaborative network of researchers all around the world.


Other relevant information

Amsterdam is one of the well-connected hubs in Europe with a population of 1.1 million. It is a vibrant city with a diverse international community. It offers lots of interesting and historical places such as museums, exhibitions, restaurants and social life.

The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU, is a public research university in Amsterdam. It ranks among the top 150 universities in the world. Its campus is located in the south of Amsterdam next to the Zuidas business district. For virtual tour, see

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