Postdoc Researcher Position in Large Language Models and Robot Learning

Have you recently completed or are close to completion of your PhD? You have experience in areas such as Large Language Models, Representation Learning, Reinforcement Learning or Robotics?

Your function

We are looking for a Postdoc with experience in Reinforcement Learning, Large Language Models or Robot Learning for our NWO-funded project “TeNet: Text-to-Network for Fast and Energy-Efficient Robot Control”. This project considers the use of embeddings and Large Language Models for the fast and energy-efficient generation of neural networks for robot control.

Your task will be to develop and evaluate a new LLM-driven approach for fast reinforcement learning with natural language instructions for application to continuous control and robotic tasks. This project includes a collaboration with Finnish AI researchers in Helsinki (Finnish Center for AI & Aalto University), for which we provide travel funds for a 1-2 month research stay, with the option of a secondment to extend the duration of this position.

Please note the short runtime of this High-Gain/High-Risk project (1 year). A successful candidate will receive help and support for securing follow-up funding (eg Veni/NWO XS grants etc) or for moving to the next career stage. Hybrid working or a joint/visiting position is possible. At 0.7 FTE the position is offered for 1 year, a higher FTE employment is possible but shortens the time of employment.

Your profile

  • You have completed or are close to completion (about to submit/defend) of your PhD in Computer Science, Machine Learning, Robotics or a related field;
  • Strong background in Deep Learning, Reinforcement Learning, and/or Robot Learning;
  • Experience with Large Language Models an their use in robotics is beneficial;
  • You possess good skills in Python programming;
  • Have strong oral and written communication skills in English;
  • Publication in target conferences such as ICML, NeurIPS, CoRL, IROS, ICRA, ICLR, R:SS or similar conferences/journals.

As a university, we strive for equal opportunities for all, recognising that diversity takes many forms. We believe that diversity in all its complexity is invaluable for the quality of our teaching, research and service. We are always looking for talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences. This also means that we are committed to creating an inclusive community so that we can use diversity as an asset.

We realise that each individual brings a unique set of skills, expertise and mindset. Therefore we are happy to invite anyone who recognises themselves in the profile to apply, even if you do not meet all the requirements.

What do we offer?

A challenging position in a socially engaged organisation. At VU Amsterdam, you contribute to education, research and service for a better world. And that is valuable. So in return for your efforts, we offer you:

  • a salary of minimum € 3.226,00 (Scale 10) and maximum € 5.090,00 (Scale 10) gross per month, on a full-time basis. This is based on UFO profile Researcher 4. The exact salary depends on your education and experience.
  • a position for at least 0.7 FTE. Your employment contract will initially last 1 year.   

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and regulations. Some examples:

  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata;
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • solid pension scheme (ABP);
  • contribution to commuting expenses;
  • the possibility to work partly from home.

About us

About the project
This project will be supervised by Dr. Kevin Sebastian Luck  who is an Assistant Professors in the Department of Computer Science in the area of computational intelligence and robot learning. You will have access to the robotics lab with various robotics platforms and hardware, such as an Optitrack system, unitree quadruped robot, Franka robot arm and various small robot platforms.

Faculty of Science
Researchers and students at VU Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science tackle fundamental and complex scientific problems to help pave the way for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, and from molecules to the moon: we cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. Our teaching and research have a strong experimentally technical, computational and interdisciplinary nature.

We work on new solutions guided by value-driven, interdisciplinary methodologies. We are committed to research, valorisation and training socially engaged citizens of the world who will make valuable contributions to a sustainable, healthy future.

Are you interested in joining the Faculty of Science? You will join undergraduate students, PhD candidates and researchers at the biggest sciences faculty in the Netherlands. You will combine a professional focus with a broad view of the world. We are proud of our collegial working climate, characterised by committed staff, a pragmatic attitude and engagement in the larger whole. The faculty is home to over 11,000 students enrolled in 40 study programmes. It employs over 1,600 professionals spread across 10 academic departments.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam stands for values-driven education and research. We are open-minded experts with the ability to think freely. - a broader mind. Maintaining an entrepreneurial perspective and concentrating on diversity, significance and humanity, we work on sustainable solutions with social impact. By joining forces, across the boundaries of disciplines, we work towards a better world for people and planet. Together we create a safe and respectful working and study climate, and an inspiring environment for education and research. Learn more about our codes of conduct

We are located on one physical campus, in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas business district, with excellent location and accessibility.  Over 6,150 staff work at the VU and over 31,000 students attend academic education.

Diversity
Diversity is the driving force of the VU. The VU wants to be accessible and receptive to diversity in disciplines, cultures, ideas, nationalities, beliefs, preferences and worldviews. We believe that trust, respect, interest and differences lead to new insights and innovation, to sharpness and clarity, to excellence and a broader understanding.

We stand for an inclusive community and believe that diversity and internationalisation contribute to the quality of education, research and our services.

Therefore, we are always searching for people whose backgrounds and experience contribute to the diversity of the VU community.

Interested

Are you interested in this position and do you believe that your experience will contribute to the further development of our university? In that case, we encourage you to submit your application and upload the following content:

  • a cover letter (1-2 pages, statement of motivation and research interests)
  • your curriculum vitae /CV
  • recent transcript
  • sample of your academic work (ie Publication or similar)

We reserve the right to talk to candidates and fill the position before the deadline. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position has been filled. Submitting a diploma and a reference check are part of the application process.

Applications received by e-mail will not be considered.

Acquisition in response to this advertisement is not appreciated.

Your function

We are looking for a Postdoc with experience in Reinforcement Learning, Large Language Models or Robot Learning for our NWO-funded project “TeNet: Text-to-Network for Fast and Energy-Efficient Robot Control”. This project considers the use of embeddings and Large Language Models for the fast and energy-efficient generation of neural networks for robot control.

Your task will be to develop and evaluate a new LLM-driven approach for fast reinforcement learning with natural language instructions for application to continuous control and robotic tasks. This project includes a collaboration with Finnish AI researchers in Helsinki (Finnish Center for AI & Aalto University), for which we provide travel funds for a 1-2 month research stay, with the option of a secondment to extend the duration of this position.

Please note the short runtime of this High-Gain/High-Risk project (1 year). A successful candidate will receive help and support for securing follow-up funding (eg Veni/NWO XS grants etc) or for moving to the next career stage. Hybrid working or a joint/visiting position is possible. At 0.7 FTE the position is offered for 1 year, a higher FTE employment is possible but shortens the time of employment.

Your profile

  • You have completed or are close to completion (about to submit/defend) of your PhD in Computer Science, Machine Learning, Robotics or a related field;
  • Strong background in Deep Learning, Reinforcement Learning, and/or Robot Learning;
  • Experience with Large Language Models an their use in robotics is beneficial;
  • You possess good skills in Python programming;
  • Have strong oral and written communication skills in English;
  • Publication in target conferences such as ICML, NeurIPS, CoRL, IROS, ICRA, ICLR, R:SS or similar conferences/journals.

As a university, we strive for equal opportunities for all, recognising that diversity takes many forms. We believe that diversity in all its complexity is invaluable for the quality of our teaching, research and service. We are always looking for talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences. This also means that we are committed to creating an inclusive community so that we can use diversity as an asset.

We realise that each individual brings a unique set of skills, expertise and mindset. Therefore we are happy to invite anyone who recognises themselves in the profile to apply, even if you do not meet all the requirements.

What do we offer?

A challenging position in a socially engaged organisation. At VU Amsterdam, you contribute to education, research and service for a better world. And that is valuable. So in return for your efforts, we offer you:

  • a salary of minimum € 3.226,00 (Scale 10) and maximum € 5.090,00 (Scale 10) gross per month, on a full-time basis. This is based on UFO profile Researcher 4. The exact salary depends on your education and experience.
  • a position for at least 0.7 FTE. Your employment contract will initially last 1 year.   

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and regulations. Some examples:

  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata;
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • solid pension scheme (ABP);
  • contribution to commuting expenses;
  • the possibility to work partly from home.

About us

About the project
This project will be supervised by Dr. Kevin Sebastian Luck  who is an Assistant Professors in the Department of Computer Science in the area of computational intelligence and robot learning. You will have access to the robotics lab with various robotics platforms and hardware, such as an Optitrack system, unitree quadruped robot, Franka robot arm and various small robot platforms.

Faculty of Science
Researchers and students at VU Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science tackle fundamental and complex scientific problems to help pave the way for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, and from molecules to the moon: we cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. Our teaching and research have a strong experimentally technical, computational and interdisciplinary nature.

We work on new solutions guided by value-driven, interdisciplinary methodologies. We are committed to research, valorisation and training socially engaged citizens of the world who will make valuable contributions to a sustainable, healthy future.

Are you interested in joining the Faculty of Science? You will join undergraduate students, PhD candidates and researchers at the biggest sciences faculty in the Netherlands. You will combine a professional focus with a broad view of the world. We are proud of our collegial working climate, characterised by committed staff, a pragmatic attitude and engagement in the larger whole. The faculty is home to over 11,000 students enrolled in 40 study programmes. It employs over 1,600 professionals spread across 10 academic departments.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam stands for values-driven education and research. We are open-minded experts with the ability to think freely. - a broader mind. Maintaining an entrepreneurial perspective and concentrating on diversity, significance and humanity, we work on sustainable solutions with social impact. By joining forces, across the boundaries of disciplines, we work towards a better world for people and planet. Together we create a safe and respectful working and study climate, and an inspiring environment for education and research. Learn more about our codes of conduct

We are located on one physical campus, in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas business district, with excellent location and accessibility.  Over 6,150 staff work at the VU and over 31,000 students attend academic education.

Diversity
Diversity is the driving force of the VU. The VU wants to be accessible and receptive to diversity in disciplines, cultures, ideas, nationalities, beliefs, preferences and worldviews. We believe that trust, respect, interest and differences lead to new insights and innovation, to sharpness and clarity, to excellence and a broader understanding.

We stand for an inclusive community and believe that diversity and internationalisation contribute to the quality of education, research and our services.

Therefore, we are always searching for people whose backgrounds and experience contribute to the diversity of the VU community.

Questions about the vacancy?

Please contact

Kevin Luck

Assistant Professor

Interested

Are you interested in this position and do you believe that your experience will contribute to the further development of our university? In that case, we encourage you to submit your application and upload the following content:

  • a cover letter (1-2 pages, statement of motivation and research interests)
  • your curriculum vitae /CV
  • recent transcript
  • sample of your academic work (ie Publication or similar)

We reserve the right to talk to candidates and fill the position before the deadline. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position has been filled. Submitting a diploma and a reference check are part of the application process.

Applications received by e-mail will not be considered.

Acquisition in response to this advertisement is not appreciated.

Questions about the vacancy?

Please contact

Kevin Luck

Assistant Professor

Application procedure

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