The Exploratory Search and Personalisation (ESP) (https://glowacka.org/) group from the Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki is seeking a PhD candidate in the area of Interactive Information Retrieval, Human-Computer Interaction or applied Machine Learning. We use reinforcement learning and other machine learning techniques to develop interactive information retrieval systems for exploratory search. Much of our past work has focused on scientific literature search, but we are broadly interested in how people use AI-based systems to learn and discover information.

We are looking for a student with a background in Human-Computer Interaction, Information Retrieval, Information Science, Psychology or Computer Science. We are especially seeking candidates with the following research focus:

– Human-AI Interaction

– Exploratory search (systems, user modelling, evaluation)

– Evaluation of interactive systems

– Interactive Information Retrieva

– Applied Machine Learning

The position is full-time and funded for three years in the first instance. For a doctoral student, the starting salary is 2200–2700 euros/month, depending on previous qualifications and experience. The ideal starting data would be September 2019 but an earlier or later date can be negotiable.


University of Helsinki


The work involves research-related activities including conducting empirical research involving user studies, data analysis, writing research articles, participating in and presenting research at academic conferences, and teaching-related activities.

Ideal candidates should be able to program well enough to perform their own data analysis, be familiar with basic statistics and have demonstrated experience in designing and conducting user studies. Candidate should have experience with, or be willing to learn, the following:

– Prior experience designing and conducting user studies

– Data analysis (programming in either R or Python, graphing, visualisation)

– Experience with statistics

– Excellent communication skills in English (spoken and written)

– Good collaboration skills

The following would be considered a bonus:

– Familiarity with machine learning

– Experience developing web-based interfaces (e.g. with AngularJS or similar)

– Prior publishing experience

Candidates should have an MSc in one of the following fields: computer science, communications, information science, machine learning, applied psychology, human-computer interaction or other relevant subject by the time of the start date.

Applicants who do not currently hold a doctoral student status in the Doctoral Programme in Computer Science at the University of Helsinki are also eligible to apply but in the event of hiring they are expected to acquire the status during the standard 6-month probationary period.

Educational level:

Master Degree

How to apply:

Please mention NLP People as a source when applying

Please submit as a single pdf file:

• application letter describing motivation and research interests
• CV with publications
• two reference letters and/or contact details of two potential referees who agreed to provide letters of recommendation

Please submit your application through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System:


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