Vacancy Expert in artificial intelligence and machine learning

Do you want to work in a challenging and innovative environment? Would you like to contribute to spotting, exploring and working on innovations in artificial intelligence, particularly in the field of machine learning? If so, we welcome you to join the SURF innovation team.

We are looking for an expert who combines hands-on technical expertise with skills to engage with the AI community in the Netherlands and to participate in (national and international) projects.

  • Educational background: academic
  • Location: Utrecht (with expected travel to Amsterdam)
  • Employment: 32-40 hours/week
  • Closing date: 25 February 2021

What does the position entail?

This position engages with both current AI initiatives in the Netherlands, as well as with specific researchers, research teams and research communities. You will collaborate with researchers who make use of the national ICT-infrastructure for scientific research including both large computing facilities as well as data storage and sharing facilities. You will join our activities in an increasingly important area of expertise for SURF: the area of artificial intelligence and machine learning. This covers both providing expertise and hands-on support to current users, as well as exploring innovative approaches in this field. You will also participate in national and international projects in artificial intelligence and machine learning, with the main question: how will SURF be able to apply new technology and collaborations (now and in future) to enable our users to conduct world-class research and/or deliver world-class education.

Your tasks

  • To participate in a number of national and international projects in the field of artificial intelligence;
  • To support the community at large, spotting collaboration opportunities, contributing to collaboration proposals and possibly managing and/or contributing to resulting projects in the AI field;
  • To be involved in national and international (EC) projects which require hands-on experience on machine learning on large computing systems;
  • To enable academia and private parties to benefit from our computing and data infrastructures;
  • To contribute to researching new data driven methods for large scale analysis;
  • To (co)develop new algorithms with our partners and members;
  • To educate our users;
  • To disseminate our acquired expertise to the scientific community and participating in courses, webinars, and public talks.

You will be become member of the Innovation department core team as an advisor and collaborate with the innovation managers on technology and research (possibly education too) and with AI advisors who are in the SURF service delivery department on Research Services and Research Development.

We are looking for

  • An academic level of thinking and working: (MSc/PhD level) in artificial intelligence, computer science, mathematics or other related fields. This can be equivalated by professional experience;
  • A scientific and/or practical background in machine learning, including the ability to apply your in-depth knowledge of the machine learning principles. Deep learning knowledge is an advantage;
  • Hands-on experience on large computing systems;
  • You can work well together, are communicative, easy to approach and you are able to write papers and/or proposals;
  • You are able to master new concepts and technologies very quickly and are able to look ahead;
  • You are analytically strong, pro-active, independent, curious and result-oriented and can work autonomously;
  • You have strong interest in the application of artificial intelligence to solve real problems;
  • Knowledge of parallel computer architectures and experience in relevant programming languages (e.g. Linux, Fortran/C, scripting, MPI). Knowledge of Python, (GP)GPU programming, CUDA and/or OpenCL languages is preferred;
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills;
  • Sensitivity for collaboration and business development opportunities;
  • Project management skills are preferred.

We offer

  • A diverse work environment, with many nationalities (working languages are English and Dutch);
  • A lot of freedom to take on technical challenges, to acquire and develop new knowledge and to experiment and innovate with new techniques;
  • An open environment in which collaboration with technology providers, researchers, (potential) users and with the operational units and community support within SURF is important;
  • An environment where own initiative is highly appreciated;
  • The opportunity to work with passionate professionals in innovative teams;
  • The opportunity to participate in national and international conferences;
  • You will be appointed a position (preferably of 40 hours/week);
  • Initially, the contract will be for a period of 1 year with the intention for an indefinite extension;
  • A position in the function family advice/consultancy, with a monthly salary between 3.535 and 5.802 euro;
  • 8% holiday allowance, a fixed year-end bonus of 8,3%;
  • 36 vacation days per year (based on a 40-hour work week);
  • Participation in the PNOMedia pension fund; ;
  • Free first-class public transport. A compensation for travel expenses that covers commuting up to 45 kilometers one way if executed by car.


Please send your motivation and cv by 25 February 2021 to for the attention of Peter Michielse. If you have questions about the vacancy, please contact Peter Michielse, at If you have questions about the application procedure, please contact Romanda Lebbink, at

An assessment may be part of the application procedure. You must be able to submit a Certificate of Good Conduct (Verklaring Omtrent Gedrag/VOG) during your first month of employment. Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

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