We received a €1.25m research grant from the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia that allows us to hire 3 PhD students, postdoctoral researchers or research fellows in the fields of Automated Machine Learning (AutoML), Automated Algorithm Selection and Configuration, Optimization, Meta-Learning, Neural Architecture Search, Federated Learning, Learning to Learn, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Information Retrieval, Recommender Systems, Few-Shot Learning or related fields. 

The positions will be based at the University of Siegen in Germany at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the new ‘Intelligent Systems’ research group of Joeran Beel (who is going to move from Trinity College Dublin to the University of Siegen soon). 

PhD students will be hired for around 4-5 years as employees of the University Siegen. They will be hired at the TVL13 scale (65%-100%) with a gross salary between €35k and €70k per annum (most PhD students would receive a salary between €38k-€56k).  This gross salary likely will translate to a monthly net income between €1,750 and €2,700 (potentially more if you are married) and includes good health insurance, pension, and unemployment insurance. Both Bachelor and Master students may apply. The expected start date is summer or winter 2020. 

Postdoctoral researchers will be hired for up to 5 years on the TVL-13 or TVL-14 scale, depending on experience. The maximum possible salary (TVL14, Point 6) would be €76k pa, though most postdoctoral researchers would likely earn between €48k and €65k including health insurance, pension, and unemployment insurance. The expected start date is summer or winter 2020.

Siegen, perfect for work, and after-work.

Whether you will be a PhD student or postdoctoral researcher, you will be very free in choosing your work. As long as your work relates to any of the above-mentioned areas, we will be glad to work with you. If you are a PhD student, we will discuss several of our project ideas with you, though if you have your own idea, we would love to hear about it, too. If you are a postdoctoral researcher, we would expect you to have your own project proposal and a clear vision of what you want to achieve.

We offer a great working atmosphere, large and bright office space as well as close supervision, yet, we leave you enough freedom to develop your creativity and pursue your own ideas. We will support you in publishing in high-impact venues throughout your PhD/PostDoc, and you will benefit from our international network and experience. Besides conducting research, you may join exciting industry projects, participate in our projects and business start-ups (e.g. Recommender-Systems.com, and Darwin & Goliath), or do your own business start-up. We are highly supportive, also financially, when it comes to research visits abroad e.g. at our partner institutes in Tokyo (The National Institute of Informatics). In addition, Germany offers an amazing funding landscape for research visits abroad and business start-ups.

Last but not least you will get all the resources that it takes to conduct world-class research. This includes a generous budget for equipment including your own GPU(s); a generous travel budget; potentially support through (paid) student workers; and access to the high-performance CPU/GPU cluster of the University of Siegen, consisting of

  • 434 nodes in the regular HPC partition, which are equipped with AMD CPUs of type EPYC 7452 and 256 GB of RAM each.
  • OpenStack and Kubernetes partitions (8 and 5 nodes respectively).
  • 2 SMP nodes, each with 4 Intel Xeon 5218 CPUs (Cascade Lake) and 1.5 TB RAM.
  • 10 GPU nodes with a total of 24 Nvidia GPUs type Tesla V100 (4×4, 2×2, 4×1 GPUs per node)
  • Storage capacity of 1 Petabyte of primary hard drive space with a burst buffer of SSDs (32 Terabytes) and 48 TB of Object Storage space. 

The University of Siegen ranks Top100 in the World’s Young Universities of the Times Higher World University Ranking. It has around 20,000 students across all disciplines and is located in the city of Siegen (100,000 pop.). Public transport is free for students and Siegen is surrounded by the ‘Siegerland’, one of Germany’s most beautiful areas for outdoor enthusiasts. You can go hiking, swimming, mountain biking, and just a few kilometers away you can go skiing in winter. Siegen offers everything you may need including excellent (Irish) pubs, theatres, shopping malls, and nightclubs as well as very good hospitals, schools, and child care if needed. Yet, life is surprisingly cheap in Siegen, and Germany in general. You may find a 1-bedroom apartment (40-60 sqm) for 400-650 Euros per month (incl. utilities). If you want to share an apartment think of 200 to 350 Euros for a room — per week month. Groceries (including alcohol) are among the cheapest in Europe and things like restaurants, electronics, transport, insurances & banking, child care, health care are also very reasonably priced. And if all that is not enough then it’s only an hour to get to Cologne, Germany’s best party city (right, Germany’s best party city is Cologne, not Berlin). Also, Düsseldorf, Bonn, and Frankfurt are close to Siegen.

A typical apartment in Siegen: A 2-room apartment (1 bed-room), 45m², balcony, good location, extra storage room (in the basement), and car park for €360 / month + utilities (approx. €140 incl. heating, excl. electricity).

There is no official job advertisement yet and all information provided here is subject to change. However, if you are interested in the position or have questions, contact Joeran Beel informally now and let us know the following details

  1. Your current employer/university: 
  2. Earliest/Prefered/Latest possible start date:
  3. Your experience in Machine Learning (in general):
  4. Your experience in Recommender Systems, NLP, and Information Retrieval (in general):
  5. Your experience in AutoML, algorithm selection, optimization, meta-learning, etc.:
  6. Industry Experience: 
  7. Have you already published? If yes, please provide details or e.g. a link to Google Scholar.:
  8. Any other publicly available projects, e.g. on GitHub or Blogs: 
  9. In what percentage do you rank among your graduation class/year (e.g. Top 1%; Top 5%; Top 20%; …): 
  10. Summary of your proposed research topic (optional for PhD students; Obligatory for PostDocs): 
  11. Why do you want to work in our group:

We will get back to you as soon as possible, and just in case you wonder: it is not necessary to speak German to work at the University of Siegen, but if you would like to learn German the University of Siegen offers great German language courses.


1 Comment

Piyush Mankad · 27th May 2020 at 22:26

Hello Professor,
I am currently a Masters Student at Trinity and am Interested in a PhD Position in machine learning and related fields. Whom should I contact regarding this at Universitat Siegen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *