Job ID: 85571

4-year PhD in machine learning-based sequencing of human behavior

Position: Ph.D. Student

Deadline: 15 August 2022

City: Bonn

Country: Germany

Institution: University of Bonn

Department: Hertz Chair for Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience


The Hertz Chair for Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience at University of Bonn seeks applications for a funded 4-year PhD, in ML-based action sequencing. Both positions will be based at University of Bonn under the supervision of Prof Dominik Bach and Prof Jürgen Gall. The position is situated within a project funded by the European Research Council: “Action selection under threat – the complex control of human defense” and an NRW-funded network for cross-species investigation of behavioural structure (iBehave).

The purpose of the position is to use unsupervised machine-learning methods to decompose human naturalistic behaviour into its components and smallest motifs, and to understand their (hierarchical) transition structure and internal temporal profile. We elicit naturalistic behaviour in an immersive virtual reality (VR) environment, in which people can move to avoid various threats. The positions will focus on analysing and structuring a large corpus of existing human movement data obtained from VR trackers, optical cameras, and motion capture systems (e.g., body position and orientation, trajectories, and velocities). Project collaborators at the Institute of Computer Science, University College London, Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tubingen, and University of Tubingen, provide expertise and supervision opportunities. Depending on background, PhD candidates can either enrol in a graduate school in neuroscience, or pursue a doctorate in computer science.

We offer generous funding and support travel to conferences or advanced courses. PhD students will participate in international summer schools, seminars and workshops.

Requirements: Successful applicants should have, or expect to get, an excellent MSc degree (or equivalent) in computer science, engineering, physics, mathematics, computational biology, or similar. Some background in machine-learning and programming is required.

Deadline: 15 August 2022. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed online in September 2022.

HOW TO APPLY. Please send in one PDF, your CV, a statement of why you want to do this postdoc/PhD (no more than 1 page), and a copy of your strongest piece of academic work (e.g., thesis, publication). Please provide the name of two referees who can send us reference letters upon request. All documents and references should be sent to by 15 August 2022 at midnight. Enquiries about the project can be directed to