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PhD position in Recognition of Non-Cooperative Behavior (1.0 FTE) (220269)

Job description

Why build AI systems which replace people if we can build AI systems that collaborate with people? Hybrid Intelligence is the combination of human and machine intelligence, expanding human intellect instead of replacing it. Our goal is to design Hybrid Intelligent systems, an approach to Artificial Intelligence that puts humans at the centre, changing the course of the ongoing AI revolution. The project will be recruiting 27 PhD or postdoc positions in total. For more information on the project see

In hybrid intelligent systems in which humans and agents interact together, it is important to be able to understand and detect non-cooperative behaviour such as lying and other forms of deception, both in people and in software agents. Cognitive scientists have shown that understanding the concept of lying and being able to maintain a lie over time requires second-order theory of mind: reasoning about what the other person (or agent) thinks you think. The same level of theory of mind is also required for detecting whether others are lying to you. In this PhD project we will:

  • investigate the logical and computational foundations of deception and deception detection in hybrid groups
  • lay the theoretical groundwork for modelling and analysing non-cooperative behaviour in several communicative contexts such as negotiation games and coalition formation games
  • develop principled methods for the design of software agents that can detect when other group members are engaged in non-cooperative behaviour such as lying
  • build agent-based models and/or computational cognitive models of deception and deception detection
  • use simulation experiments in order to predict the outcomes of lab experiments to be performed.

The objective of the temporary position is the production of a number of research articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and conference proceedings, which together will form the basis of a thesis leading to a PhD degree (Dr) at the University of Groningen.


The successful candidate should have/ be:

  • motivated to pursue fundamental and interdisciplinary research at the interface of multi-agent systems and computational cognitive science, with a keen interest
  • a master’s degree or equivalent in artificial intelligence, computer science, or computational cognitive science
  • good analytical skills and a positive attitude towards interdisciplinary work.


Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 32,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.

Within the Faculty of Science and Engineering, a 4-years PhD position is available in the Multi-Agent Systems group at the Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, with the topic of Recognition of non-cooperative behaviour. The position is in cooperation with the Interactive Intelligence group of Delft University of Technology and LIACS, Leiden University. The candidate would become an integral part of the Hybrid Intelligence Centre and will work under the supervision of Prof. Rineke Verbrugge (University of Groningen) and Prof. Catholijn Jonker (TU Delft and Leiden University).

Conditions of employment

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary of € 2,395 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,061 gross per month in the fourth and final year, based on a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% year-end bonus.

The position is limited to a period of 4 years. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, as well as the graduate programme of the Hybrid Intelligence project.

The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected.


Application should include:

• letter of motivation
• CV (including contact information for at least two academic references)
• transcripts from your bachelor’s and master’s degree.

The applications can be submitted until 1 September 2020, Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Applications received before 1 September 2020 will be given full consideration; however, the position will remain open until it is filled.

We are an equal opportunity employer that values diversity. We have adopted an active policy to increase the number of female scientists across all disciplines of the university. Therefore, women are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers,

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Hybrid Intelligence talent pool

If you want to be also considered for one of our other PhD positions, then also upload your documents to our Hybrid Intelligence talent pool at:

Your information will then be shared among the researchers in the consortium, and you may be approached for one of the other positions listed on


For information you can contact:

  • Prof. Rineke Verbrugge, L.C.Verbrugge

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.