PhD student, AI for good, Crowdsourced Data Science for Responsible Production
Amsterdam Business School

PhD student, AI for good: Crowdsourced Data Science for Responsible Production

Publication date 30 October 2019
Closing date 1 December 2019
Level of education Master's degree
Hours 38 hours per week
Salary indication €2,325 to €2,972 gross per month
Vacancy number



The Amsterdam Business School (ABS) is one of the two schools of the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Economics and Business. The school’s core subjects are Corporate Governance, Entrepreneurship, and Big Data / Business Analytics. The ABS has almost 3,000 students and the equivalent of 120 full-time academic staff. This faculty is divided among six sections (Accounting, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Finance, Leadership & Management, International Strategy & Marketing, and Operations Management) that conduct top-level research published in prestigious international journals.

The International Strategy & Marketing section and the Data Science for Business Analytics chair are looking for a PhD candidate for an interdisciplinary project using computer science to design accountability innovations aiming to improve responsible production in developing countries with weak institutions. The technology will increase transparency, allowing stakeholders such as practitioners, civil society activists, and community organizers to raise attention to irresponsible production and labour violations, as well as highlight initiatives to promote responsible production and decent work. The project aims to promote stakeholder dialogue to promote businesses accountability for remedies, and justice for vulnerable individuals and communities impacted by business supply chains in Africa. This project will be undertaken in close collaboration with the Computer Science Department of the VU Amsterdam, specifically, the focus on AI for good / ICT for development (ICT4D).

Job description

Are you the excellent AI, data science, or computer science student that wants to pursue AI for good? Do you want to develop innovative techniques that can make a real change in society? If the answer is yes than this is the position for you. In the CARPA project you will extend a mobile app to crowdsource data in targeted countries in Africa. You will then research and develop data science techniques (machine learning, predictive modeling, information visualization, interactive learning) to improve data quality, analyze this data and make it available through a web based application. Relevant research questions include the following:

  1. Whether technology-based accountability innovations can improve corporate governance and sustainable corporate behavior in states with weak institutions?
  2. How to optimize the user experience to ensure uptake of the App and website by interested stakeholders and how best to ensure the quality, quantity, and reliability of crowdsourcing contributions?
  3. How to contextualize this information in an automatic manner, and how to provide access to this data in a way that supports deep understanding of the results and serendipitous findings?

Successful candidates will present their research findings at prestigious computer science and management science conferences and publish in top-tier journals.


  • A Master’s degree in the area of computer science, data science, artificial intelligence, information technology, business analytics or a related discipline;
  • excellent grades and a strong interest in applied and quantitative research methods;
  • motivation to build socially relevant computer science applications (AI for good / ICT for development);
  • well-developed analytical skills, strong organization and communication skills, an entrepreneurial mind set, and perseverance;
  • the ability to work independently and to be proactive in developing the research project;
  • good programming skills in e.g. Python and Javascript, experience in developing apps and web based solutions;
  • mastery of both written and spoken English. Working knowledge of French is helpful.

Position entails possibility to travel to workshops in South Africa, Mali, Rwanda and/or Democratic Republic of Congo.

Further information

Further information may be obtained from:


We offer a challenging job with ample opportunity for personal development in an attractive international work environment. ABS is a growing, research driven business school at an internationally recognized university that has the ambition to become a leading international player in the field of management research and education. ABS is located in the heart of Amsterdam, the cultural and financial capital of the Netherlands. Amsterdam offers a cosmopolitan living environment with excellent connections to the rest of the world.

You will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months with a possibility to extend it for another 2,5 years, pending positive evaluation. As part of your contract, you will spend 20% of your time on teaching. You will be classified as PhD candidate (promovendus) in the Dutch University job-ranking system (UFO), providing a gross monthly starting salary of €2.325 in the first year (which increases to €2.972 in the final year) with an additional end-of-year bonus (8.3%) and holiday allowance (8%), in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities.

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Applicants should send a letter of application accompanied by a curriculum vitae and names of references. In addition, applicants should include a copy of their Master thesis. Applicants that are currently studying for a Master degree should include a short description of their Master thesis project (max. 2 pages) and a copy of their Bachelor thesis. Please include the job reference number.

The closing date is 1 December 2019. You may apply electronically by clicking on the link below. We cannot process applications if they are not send through that link. #LI-DNP     

No agencies please



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