Current vacancies

PhD position Council of Coaches 1: Smart Behavior Mining

The available position is at the Centre for Monitoring and Coaching, a newly established research and innovation unit that combines expertise from the fields of Healthcare Technology, Human-Computer Interaction and Psychology to develop monitoring and coaching technologies for the healthcare area. Specifically, you will be embedded into the Biomedical Signals and Systems group, focusing on neural engineering and telemedicine, and part of the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.

Job description

Do you want to put your talents at work to develop a new coaching concept? Do you want to work on an innovative project in an international environment? Are you excellent in what you do and do you have strong social skills?

Come and apply for one of three PhD positions available on Multi-Party Virtual Coaching! 

In the context of the European Horizon-2020 project Council of Coaches, the University of Twente and Roessingh Research and Development are looking for three highly motivated PhD candidates to help shape the future of virtual coaching technologies in the healthcare domain. Two positions are available at the University of Twente, and one at Roessingh Research and Development (details inside).

You will be working in a highly interdisciplinary and international research project – Council of Coaches. The project is an international collaboration between Universities and companies from the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Spain and France. The project introduces a radically new virtual coaching concept based on multiple autonomous, embodied virtual coaches, which form together a personal council that coaches older adults towards a healthy lifestyle. Each coach has his own expertise, personality and style of coaching; they might not always agree with each other, but they all share a single goal: to support the user across every aspect of well-being, including physical, social, cognitive and mental support.

The project thus aims to develop a tool in which virtual embodied coaches form a team of experts that can discuss amongst themselves and with the user how the user could improve his healthy lifestyle behaviors. The project combines state of the art 3D Virtual Avatars with language and reasoning technology and applies this to the area of lifestyle and behavior change coaching. 


The three available PhD positions focus on three distinct, but aligned sub-tasks of the project:

  • Position #1: Smart Behavior Mining (University of Twente)
  • Position #2: Human-Computer Interfaces (University of Twente)
  • Position #3: Coaching Strategies and Knowledge Base (Roessingh Research and Development)

Position #1: Smart Behavior Mining

This PhD position will focus on the intelligent sensing, modelling and analysis of the user’s physical, emotional, cognitive and social behavior to nurture the dialogs, arguments and interactions with the virtual coaches. Behaviors will be derived from the user interaction with wearable and mobile devices, e.g., activity detection, mobility tracking, speech processing or facial expression recognition. Behavioral data will be mined over time to discover relevant patterns and to automatically detect behavior changes demanding a prompt or preventive intervention from the coach(es).

Your profile

You are highly motivated to work in human behaviour modelling from multimodal sensor data. You have a sound theoretical background in statistics, data mining and/or machine learning with a MSc degree in Machine Learning, Data Science or similar.

We welcome ambitious candidates with strong experience with statistical and data analysis software (MATLAB, R and/or Python). Experience with mobile/wearable sensing and automatic behaviour recognition is a plus. Good communication skills, a strong desire and capacity to work in teams, and fluency in English are also required. As a PhD researcher you are highly responsible, capable of planning and executing your work individually when required.

For more information

Centre for Monitoring and Coaching:

Biomedical Signals and Systems Group:

University of Twente:

Contact Oresti Banos:

Write your motivation letter, clearly indicating which of the two positions at the UT you are applying for before July 24th. 2017. Attach your CV and upload your application.

Our offer

A challenging opportunity to perform PhD research in the context of a highly ambitious EU-funded project. We offer a 4-year full-time position as a PhD candidate appointed at the University of Twente (UT), with a qualifier after 1 year.  In accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) the gross monthly salary ranges from €2.222,- in the first year to €2.840,- in the fourth year. Additionally, the University of Twente provides excellent facilities for professional and personal development, a holiday allowance and an end-of-year bonus, and a number of additional benefits.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which drives change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university in the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. The University of Twente has a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out pioneering research.

The faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) comprises three disciplines that shape Information and Communication Technology. ICT is more than communication. In almost every product we use mathematics, electronics and computer technology and ICT now contributes to all of societies' activities. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. The research which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes MESA+, CTIT and MIRA.

PhD position Council of Coaches 1: Smart Behavior Mining
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