PhD position (Machine Learning & Organizational Behavior) at the Open University, Netherlands

Center for Actionable Research, Open University (Heerlen, Netherlands)
PhD Position
Deadline: 3 January 2021

Open fully-financed PhD position in relation to a grant on “Detection and reduction of interpersonal stress in the workplace using artificial intelligence.” The position at the Center for Actionable Research of the Open University (CAROU) lies at the intersection of Machine Learning and Organizational Behavior with a focus on identifying interpersonal stressors from voice-to-voice service interactions, and developing and testing actionable intervention strategies to improve service employee well-being with the help of Artificial Intelligence.

The Center for Actionable Research of the Open University (CAROU) is a multidisciplinary research center of the OU uniting diverse domains such as Computer Science, Information Systems, Psychology, and Management. CAROU is committed to excellence in actionable research with an emphasis on interregional industry collaborations. CAROU faculty publish regularly in top international refereed academic outlets.

We are looking for a candidate interested in conducting interdisciplinary PhD-level research on identifying interpersonal stressors from voice in human interactions. Specifically, the candidate will refine and validate a respective model developed by Bromuri, Henkel, Iren, and Urovi (2020) and develop and test intervention strategies with the psychological well-being of (service) employees at the center.

The PhD student will get all the means and support to engage in innovative actionable research projects with high potential to make an impact and get published in leading international peer-reviewed journals. The PhD student will be supervised by Dr. Alexander P. HENKEL (Department of Organization) and Dr. Stefano BROMURI (Department of Computer Science). Promotor: Prof. Dr. Marko VAN EEKELEN.

– You hold a Master of Science degree (or be close to completion) in a relevant field (e.g., Machine Learning, Business, Psychology) with a background in Machine Learning, including building neural network architectures, and a pronounced interest in applying it in organizational settings;
– You know Python and have experience with Keras or PyTorch. Knowledge of Java, C++ and Javascript and the possession of signal processing skills are a plus;
– You have a commitment to research excellence;
– You are excited about studying phenomena in a professional real-world environment and to show openness and commitment to collaborate closely with our industry partner DHL during this project. Prior industry exposure is a plus;
– You are fluent in English. Working knowledge of Dutch is a plus.

Employment Conditions
Fixed-term contract: appointed for a period of 12 months. The appointment will be extended to four years when progress and performance are good. The salary is € 2.395,- gross per month in the first year for a full time appointment. The Open University of the Netherlands provides competitive secondary benefits such as training, mobility, part-time employment and paid parental leave.

The Open University

Studying anywhere in the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders)
The Open University of the Netherlands (OU) is the university in the Netherlands where students study part-time and follow online and activating education in bachelor and master degree programs in seven fields of study. Characteristics of the education are openness, flexibility and quality. Enhancing the study success of students is an important point of focus. More than 15.000 students are studying at the OU and it has nearly 700 employees. The OU has a network of regional study centers in the Netherlands and in Belgium (Flanders). The head office is situated in Heerlen.

State of the art technologies and educational insights are applied in bachelor and master programs and courses as well as in projects and programs with partners. Both nationally and internationally the OU plays a key role in the innovation of higher education. Education and research are closely interrelated which guarantees that the current state of science is applied in education. The OU invests in research in the various academic disciplines, as well as in research in the field of learning, teaching and technology.

Top rankings
For several consecutive years, the OU has achieved top positions in the lists of the fourteen Dutch universities in the National Students’ Survey, the Dutch university guide ‘Keuzegids Universiteiten’ (in which the ratings by students and experts of the bachelor studies of the fourteen universities are compared), and the Dutch university guide ‘Keuzegids Masters’. In addition, all study programs rank highly in the study-specific rankings of the universities.

Multidisciplinary research program ‘Innovating for Resilience
Beyond traditional disciplinary research, the OU features a multidisciplinary program on Innovating for Resilience that is spanning the boundaries of diverse fields along three main research lines:
– Safety and Resilience in Urban Environments. Safety is a hot topic. Especially in places where many people live, work, live and stay. Places like our cities. Safety is regularly cornered there. Think of attacks, shootings, robberies and other forms of crime and violence, accidents, fires, collapsing buildings and the like.
– Learning and Innovation in Resilient Systems. This line integrates the fields of management science, natural sciences and computer science around the theme of resilient systems. The main goal of the research is to increase our understanding of the innovative and learning capabilities of resilient systems, with a focus on information and computing systems, organizational and management systems, and finally environmental systems.
– Innovation in Education. Education that is sustainable for the future. A resilient society demands education that responds to the rapidly changing technologies and new skills expected on the job market. Moreover, education must not only pursue knowledge goals, but also social cohesion and world citizenship. Innovative education can help learners achieve these goals.

For more information about this vacancy you can contact: Dr. Alexander Henkel, Assistant Professor. Additional information (e.g. application procedure) about the job offer can be found here.