Five pre-doctoral and two post-doctoral fellowships in the evolution of shared semantics in computational environments

Some readers may find the following of interest:

The ESSENCE (Evolution of Shared SEmaNtics in Computational Environments, Marie Curie Initial Training Network is offering five Early-Stage Researcher (pre-doctoral) and two Experienced Researcher (post-doctoral) positions, to start in February 2014. The application deadline for these posts is 15th December 2013.

This is a rare opportunity to be involved in a highly prestigious European training network for outstanding applicants in an emergent and important research area, led by internationally leading groups in their fields!

ESSENCE conducts research and provides research training in various aspects of translating human capabilities for negotiating meaning to open computational environments such as the web, multi-robot systems, and sensor networks. The network will support 15 pre- and post-doctoral fellows who will work toward a set of different research projects within this overall theme, ranging from symbol grounding and ontological reasoning to game-theoretic models of communication and crowdsourcing.

ESSENCE involves a top-quality consortium of internationally leading research
institutions which will act as hosts for the following projects in the current
recruitment round:

Early-Stage Researchers (36 months):
– Communication Planning (CISA, Informatics, The University of Edinburgh, UK)
– Concept Convergence: Argumentation and Agreement over Meaning (IIIA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain)
– The Social Construction of Conceptual Space (ILLC, Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
– Sociolinguistics and Network Games (ILLC, Universiteit van Amsterdam, The
– Open-ended Robot Interaction (AI Lab, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)

Early-Stage Researchers must, at the time of recruitment by the host organisation be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers, and not yet have a doctoral degree.

Experienced Researchers (24 months):
– The ESSENCE Platform: Architecture (CISA, Informatics, The University of Edinburgh, UK)
– The ESSENCE Challenge (Information Engineering and Computer Science, Universit‡ degli Studi di Trento, Italy)

Experienced Researchers must (at the time of recruitment by the host organisation) be in possession of a doctoral degree, or have at least four years of full-time equivalent research experience, and have less than five years of full-time equivalent research experience (including time spent on doctoral research).

For both categories, research experience is measured from the date when they obtained the degree which formally entitled them to embark on a doctorate.

All positions are very competitively remunerated (significantly above the respective average national salaries/studentships for pre- and post-doctoral positions)  and aimed at outstanding candidates. Please consult the individual descriptions of projects at for detailed salary information.

Researchers can be of any nationality, though at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. (Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account.)

The ESSENCE network aims to attract 40% females among the recruited researchers. Female applicants are explicitly encouraged to apply and treated preferentially whenever they are equally qualified as other male candidates. The ESSENCE network will encourage flexible working hours at each host institution and/or the opportunity to work part-time from home if necessary. ESSENCE will provide specific support for female researchers in terms of targeted training events and dedicated mentoring.

All applicants are asked to pre-apply at Please contact Dr Michael Rovatsos ( for informal enquiries.

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