Umeå University, Department of computing science

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest institutions of higher education with over 35,000 students and 4,200 faculty and staff. We are characterised by world-leading research in several scientific fields and a multitude of educations ranked highly in international comparison. Umeå University is also the site of the pioneering discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors - a revolution in genetic engineering that has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

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The research group Responsible Artificial Intelligence (RAI) at the Department of Computing Science at Umeå University is seeking outstanding candidates for a post-doctoral position in Computer Science with focus on formal verification of algorithmic decision-making systems. Deadline for application is May 15, 2021.

The Department of Computing Science is a dynamic environment with around 140 employees representing more than 20 countries worldwide. We conduct education and research on a broad range of topics in Computing Science. The department’s work on Artificial Intelligence has a strong international position, in particular on the topics of collaborative and responsible AI. In these areas, the focus of the RAI research group is on methods and tools for the design, analysis and verification of the ethical and societal impact of AI. Researchers collaborate with several national and international research groups, and have active links with industry and policy organisations. Visit for more information.

This project is financed by the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP), Sweden’s largest initiative for strategic basic research, education and faculty recruitment. The program is initiated and generously funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW) and program receives support from collaborating industry and from participating universities to form a total budget of 3.5 billion SEK. The vision of WASP is excellent research and competence in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and software for the benefit of Swedish industry. For more information about the research and other activities conducted within WASP please visit

Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP) is Sweden’s largest individual research program ever, a major national initiative for strategically motivated basic research, education and faculty recruitment. The program addresses research on artificial intelligence and autonomous systems acting in collaboration with humans, adapting to their environment through sensors, information and knowledge, and forming intelligent systems-of-systems. The vision of WASP is excellent research and competence in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and software for the benefit of Swedish industry. Read more:

Research project

Automated decision‐making (ADM) systems are increasingly extending and replacing human decisions in a large number of situations areas, with significant impacts on people’s lives and society. The responsible design and use of these systems requires methods and tools to support accountability and the verification of how decisions are aligned with human rights and democratic principles.
This project extends our current work on Glass Box methods, focussing on the formal specification and verification of ethical principles. More precisely, the postdoc is expected to develop formal models and theories that, given a set of features (representing ethical values and/or societal requirements) can determine how to mathematically represent those features to verify the alignment of an ADM. The project is expected to deliver a sound theoretical framework to guide the verification of ADM systems and the choice of formal accountability provisions.

About the position
The successful applicant will be employed by Umeå University and receive a competitive salary for a period of two years fulltime, provided that the studies are progressing reasonably well. Expected starting date is 1 August 2021 or as otherwise agreed.

Admission requirements
Applicants must have earned a PhD in Theoretical Artificial Intelligence or a subject relevant for the position. The PhD degree should not be more than three years old by the application deadline, unless special circumstances exist. Special circumstances include absence due to illness, parental leave or clinical practice, appointments of trust in trade unions or similar circumstances. This must be clearly stated in the application.
Strong research merits and excellent publications in the area of the position are required. Proficiency in English, both spoken and written, is required.
The candidate is expected to have an overall interest in responsible AI concepts and methods, and sound expertise in formal models, transparency, accountability and fairness aspect of AI, as demonstrated by publications and other scientific output.
Ideal candidates are research driven, organized, and would like to work on challenging problems and innovative solutions. Demonstrated skills in design and modelling, multi-agent systems, logic-based verification, or software development are meriting.


A complete application includes:

• An introductory letter including a 2-page statement of research interests relative to the above topics and a motivation of why your expertise is appropriate for the position.
• Curriculum Vitae (CV) including a complete list of scientific publications.
• Certified copies of degree certificates, including documentation of completed academic courses and obtained grades
• A copy of your PhD thesis and copies of (max 5) original research publications relevant to the above topics, numbered according to the publication list.
• Names and contact information for three persons willing to act as references.

Incomplete applications or applications with a generic letter of intent will not be considered.
The application must be written in English or Swedish, and attached documents must be written in or translated to English or Swedish. Documents must be in Word or pdf format. Applications must be submitted electronically using the e-recruitment system of Umeå University, and be received no later than April 30, 2021. Reference number: AN 2.2.1-313-21. Log on to the system and apply via the button at the bottom of the web page.

Umeå University wants to offer an equal environment where open dialogue between people with different backgrounds and perspectives lay the foundation for learning, creativity and development. We welcome women, non-binary people and people with different backgrounds and experiences to apply for this position.

For additional information, please contact Prof. Virginia Dignum

We look forward to receiving your application!

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Expected starting date is 1 August 2021 or as otherwise agreed.
Salary Monthly
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-313-21
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 09.Mar.2021
Last application date 15.May.2021 11:59 PM CEST

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