PhD in Social support for the real-world introduction of AI in critical infrastructure (ILUSTRE)

Research / Academic

PhD to support Sustainable Development Goals 6 (clean water) and 7 (clean energy) as part of the Innovation Lab for Utilities on Sustainable Technology and Renewable Energy (ILUSTRE) project, funded in a public private partnership by NWO/NLAIC and private partners.

The Jheronimus Academy of Data Science (JADS) is the joint Data Science Academy of Tilburg University and Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands.

JADS is seeking an enthusiastic colleague for the position of 

PhD researcher in Social support for the real-world introduction of AI in critical infrastructure,

as part of the ILUSTRE project that focusses on use-cases in the Caribbean region.

Short Description 

The social impact of technology on its users has been vastly proved to be enormous since it might pose organizational and social obstacles. Acceptance of new technologies, especially in the energy field, has been recognized as one of the primary barriers to implementing technological innovations. In the context of the ILUSTRE project, we will investigate the impact of IT technology on the energy and water supply domains. The project will focus on two main aspects: 1) the impact on the partner industries' managers and employees; 2) the impact on the broader society - since AI technology will affect the quality and the features of the services provided to the population. We model these social processes through social networks and predict possible social outcomes of interventions in the networks employing statistics, system dynamics modelling and ABMs.

Job Description

In this position, you will be collecting data using group model building (GMB) and survey methodology. Then you will employ social network analysis (SNA) to monitor the extent to which the employees and the larger public (together called the stakeholders) receive and respond to the implementation. These techniques will be used in conjunction with system dynamics and agent-based simulation models.

ILUSTRE project

This position is linked to ILUSTRE, a new Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence (ICAI) to be established in Curaçao. ILUSTRE will be a living lab in the Caribbean with the objective to develop, implement and test AI innovations that will accelerate the use of clean energy and advanced solutions in water treatment and wastewater recycling/purification. The innovation lab is one of the new ICAI labs that are part of the ROBUST program on Trustworthy AI-based Systems for Sustainable Growth which is financed under the NWO LTP funding scheme. ILUSTRE offers opportunities for PhD candidates who wish to support to the acceleration of the energy transition and who have an affinity with the Dutch Caribbean islands.


  • A master’s degree in Computational Social Science, Statistics, Computer Science, Data Science, Sociology, Political Science, Organizational Studies with a strong quantitative background, or related disciplines.
  • Provable affinity with the Caribbean region 
  • Preparedness to perform a significant part of the research in the Caribbean region
  • Preferably experience with Social Network Analysis, Data collection techniques, System Dynamics Modelling, Agent Based Modelling.
  • Strong programming skills, preferably in R.
  • A research-oriented attitude and interest in collaborating with the industrial partners
  • Experience in dealing with stakeholders.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English (C1 level). 

Salary Benefits:

Being appointed at JADS provides a meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious community of two universities and startups. Based on the project, the candidate receives an appointment at Tilburg University.

As a PhD Student at JADS you will have a full-time employment for a total of four years, with an intermediate evaluation after nine months. JADS offers excellent employment conditions with attention to flexibility and (personal) development and attractive fringe benefits. The gross monthly salary is in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities. The minimum gross salary is € 2.770 per month up to a maximum of € 3.539 in the fourth year. The selected candidate will start with a contract for one year. Upon a positive outcome of the first-year evaluation, the candidate will be offered an employment contract for the remaining three years. You are entitled to a vacation allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% of your gross annual income. If you work 40 hours per week, you will receive 41 paid days of leave per year. PhD Students from outside the Netherlands may qualify for a tax-free allowance of 30% of their taxable salary if they meet the relevant conditions. The university applies for this allowance on their behalf. JADS will provide assistance in finding suitable accommodation.

The exact conditions of employment may vary depending on the percentage of time spent in Curaçao as part of your secondment. 

Preferred starting date: August 1, 2024 or asap after.

To develop your teaching skills, you will spend around 10% of your employment on teaching tasks. To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students.

Next to that we offer all kinds of facilities and arrangements to maintain an optimal balance between work and private life. All employees of the university are covered by the so-called General Pension Fund for Public Employers (Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP).  

JADS values an open and inclusive culture. We embrace diversity and encourage the mutual integration of groups of employees and students. We focus on creating equal opportunities for all our employees and students so that everyone feels at home in our university community. 

All researchers working in JADS have contracts at either Tilburg University or Eindhoven University of Technology. Please visit Working at Tilburg University and Working at Eindhoven University of Technology for more information on their respective employment conditions.

Work Hours:

40 hours per week


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