Universiteit Leiden

nl en


Postdoctoral Researcher, Reinforcement Learning for Sustainable Energy

Vacancy number
Job type
Academic staff, PhD positions
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Placed on
19 September 2023
Closing date
20 October 2023 25 more days to apply

Apply now

The Faculty of Science and the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) are looking for:

Postdoctoral Researcher (3yr), Reinforcement Learning for Sustainable Energy

Vacancy number:14079

This postdoctoral research position is embedded in the Reinforcement Learning Lab for Sustainable Energy, a cooperation between Leiden University and an industrial partner. The global energy transition is one of the key challenges that our world faces. At the lab researchers from academia and industry will develop, implement and evaluate new deep reinforcement learning methodology to optimize energy management in (future) smart houses and smart energy grids. The lab is affiliated with the Reinforcement Learning Group (https://rlg.liacs.nl/), headed by Aske Plaat and Thomas Moerland.

Key responsibilities
Your key responsibilities are two-fold:

  • Execution of innovative research in the field of reinforcement learning, with applications related to (but not restricted to) sustainable energy.
  • Co-supervision of PhD students in the lab.

You will work with experienced researchers from both academia and industry, and have access to real-world data, allowing you to make a true impact during your PhD. The research group has an open atmosphere, in which your development as a mature and independent researcher is valued, and we have an eye for your academic career (and its requirements). We highly support and stimulate individual initiative and creativity.


  • A PhD degree in (deep) reinforcement learning (or in the process of writing up your PhD thesis).
  • Good research skills, with a strong publication record in (deep) reinforcement learning.
  • Good programming skills. You have provable experience with deep learning software (e.g., Tensorflow, Pytorch, Jax), reinforcement learning environments and large-scale experimentation, for example displayed through a Github repository.
  • Interest to participate in PhD student supervision. Preferably you have experience with master/bachelor thesis supervision.
  • Affinity with the sustainable energy transition.


  • Good teamwork skills. You like to connect to people and are willing to invest in a good group atmosphere.
  • A high degree of initiative. You like to come up with your own ideas, for your research, organization of events, teaching, group dynamics, or anything else you find interesting.
  • A high degree of autonomy. When you take a certain task upon you, others can feel secure the job gets done.

Research at our faculty
The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to contribute to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) is the Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science Institute of the Faculty of Science of Leiden University. We offer courses at the Bachelor and Master of Science level in the core areas of Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, and Data Science, and in the interdisciplinary areas of ICT in Business, Media Technology and Creative science, and Bioinformatics. We are a highly international place to do research, and we strive for excellence in a caring institute, where excellence, fun, and inclusiveness go hand in hand. We offer a clear and inviting career path to young and talented scientists with the ambition to grow.

Terms and conditions
We offer a full-time 1-year term position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress the appointment will be extended by two years. Salary ranges from € 3.226,- to € 5.090,- gross per month (pay scale 10 in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). The exact start date is negotiable.

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

D&I statement
Diversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Thomas Moerland, email: t.m.moerland@liacs.leidenuniv.nl. If you have any questions about the application procedure, please contact Asnne-Marie Allebla, email: jobs@liacs.leidenuniv.nl.

Please submit your application through the blue button below. The deadline for applying is Friday, October 20, 23:59 CET. Include in your application:

  • Your resume, including a link to your Scholar profile.
  • Application letter, including your applicability to aforementioned selection criteria, and your future research plans/interest.
  • Two scientific papers on which you are first author (ideally published, otherwise in submission).
  • Examples of your coding skills (also possible through a link to a personal Github repository).
  • Your PhD, master’s and bachelor’s degrees (including grade lists if applicable).
  • Two references of university supervisors or other scientific collaborators that can be contacted by us for further information.

Apply now

This website uses cookies.  More information.