Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • University Graduate
We welcome applications from good programmers with an affinity for scientific research for a diverse set of tasks regarding robot simulations, a small computer cluster and a number of driving, crawling and flying robots. Sounds interesting? Then, please apply as Scientific Programmer at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).

FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

The research of the Computational Intelligence Group ( addresses fundamental issues about how to design, use, and understand autonomous machines that can evolve, learn, and self-organize. We are interested in embodied intelligence that is not hosted in an abstract digital entity, but has a ‘body’ capable of acting in the world, producing its own behavior and generating its own experiences. One of our long-term motivational scenarios concerns the development of a group of robots for complex tasks in unstructured environments like seafloors, rain forests or other planets.

Our facilities include a robot lab with different hardware platforms, such as e-puck, Thymio II, Robobo, Crazyflie 2.0, and our custom-made robot system with evolvable robot bodies and brains. Furthermore, we have a cluster of powerful computers to run simulation experiments and a simulator called Revolve (, Our research and publications rely heavily on our software and hardware, where the latter includes the cluster as well as the robots themselves.
To increase the quality of our underlying infrastructure we urgently need a good programmer with an affinity for scientific research and interest in robots for a diverse set of tasks.  

Your duties
  • Refactoring and improving the Revolve simulator (Linux and MacOS) and implementing a sustainable system to maintain software quality while several PhD students are using and developing Revolve
  • Acting as system manager for our computer cluster (5 Linux PCs at the moment) and as a robot lab manager in collaboration with the active researchers
  • Creating and maintaining “student-proof” versions of Revolve for Bachelor and Master projects (Linux and MacOS) and helping students with issues regarding Revolve and/or the robots in the lab
  • Collaborating with other research groups of the Department for robot research
  • If you are interested: co-authoring scientific papers with researchers


  • Programming skills in Pyhton and C++
  • Software engineering, code versioning
  • Experience with data analysis, in Python, R, or Matlab is a plus
  • Experience with robots will be positively recognized

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,790 (scale 10) and a maximum €4,402 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The employment contract will affect a period of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment,
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus,
  • solid pension scheme (ABP),
  • contribution to commuting expenses,
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package.

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

Department of Computer Science

The VU Department of Computer Science maintains highly successful programs in areas including Artificial Intelligence, Bio-Informatics, Computer Systems and Security, Software Engineering and Green Computing, Theory and User-Centric Data Science.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until  May 15 2021. 

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Agoston Eiben
Position: Full Professor
Telephone: 020 59 87758

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