Research Associate for Socially-Competent Robotic and Agent Technologies (SCRAT) MRG

Career / Research Positions / Research Personnel / Research Associate for Socially-Competent Robotic and Agent Technologies (SCRAT) MRG

Preferred Start Date: April 2021 or as soon thereafter
CYENS (formerly known as RISE) is a research centre of excellence in Nicosia, Cyprus. CYENS CoE is a significant investment supported by the European Commission, the Republic of Cyprus and its founding Partners, the Municipality of Nicosia, Max Planck Institute, University College London, the University of Cyprus, the Cyprus University of Technology and the Open University of Cyprus. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme H2020-WIDESPREAD-01-2016-2017 (Teaming Phase 2) under grant agreement No. 739578, as well as from the Cypriot Government, local and international partners, and other sponsors.
The Centre conducts excellent, internationally competitive scientific research in the areas of visual sciences, human factors and design, communication, and artificial intelligence delivered by high-calibre multidisciplinary research teams. CYENS engages in knowledge transfer and innovation activities aiming to bridge the gap between scientific research and STEM-led innovation and entrepreneurship.
The research focus of CYENS is on interactive media, smart systems, and emerging technologies. Interactive media have become an integral part of our lives, changing the way that information is conveyed to the user and the ways users interact with devices, with other people, and with the world around them. Smart systems have offered a novel way of producing automated solutions to hard problems for which the mere use of the human intellect is insufficient. Research in CYENS integrates the Visual Sciences, Human Factors & Design, and Communications & Artificial Intelligence, in a tight synergy that provides a unique interdisciplinary research perspective that emphasizes an “Inspired by Humans, Designed for Humans” philosophy. CYENS is designed to act as an integrator of academic research and industrial innovation, towards the sustainable fuelling of the scientific, technological, and economic growth of Cyprus and Europe.

The Socially-Competent Robotic and Agent Technologies (SCRAT) MRG focuses on the design and development of human-centered AI-driven technologies for physical robots or virtual agents. The MRG’s work draws inspiration from cognitive psychology and the social sciences, recognizing that value can increase when machines work with humans rather than only for humans. Humans are viewed as the collaborators or coaches of machines, helping, and being helped by, machines to achieve their joint goals. This in turn, necessitates technologies that can interact competently with humans in a decision-supporting role and at a level that is socially and cognitively compatible with the individual(s) interacting with those technologies. The MRG builds upon techniques from machine learning, learning theory, natural language processing and generation, preference elicitation, knowledge acquisition and representation, commonsense reasoning, formal argumentation, cognitive computing, and explainable AI.
The successful candidates will have the opportunity to conduct applied research in the aforementioned areas, towards the development of innovative solutions with socio-economic impact on real-world domains where the use of smart assistants is most useful. Indicatively, the MRG is looking for candidates who can design and develop robust, trustworthy, interactive (human-in-the-loop), explainable AI technologies for decision-support in areas like Fintech, Education, Health, Tourism, Agriculture, etc. Individuals with research / innovation experience in relevant application domains, in addition to knowledge of key AI technologies, are particularly encouraged to apply.
Position holders are expected to publish/present their research results in prestigious international conferences and journals and contribute to the Center’s key performance indicators by participating in the preparation of research and innovation proposals, in the preparation of project reports and deliverables, and in dissemination activities.
The successful candidate will work under the supervision of the SCRAT MRG Leader, Dr. Loizos Michael.
General qualifications and requirements

  • Bachelor's degree and/or postgraduate degree in a relevant field (e.g. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning Computer Science, Interactive media, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering) from an accredited institution.
  • Excellent knowledge of both spoken and written English language.
  • Previous research experience and high impact research publications will be considered an advantage.
  • Previous relevant industrial / innovation / entrepreneurship experience and interest will be considered an advantage.
  • Previous grant-writing experience will be considered an advantage.
  • For non-EU applicants a work permit will be required.
Specific qualifications relevant to Socially Competent Robotic and Agent Technologies (SCRAT) MRG
  • M.Sc. / Ph.D. from an accredited university in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Computer Science, Cognitive Systems, Cognitive Science, or a related area. (Candidates with other backgrounds but with an otherwise solid profile may also be considered.)
  • Very good knowledge of English, especially in reading technical / research articles.
  • Ability to independently identify problems and carry out research work within the scope of the MRG.
  • Ability to interact with stakeholders in application domains and identify opportunities for collaboration.
  • Excellent programming skills (e.g., C, C++, Python, Java), mathematical maturity, and ability to learn quickly.
  • Mobile application development skills for Android / iOS is considered an advantage.
  • Interest / past work in Smart Personal Assistants or Human-Machine collaboration applications is desirable.

Take advantage of this opportunity for your professional and personal development by being a part of our fast- growing Research Technology Development and Innovation Centre of Excellence. A very attractive remuneration package will be offered to the successful candidate according to qualifications and experience.

Application process  

For full consideration, interested applicants should submit the following items via the online application form and mention the position you are applying for:  “Application: Research Associate: SCRAT”:
  1. A cover letter which clearly specifies i) contact details, ii) employment availability date, iii) part-time or full-time availability, and (iv) MRG(s) of interest in order of priority.
  2. A detailed curriculum vitae in English.
  3. Copies of transcripts of BSc/MSc/PhD degree(s).
  4. Description of their academic and research experiences as well as any relevant industrial / innovation / entrepreneurship experience, where applicable (500 words maximum).
  5. Contact details of two University professors or one University professor and one industry referee who will provide the letters.
  6. Two (2) representative publications (if applicable).
  7. Two (2) representative innovation outcomes / products (if applicable).
In case you previously applied for a post at CYENS CoE, a new application is required.
For general enquiries, applicants may contact the HR Department of CYENS, Centre of Excellence at vacancies@cyens.org.cy .
CYENS Centre of Excellence is an equal opportunity employer and the position is open to everyone, internationally.
All applications are treated in the strictest confidence.

*Remains open until the position is filled.


Location: Nicosia, Cyprus
Type: An initial one-year employment contract will be offered with the possibility for renewal depending on performance and project needs