PhD with focus on Explainable Recommender Systems

38,5 h/W

Are you looking for a paid PhD in Data Science? You are inquisitive, you like to work independently but also as part of a team? You want to make an important scientific contribution? If so, we are looking forward to meeting you!

As part of the DDAI Comet module (explainable, verifiable and privacy-preserving data-driven AI) we offer a PhD position in the area Social Computing.


Personalized recommender systems are indispensable in today’s online world. Recommendation algorithms support users in finding resources (e.g., documents, movies, music) in large and complex information spaces such as e.g. the Web. A major drawback of many algorithms is that they lack transparency, which makes it hard for users to assess why an algorithm provides a specific recommendation.
We are looking for a PhD student, who is interested in research on designing and evaluating explainable recommender systems. Working at the intersection of recommender systems and human-computer-interaction, the candidate is expected to:
• research on methods to automatically quantify the transparency level of recommendation algorithms
• classify state-of-the-art recommendation algorithms with respect to their transparency level
• design and evaluate new (hybrid) explainable recommender systems
• design and evaluate understandable explanations for users
• publish research findings in top-tier scientific venues and journals

The dissertation work will be carried out in the Social Computing team of Elisabeth Lex and linked to existing research on recommender systems in this group.

The dissertation will be supervised at the Doctoral School of Computer Science at Graz University of Technology by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Stefanie Lindstaedt and Ass. Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Lex.

Required qualifications:
  • Master’s degree in Computer Science, Information and Computer Engineering, Mathematics, or similar fields of study
  • Good knowledge of recommender systems and machine learning, as well as human-computer-interaction and data analysis
  • Experience and practical proficiency with programming languages and tools (e.g., Python, Java, Git)
  • Analytical thinking as well as independent and structured work
  • Excellent communication and teamwork skills
  • Very good knowledge of English in both spoken and written, German of advantage
We offer:
  • A dynamic work environment with highly qualified and motivated colleagues
  • Comprehensive support for your dissertation project at Graz University of Technology
  • Close collaboration with other research groups and industry
  • Opportunities for professional and personal development

The minimum salary for this full-time position (38.5 h/w) is € 2,750 gross per month (14 times a year). There is a willingness to overpay depended on experience and qualifications.

Job posting available as PDF.

We are looking forward to your application at!

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