Postdoctoral Researchers in Bayesian Machine Learning


Aalto University and University of Helsinki, the two leading universities in Finland in computer science and information technology as well as statistics research, are currently looking for three Postdoctoral Researchers. These positions belong to the university career system and the selected person will be appointed for a fixed-term position, for postdoctoral researchers typically for two years with an option for renewal. The length of the contract and starting and ending dates are negotiable. In addition to research work, persons hired are expected to participate in the supervision of students and teaching following the standard practices of the hiring department.

Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT is a joint research institute of Aalto University and the University of Helsinki for basic and applied research in information technology. HIIT's mission is to conduct top-level research, seamlessly moving between fundamental methods and technologies to novel applications and their impact on people and society. HIIT’s research programmes are ambitious, challenge-driven and typically interdisciplinary, operating across several departments and collaborating with the industry. For more information, see

Three positions are available in the following project: PI’s  Prof. Aki Vehtari (Aalto University), Prof. Antti Honkela  and Prof. Arto. Klami (University of Helsinki)

We will develop theory and methods for assessing the quality of distributional approximations based on leave-one-out cross-validation and projection predictive model reductions, and seek to improve the inference accuracy by targeting the approximation towards the eventual application goal and by better utilising the available data, e.g., when having data with privacy constraints. To guarantee wide applicability of the project results in data science industry and academic research, the novel methods will be evaluated on a range of practical machine learning models and implemented as part of the leading open-source probabilistic programming systems. The project includes several research visits to Columbia University, New York (Prof. Andrew Gelman), Cambridge University, UK (Prof. Zoubin Ghahramani), Technical University of Denmark (Prof. Ole Winther).


The candidate should have a PhD in computer science or statistics with a publication record in high-level forums. Previous experience with one or more of the following concepts is considered an advantage: Bayesian inference, probabilistic programming, MCMC, variational inference, expectation propagation (EP), differential privacy. Good command of English is a necessary prerequisite. In the review process, particular emphasis is put on the quality of the candidate's previous research and international experience.

 Compensation, working hours and place of work

The salary for the position is typically between 3 300 and 3 700 EUR per month depending on experience and qualifications. In addition to the salary, the contract includes occupational health benefits, and Finland has a comprehensive social security system. The annual total workload of teaching staff at recruiting universities is 1 624 hours. The position is located at Aalto University’s Otaniemi campus or University of Helsinki’s Kumpula campus.

Application material and procedure

The applications for the postdoctoral researcher position are to be submitted through the eRecruitment system (link 'Apply for this job' below). The review of the applications will begin on 1st November, 2017, and will continue until all three positions are filled.

 The application for the position should contain (in single pdf document named as lastname_firstname_application.pdf):

  • A letter of motivation describing the applicant’s previous research experience and future research interests (max one page)
  • CV
  • List of publications
  • Contact details of at least 2 senior academics available to provide references
  • A transcript of the doctoral studies and degree certificate of the PhD degree

All material should be submitted in English. The application materials will not be returned. Short-listed candidates may be invited for an interview either at the Otaniemi or Kumpula campus or for an interview conducted via Skype. The recruiting universities reserve the right for justified reasons to leave the position open, to extend the application period and to consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.

About Helsinki

The Helsinki Metropolitan area forms a world-class information technology hub, attracting leading scientists and researchers in various fields of ICT and related disciplines. Moreover, as the birth place of Linux, and the home base of Nokia/Alcatel-Lucent/Bell Labs, F-Secure, Rovio, Supercell, Slush (the biggest annual startup event in Europe) and numerous other technologies and innovations, Helsinki is fast becoming one of the leading technology startup hubs in Europe. As a living and working environment, Finland consistently ranks high in quality of life, and Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is regularly ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world.

About the host institutions

Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto University has six schools with nearly 20 000 students and more than 400 professors. Our campuses are located in Espoo and Helsinki, Finland. For more information, see

The University of Helsinki, established in 1640, is the most versatile university in Finland. The University of Helsinki is an international academic community of 40,000 students and staff members. The university lays special emphasis on the quality of education and research, and it is a member of the League of the European Research Universities (LERU). For more information, see

Further information

  • Research related information: Aki Vehtari ( , Antti Honkela and Arto Klami ( 
  • Application process, practical arrangements: e-mail "