The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

Researcher Ontologies for Modelling Tool Behaviours

This job offer has expired

    Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    01/09/2020 01:59 - Europe/Brussels
    Netherlands › Delft


Can we capture hand crafting using ontologies in ancient humans and future robots? In this project you will take a first step towards unravelling these questions. Using ontologies or other knowledge representation and reasoning methods from computer science, you will create a framework to model tool behavior in the animal kingdom. Data input is collected from the literature (primatology, archaeology, ethology) and possibly complemented with data from experiments recreating human tool use. The model will be tested and validated against at least two examples of primate tool behaviour.


  • Collect data on tool behaviour from the literature
  • Created a formal vocabulary/taxonomy/ontology of tool behaviour
  • Model data and analysis
  • Write two peer-reviewed papers
  • Present results at a conference
  • Co-draft follow-up funding application

Dr Geeske Langejans (Material Sciences Engineering) and Dr Carlos Hernandez (Cognitive Robotics) share an fascination for tool behavior. With this pilot they aim to explore the use of ontologies, to be fully developed in a follow-up project. The successful candidate will work and bridge both departments.

More Information


Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (salary indication: €2.656 - €4.402). The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.

Selection process

Applications include a letter of motivation, CV, contact details of three referees, two examples of written work (e.g. thesis, published papers), and one A4 paper with an outline of your approach to this project, i.e. the methodology and scope of -data collection, -data deposition and planning for this project.

All required documents should be combined to a single pdf file (5MB max). Please e-mail your application to Hilma Bleeker, HR advisor, application-3mE@tudelft.nl and refer in the title of your application to vacancy number TUD00321.

First interviews will take place on Thursday 10 September 2020 with a possible second round on Tuesday 15 September. Start date job negotiable at the latest 31 December 2020.

A pre-employment screening can be part of the application procedure.

Additional comments

For more information about this position, please contact Dr Geeske Langejans, phone: +31 (0)15-278 87739, email: g.langejans@tudelft.nl or Dr Carlos Hernandez, phone +31 (0)15 27 81053, email: c.h.corbato@tudelft.nl.

Click on “Apply now” for additional information on the application process.

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

Specific Requirements

  • PhD degree in Archaeology, Cognitive Robotics, Biology or Computer Science.
    • OR
  • Master degree Archaeology, Cognitive Robotics, Biology or Computer Science with proven research experience in knowledge representation and reasoning, taxonomies or animal tool behaviour.
  • Demonstrable experience in at least one of these fields:
    • Ontologies, taxonomies
    • Ethology
    • Early human tool behaviour
    • Computational (social) science and modelling
  • Excellent communication skills in English (written and spoken) and a good sense of humour.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Delft University of Technology
2628 CD
Mekelweg 2

EURAXESS offer ID: 542576
Posting organisation offer ID: 293174


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