European Research Council

Research Scientist (Machine Learning / Data Science)

This job offer has expired

    École française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO)
    Computer science
    Information science
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    Established Researcher (R3)
    22/12/2020 17:00 - Europe/Athens
    France › Paris
    H2020 / ERC


Job Description

As part of the ERC Consolidator Grant #866454, funded by the European Research Council, the École française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO) is launching a five-year program to investigate the ecological legacies of early societies in tropical forest environments across Southeast Asia.

The project builds on the expertise of the EFEO in applications of wide-area airborne laser scanning (lidar) in the region to greatly expand our lidar data coverage across the Southeast Asian region, and to develop new tools for automating feature recognition within dense 3D point cloud data and derivative imagery products. The aim is to use applications of machine learning to identify remnant traces of early societies in the spatial patterning of contemporary topography and land cover. As part of this project, the EFEO will establish a new laboratory in its Paris headquarters to pursue computational approaches to analysing massive geospatial datasets in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team of archaeologists and ecologists.

We are looking for an expert in data science and machine learning who is interested in applying their skills to improve our understanding of human impacts on the environment from the deep past to the present day.

This is a full-time position, funded for five years, and based in Paris.

We are committed to improving diversity across our research domains, and applications from demographics that are traditionally under-represented in archaeology and computer science are especially encouraged.


The EFEO is a French public research institute specializing in the history, languages and cultures of Asia spanning the past to the present day. It operates a unique network of 18 field research centres across 12 countries in the region, coordinated from a central headquarters in Paris. The EFEO is an academic partner of PSL Research University, is one of five French overseas research institutes comprising the Réseau des Écoles françaises à l'étranger (ResEFE), and maintains strong research and teaching links with Sorbonne University, the CNRS, and other institutions across Europe and Asia. In recent years the EFEO has become host to multiple large grants funded by the European Research Council, and has emerged at the forefront of several frontier research initiatives involving spatial and computational approaches in the humanities and social sciences in collaboration with Huma-Num and other partners.


  • Working as part of an interdisciplinary team of computer scientists and social scientists to achieve the objectives of the ERC Consolidator Grant, revolving around applications of artificial intelligence for feature recognition in massive geospatial datasets
  • Support the research group with expertise on state-of-the-art data science and machine learning methods
  • Identify and develop new opportunities for applications of artificial intelligence to the analysis of cultural heritage data including aerial and satellite imagery and three-dimensional point clouds
  • Overseeing, alongside the Principal Investigator, the everyday functioning of a laboratory conducting research at the intersection of computer science, archaeology and ecology
  • Assist in the training and supervision of graduate students at PhD and Masters level in the domains of computer science, and in cross-disciplinary applications of computer science in the humanities and social sciences
  • Performing public outreach and education through participation in seminars, colloquia, and dissemination of research results across digital, print and broadcast media
  • Collaborate with other project members to bring project outcomes to publication

Duration / Load

This appointment is available immediately, is funded until September 2025, and is a 100% full-time position


EFEO, 22 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris, France

More Information



3540 Euros per month net (after the application of all charges and contributions, but before personal income tax contributions withheld at the source, if applicable).


We Offer

  • A world-class research environment in the heart of Paris, working with a broad network of institutional and scientific partners in France, Southeast Asia and further afield
  • A safe workplace free of harassment and discrimination
  • A laboratory environment in which the career path of individual researchers is centred and supported through mentorship, collaboration and professional development
  • Flexible working arrangements including the ability to work from home on multiple days of the week
  • Flexible starting date
  • Generous provisions for leave, benefits and other entitlements specific to the public sector and as provided for by French law
  • Funding and resources for developing and hosting meetings and visiting researchers in common areas of research interest
  • Funding & opportunities for conference travel and attendance in the EU and internationally
  • Funding & opportunities for research in the field across the Southeast Asian region

Selection process

Please Provide

  • A cover letter outlining research background, interests, and potential contribution to the project
  • A Curriculum Vitae including educational qualifications, research, and industrial experience, awards, and fellowships, any additional scientific achievements
  • The names and contact details of three references contactable by email
  • Documentation of academic background and qualifications, if available
  • Applications may be in either French or English


Submission of Applications & Contact

Please direct the complete application as well as any inquiries to damian.evans@efeo.net


Deadline for Applications

22 December 2020

Offer Requirements

    Computer science: PhD or equivalent
    FRENCH: Good


Basic Criteria

  • PhD in Computer Science, Mathematics, or a closely-related field either in hand or anticipated within a defined period from the starting date (negotiable)
  • Excellent data science and machine learning skills including deep learning (e.g. CNNs)
  • Expert knowledge of Python as well as common machine learning frameworks
  • Experience of applying machine learning methods to scientific problems
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills
  • A track record of high-quality research output such as authorship/co-authorship of papers in major international conferences or peer-reviewed academic contexts
  • High-level competence in both English and French (minimum level of B2 in both languages)
  • A strong commitment to ethical, open and reproducible research

Other Desirable Criteria:

  • Experience with accelerating machine learning workloads through parallel/ high performance computing systems and/or GPUs
  • Experience and interest in interpretable AI
  • Experience in teaching and/or mentoring at university level, in particular of graduate students
  • Experience in the application of computational or statistical methods in the humanities or social sciences
  • Knowledge of Southeast Asian languages or cultures

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
École française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO)
22 Avenue du Président Wilson

EURAXESS offer ID: 580728


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