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Cluster of Excellence Science of Intelligence 

Reference number: SCIoI-C5-51B

starting at 01/06/23; limited for 3 years;  applications deadline 24/11/22; salary grade E 13 TV-L

The Humboldt University invites applications for a Postdoc position for the Cluster of Excellence “Science of Intelligence”. What are the principles of intelligence, shared by all forms of intelligence, no matter whether artificial or biological, whether robot, computer program, human, or animal? And how can we apply these principles to create intelligent technology? Answering these questions - in an ethically responsible way - is the central scientific objective of the new Cluster of Excellence Science of Intelligence (, where researchers from a large number of analytic and synthetic disciplines - artificial intelligence, machine learning, control, robotics, computer vision, behavioral biology, psychology, educational science, neuroscience, and philosophy - join forces to create a multi-disciplinary research program across universities and research institutes in Berlin. Interdisciplinary research projects have been defined (, which combine analytic and synthetic research and which address key aspects of individual, social, and collective intelligence.


Excellence Cluster Science of Intelligence (SCIoI)

Reference number: SCIoI-C5-51B (starting from 01/06/23 / for 30 months (3 years) / closing date for applications 24/11/22)


Working field

Project: The dynamics between collective search and collective avoidance; balancing the explore-exploit trade-off

Postdoctoral project: Collective search and collective avoidance in simulated agents and robot swarms.


The postdoctoral researcher will be studying the interplay between collective search and collective prey avoidance using a combination of agent-based modeling and implementation of algorithms on collective robotics. Inspired on, and in close collaboration with the analytic system of ice-fishers and their mobile prey, this project will develop and test novel swarm algorithms in collective robotics. These experiments will investigate how agent swarms and robotic swarms can successfully search mobile prey collectively. For the robots, we will make use of mobile Thymio II robots. Robots will be equipped with light sensors and have to collectively search for mobile light beams in arenas, communicating with each other over infrared. To generalize derived insights from robotic experimentation, we plan to use agent-based modeling. Core tasks of the candidate constitute programming, conducting and analyzing the robotic swarm experiments, performing agent-based simulations, and analyzing data from the analytic system. This will take place in close collaboration with a second postdoc who, in parallel, will investigate similar processes in human groups.

Responsibilities include scientific research within the project and academic services in the Cluster. The postdoc positions requires participation in research colloquia, lecture series and workshops, as well as an active engagement in the Cluster's research activities and close collaboration with a second theoretical postdoc hired in the same project.



Applicants must have a doctoral degree in computer science, engineering, (bio)-physics, or a related field and should have proven background in:

·       good mathematical skills

·       programming skills in the field of agent-based modeling (Python, Matlab, or similar)

·       programming skills relevant to robotics (Python, C, C++)

·       experimental work with mobile robots

·       experience in agent-based modeling of collective behavioral

·       strong publication record in internationally leading journals, reflecting the career stage

·       very good English skills

Previous experience with working in collaborative research activities including multidisciplinary teams is a plus, and a strong interest in interdisciplinary research at the interface of biology, physics, and computer science is expected.


Application procedure:

Candidates should upload their application preferably via the portal under the reference SCIoI-C5-51B in order to receive full consideration.


Applications (in one combined PDF) should include: a max. 1 page cover letter, a max. 2 page motivation letter, curriculum vitae, list of publications and one selected manuscript, copies of degree certificates (PhD), two names of qualified persons who are willing to provide references, and any documents candidates feel may help us assess their competence.


Please go here for the legally binding German version of this job advertisement.