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PhD position in Crowdsourcing and Recommendation Systems

The Recommender Systems group at Insight UCD is seeking candidates for a PhD position focusing on crowdsourcing and hybrid recommendation systems. The position will commence between October 2015 and January 2016. 


This is a 4 year, fully funded position with a scholarship of euro 18,000 per year. PhD fees are also fully paid. 


The successful candidate will joing the Recommender Systems group at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics in University College Dublin, The Insight Centre, founded in July 2013, is amongst the largest research centres in Europe, with a focus on data analytics and its application in healthcare, communities, business and open government.  

Position overview:

Automated recommender systems are powerful tools for delivering personalized recommendations and predictions across a wide range of domains. In essence these systems rely on the wisdom to the crowd, passively gathering information about the preferences of large numbers of people, in order to make inferences about the likely preferences of individual users. Surprisingly, given the importance of collected preferences to the task of recommendation accuracy, few recommendation systems to date have sought to actively and explicitly engage large crowds in sourcing effective recommendations.

This PhD will build on recent research on crowdsourcing and collective intelligence to develop hybrid recommender systems, which combine the convenience of automated recommendation with the enhanced user experience of direct human recommendations. We aim to explore the potential of online communities and commercial crowdsourcing platforms, but also techniques such as games with a purpose or gamification and reciprocal, community-based recommendations.

The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to develop new ideas in areas such as social computing, social media analytics, personal healthcare recommendations and visualization.

Essential Skills: 


Required qualifications:

  • A strong undergraduate or Masters degree in computer science, human computer interaction or a relevant discipline.
  • Strong software engineering skills.
  • The ability to work independently as well as in a team.

Desirable qualifications:

  • A strong interest in recommender systems and human computer interaction.
  • Previous experience working with crowdsourcing, recommender systems, data analytics, human computer interaction or social computing.
  • Strong writing skills.
  • Enthuasism and a strong desire to pursue an academic career in HCI, Recommender Systems, Crowdsourcing, Data Analytics or Social Computing. 

Candidates shound submit the following materials by email to Dr David Coyle at All materials should be contained in a single pdf file. 

  1. A statement of interest describing your relevant background and skills and why you are interested in this position.
  2. A current curriculm vitae.
  3. The name and contact information for three references. Letters of reference will only be solicited for shortlisted candidates.
  4. One writing sample, e.g. a recent publication or final project thesis.

Applications should be submitted by email to with the subject line “Insight RecSys PhD 2015”. The closing date for applications is September 30th 2015.


For further information or informal enquiries regarding this position please email  

Application End Date: 
Wednesday, 30 September, 2015