Post-doctorate in Knowledge Representation

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With a PhD in Knowledge Representation and reasoning, and a knowledge of related state-of-the art tools, the Innovation Associate is expected to design a system to support the knowledge base of SIRIS Academic S.L., a company offering specialized strategy consultancy for higher education and research institutions.

This knowledge base aims at regrouping relevant information concerning the organisation and strategy of the higher education and research sector: type of institutions, strategies, characteristics and evolution over time.

This knowledge base should facilitate the organisation of the consultants' qualitative knowledge of the sector. It will be a tool to train future consultants, and - in connection with the open data query portal already developed by SIRIS - an instrument to enhance the quality of the consultancy. The Innovation Associate will work on the direct supervision of a senior consultant of the company, as well as a researcher specialised in KR and ontology. He/she is expected to a) get an in-depth knowledge of the current state of SIRIS's knowledge and tools to generate ideas of KM tools; b) implement a first prototype and get users' feedback; c) set up a plan to scale up the prototype at the level of the company.

On top of an excellent research track-record, the Innovation Associate should have an interest for the application issues associated with the tools, and be willing to work within a very diverse teams in terms of disciplinary fields, spanning from specialists of humanities and social scientists, to physicists and computer scientists. It is expected that the Innovation Associate should bring the best available research insights, but adapt them to the context of a business enterprise whose mission is to bring the best added value to clients: in this case, provide universities and higher education institutions with the best insight on the sectors to take relevant decisions.

The Innovation Associate should speak English, which is SIRIS's working language. Knowledge of any other of the following languages is appreciated but not mandatory: French, Italian, Spanish, German.

The Innovation Associate will be directly in charge of:

  • Interacting with the consultants to get an in-depth knowledge of the requirements of our clients and the kind of information needed to provide a good service;

  • Extending the UNiCS ontology and mappings (developed by SIRIS) in order to represent and make accessible the current HE&R expert knowledge operating in SIRIS, while paying attention about the fact that it has to keep developing and growing

  • Implementing a first prototype of the new knowledge base and testing it with the SIRIS consultants (documents semantic annotation, and the creation of dedicated landing pages for the online access to the retrieved documents, are integral part of the present task);

  • If the previous phase goes as planned, then extend the design of the knowledge base access for an eventual use not only internally but also by clients.




We offer a 1 year contract (temporary labour contract).


37.400 euro gross per year, with 12 payments (3.116 euro gross per month). This means a net salary (after taxes paid directly by the company including Social Security and Personal Income Tax, called IRPF) of approximately 2.337 euros per month.

In Spain, taxes are paid before the salary, this means that employees receive directly the net salary. In the monthly payroll, all the information is available: gross salary, the percentage and amount of deducted taxes and the net salary.


  • Relocation budget of 2.000 euro as a contribution to cover part of the related expenses

  • At the end of the year, a bonus will be considered according to the available benefits from the company. According to our internal policy, SIRIS will distribute a percentage of the yearly benefits among all the employees in the form of a salary bonus

Other benefits:

  • Private health insurance


Selection process


The company will set up the following schedule to conduct the recruitment plan:

  • May 2017: Assessment of the candidates (according to selection criteria) and selection of at least 10 applicants.

  • June 2017: Interview candidates:

    • 1st round:phone/skype conferences with the selected candidates.

    • 2nd round: in-depth phone/skype interviews with the selected final candidates (3) and selection of successful applicant (1). Provide feedback to all the candidates.

  • Regular communication and follow-up: administration procedures to finalize the contract (according to the Spanish legality) and management of the logistics to facilitate the relocation of the candidate to our headquarter in Barcelona.

  • Implement a structured welcome and induction process for the Innovation Associate for incorporation on September 1st, 2017.


Additional comments


The company will provide a training programme to the innovation associate based on regular seminars about the inner knowledge in the company. The points to be covered are the following:

  • Knowledge of the sector: HE&R landscape (Solange Chavel, Sebastian Stride)

  • Ontologies and their application in HE&R (Alessandro Mosca)

  • Database design and deployment (Alessandro Mosca)

  • Current state of SIRIS’s UNiCS platform and related open data business models (Bernardo Rondelli)

  • Data analysis and mathematical modeling (Francesco Massucci)

  • Interactive data visualisation (Xavi Gimenez).

Also, the candidate will have two tutors within the company (Solange Chavel, Alessandro Mosca), jointly responsible for 1) monitoring his/her research development and 2) fostering his/her collaboration within the SIRIS team.

This plan will be complemented depending on the research development and the interests of the candidate with:

Attendance to Knowledge Representation and Artificial Intelligence conferences such KR, ISWC, JELIA, ECAI, and IJCAI. We expect the associate to attend at least to one such conference during the year as a contributor. In case of need and interest, a formal internship period (15 days) could be organized at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (or in one of the organisations mentioned in section 2.2) with the aim of: (i) go deeper into the -ontop- platform at the heart of UNiCS, and (ii) get in contact with the expertise and skills behind the EU OPTIQUE project dealing with OBDA and Big Data management.


Offer Requirements


    Computer science: PhD or equivalent


    ENGLISH: Excellent



The specialised skills the company is looking for are centred around the Knowledge Representation and Reasoning discipline (KR&R). KR&R, as a subfield of Artificial Intelligence, is the area where formal languages are designed, and applied,to appropriately represent human domain knowledge in a machine readable and processable way.

In the context of the present project, the Associate will be invited to apply the so-called Semantic Web and Ontology-based Data Access (OBDA) technologies for the integration of the HE&R knowledge corpus currently used by our consultants.

We expect the Associate will have deep knowledge of the technologies and principles behind the Semantic Web, such as RDF (Resource Description Framework), RDFS (RDF Schema), SPARQL (SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language), OWL (Web Ontology Language), SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System), and the ability to design, or extend already existing, description logics-based ontologies for the representation of domain knowledge.

Besides the technological competences mentioned here, the Associate must have good analytical skills and the ability to closely collaborate with domain experts who are daily involved in collecting, conceptualising, and exploiting HE&R-centred knowledge.


Specific Requirements


The Associate is meant to closely collaborate both with (i) the experts of the SIRIS Lab research division of SIRIS, who are responsible for the design and development of the above mentioned UNiCS platform (i.e., an OBDA and ontology-based data integration system in the context of HE&R), and (ii) the consultants of the company who are the ‘collectors’ and users of the qualitative knowledge behind the services we are offering.

The first will provide the technological framework to formally represent, make available, and intuitively queryable, the newly integrated knowledge, while the latter are those who know where to retrieve the relevant, domain-dependent, knowledge and how to conceptualise it in a consistent way.

Procedencia Euraxess
País España
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