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ACM SIGMM Interest List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 28 Dec 2012 10:43:31 +0100
Miguel-Angel Sicilia <[log in to unmask]>
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University of Alcala
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(apologies for cross-postings)

Two PhD researcher positions at University of Alcala (Spain), jointly
supervised with Agro-Know Technologies (Greece).

Concerns two full-time (minimum 3-year) PhD research positions in the
domain of Semantic Data Infrastructures, at the department of Computer
Science, University of Alcala (UAH, The PhD
candidates will be involved in the FP7 research projects "agINFRA: A
data infrastructure to support agricultural scientific communities"
( and "SemaGrow: Data Intensive Techniques to Boost
the Real-Time Performance of Global Agricultural Data Infrastructures"
( that study scalable, efficient, and robust data
services on top of heterogeneous large-scale data repositories and

The two positions are offered as part of the collaboration between the
Information Engineering (IE) research unit ( of the
University of Alcala and Agro-Know Technologies
(, as part of their joint effort to contribute
to the semantic interoperability and data analysis layers of these
projects. Agro-Know is a small but fast growing research enterprise that
aims to deploy meaningful and innovative services around high-quality
agricultural data pools. The two groups have been working together
closely in the past years, offering the opportunity to PhD students to
work on research solutions that are applicable to real-life problems.

In the agINFRA and SemaGrow projects, more than 15 organisations from
Europe and the world (including prestigious institutions such as the
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) are working
together to offer better access to information for agricultural
researchers and practitioners, using many ICT techniques such as
intelligent information management, semantic enrichment and integration,
as well as social data analysis. The successful candidates will work on
tasks related to semantic infrastructures and data science, in order to
solve research problems related to deploying data-driven services for

It is expected that the PhD candidates will carry out applied research
work that will start from the establishment of a theoretical framework,
continue with the implementation of a software prototype and the
experimentation with real data, and conclude with the validation of a
proposed solution through a real-life user study.

Highly motivated applicants are sought to cover the two positions
described below. In general, successful candidates are expected to have:
- Good analytical and software development skills,
- Good command of spoken and written English,
- Good communication skills and willingness to collaborate with other
researchers and developers having diverse background
- Some experience with writing research papers and technical reports

In addition, for each position some specific qualifications are desired.

(a) PhD position on topics related to Semantic Infrastructures

The candidate should have a degree in Computer Science, Computer
Engineering or relevant disciplines, a Master Degree in Computer Science
or Information Systems, as well as the following qualifications:
- 1-3 years of research and development experience in industry or
academia (e.g. MSc, R&D Engineer)
- Very good knowledge and experience in object-oriented and Web
programming technologies (such as Java, Javascript, SQL, XML, UML, J2EE,
PHP, Ajax)
- Good knowledge and experience in database systems (such as MySQL,
PostgreSQL, Oracle)
- Experience and interest in semantic web technologies such as RDF and
OWL is desired (but not mandatory)

(b) PhD position on topics related to Data Science

The candidate should have a degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, or
other relevant disciplines, a Master Degree on similar topics, as well
as the following qualifications:
- 1-3 years of research and development experience in industry or
academia (e.g. MSc, R&D Engineer)
- Good knowledge of data analysis methods and algorithms
- Experience of working with statistical analysis over large data sets
- Good knowledge (and more than two years) of Java programming
- Experience and interest  in big data technologies such as Hadoop,
MapReduce, and NoSQL is desired (but not mandatory)

The PhD positions are shared between the two groups and candidates will
be hosted either at Alcala (Spain) or Athens (Greece). The research and
development work to be carried out will be connected to the agINFRA and
SemaGrow projects, depending on the profiles and interests of the
candidates. These are full-time positions for 3 years minimum, with a
satisfactory payment scheme that will cover the living and tuition fees
of the candidates, as well as their research-related expenses
(participation in relevant conferences etc.).

Applicants will be requested to prepare a research proposal and complete
a research and development assignment during the first 6 months. After
the successful completion of this phase, their positions will be
extended up to 3 fully-funded years. The PhD candidates will be working
mostly at the premises of the group that they will be directly
collaborating with, either in Alcala or in Athens. They will be also
expected to make at least one research visit of a short duration
(typically between 1-3 months) to the other group.

The PhD regulations and procedures that apply are the ones of the
University of Alcala and the candidates are expected to prepare and
defend a PhD thesis within these 3 years.

Applications including CV, links to relevant work or publications, a
motivation letter, and contact info of 2 references for recommendation,
should be sent by email to [log in to unmask] and [log in to unmask]

For more information about the positions, please send inquiries to the
same e-mail addresses.

The screening process will start immediately and continue until the
positions are filled.


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