Artificial Intelligence
Permanent employment
Doctorate/PhD (EQF 8)
Apply before:
Hours p/wk:


Contributing to tomorrow's world. Envision it? Become a Scientist Human-Centered AI - Defence, Safety & Security at TNO in Soesterberg.


Do you envision a future in which collaboration between humans and autonomous systems is an integral part of our society? Of course you do! As a scientist in our team, you are the linking pin between AI-developers and the future users of AI applications. Your goal: accomplishing effective human-AI teaming. This job vacancy is at the Human Machine Teaming department, in team HART (Human-AI/Robot Teaming). HMT conducts research on the collaboration between people and smart systems. We work primarily for clients in the defense and security domain, but also for healthcare or industry. The HART team consists of about fifteen (over)enthusiastic and ambitious colleagues and usually two to three research interns.


What will be your role?

As an AI-scientist you have a significant share in applied research on human-centered artificial intelligence in the Defense domain. It is your mission to optimize collaboration between human and AI systems to the point that they become effective team partners. This is accomplished by your input in research projects with the topic of human-machine teaming and requires your mix of skills in conceptual design and evaluation. The latter is often done in close cooperation with end users, mostly from the domains of defense, safety and security. Your work will strongly impact our (future) society and let you dive into worlds that normally would remain off limits. What happens during an emergency procedure at a navy ship? And in the control room of fire brigades? What resources and skills are used to support the use of autonomous systems in the Dutch army? And, even more interesting: your input will give direction to the route to improvement. As our AI-scientist, you introduce the concepts that will raise the bar of the next-generation systems used by defense and safety domains, today and in the years to come.

Your job is about technical-scientific research, focused on concrete real-world issues. By interviewing end users and organizing workshops with the stakeholders, you capture their needs and identify room for improvement. Sometimes the best course of action unfolds into the design of a new human-robot-collaboration concept, whereas another requires you to propose a specific solution that incorporates explainable AI, interactive machine learning or meaningful human control. In order to implement the acquired knowledge, you formalize functional requirements and work together with developers towards a prototype. During this development process you closely monitor the outcomes and make sure they are in line with the interests of end users. After the completion of a concept or prototype follows presenting the outcome and testing it with the actual users; either in one of our advanced labs or in the field.

Solutions that you and your team members (from a variety of disciplines) develop are never ‘basic’ or standard off-the-shelf. Not seldom, you can find yourself at the birth of completely new models or technologies that will radically change the future of human-AI teaming. This requires thorough research and means your path in work will never be predictable. On top of that, you have the freedom to complement these activities and decide on your own development path. Would you like to excel in applied research in your field? Are you interested in project management? Consulting? Some hands-on software development whenever you feel like it? We encourage you to co-define your TNO career!

What we expect from you

Connecting human-factors and technology, this is something that you master. By being an entrepreneur, you are able to bridge any gaps between hardcore technical researchers and the end users. You love to take the lead, define your route to the goal while motivating others to join you on the way. Working on projects that contribute to international peace and safety have your interest. And on top of that?

  • A PHD or comparable degree or experience on the topic of human machine teaming and human-centered AI.
  • Affinity with AI, cognitive psychology and human-robot-teaming.
  • Passion for applied research.
  • Interest in the domain of defense.


What you’ll get in return

Challenging and varied work with a real impact. And plenty of opportunities as, at TNO, you are in charge of shaping your career. We offer a gross monthly salary between € 3.700,- and € 5.300,- (based on your knowledge and experience), 8% holiday pay, a 13th month bonus of 8.33% and a flex budget (5.58% + € 180). In addition, you will be given every opportunity to develop yourself.

Perhaps you would like to grow your career in the direction of commerce or consultancy? Or would you like to become a project manager? Immerse yourself in sustainable innovations? Or carve out a career as a technical expert?

TNO offers optional employee benefits, enabling you to tailor your benefits package to match your personal situation. You may also expect:
  • A good pension scheme.
  • Travel allowance or a bike.
  • An extremely professional, innovative working environment where colleagues are leading experts in their field.
  • 28 days annual leave and 5 compensation days under the reduction in working hours scheme (ATV, arbeidstijdverkorting) on a full-time basis.
  • Great social events with your team and other TNO colleagues. That’s how you will get to know a lot of people really quickly.
  • Flexible working hours and the possibility of working from home.
  • The opportunity to attend courses, workshops and conferences, and to receive training and coaching based on your needs.
  • Access to TNO’s project managers guild: a network of some three hundred equals. The guild organizes workshops, conferences, intervision sessions and other activities for project managers.

TNO as an employer

At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. 


The selection process

Please apply before the 3rd of December, 2021. The selection process comprises two interview rounds. The preliminary interview takes place on the 7th of December, 2021. The second interview round has been scheduled for the 10th of December, 2021. In a final meeting we will discuss the terms of employment and your tailored benefits package. We aim to finalize the entire process within four weeks.

The selection process may include an online assessment and a reference check.

In view of the current Corona restrictions, the selection and onboarding processes have been modified. Your invitation for a job interview will detail the relevant information.

As you will be working for clients in the domain of defence and security, a Certificate of No Objection issued by AIVD (The Dutch General Information and Security Service) is mandatory. This means you will have to undergo a security screening. 


Has this job opening sparked your interest?

Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.

Recruiter: Heleen Stork
Mobile phone: +31 (0)6-515 34922

Hiring manager: Chris Jansen