PhD and Postdoc openings in Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning for Computer Vision and Control with both standard and Event-based Cameras

Job description

The mission of our lab is to develop novel perception, control, and learning algorithms that will allow one day mobile robots to navigate autonomously in dynamic environments using onboard vision sensors. To achieve this goal we investigate how machine learning, novel sensors (such as event-based cameras), and coupled perception and control can be used to advance the state of the art of mobile robots. Most of our research is carried out on drones rather on ground robots due to their inherent instability, increased speed and agility, and ability to navigate in 3D. We are looking for motivated researchers to help make this vision a reality!

The PhD student and Postdoctoral researcher in Vision-based Navigation will work on novel vision-based control and/or planning algorithms that combine model-based and machine learning methods (both deep learning and/or (Inverse) Reinforcement Learning) to accomplish robust navigation tasks in dynamic and harsh environments. The robot to be controlled can have both a rigid or an articulated shape, which can be changed on the fly depending on the task (see example here). More on our research on combination of model-based and deep learning methods (papers and videos) can be found here. More on our research on control for micro drones (papers and videos) can be found here and here.

The PhD student and Postdoctoral researcher in Computer Vision will work on novel vision-based algorithms that combine classical geometric approaches with deep learning to accomplish robust scene understanding or Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) using traditional cameras in combination with novel sensors, such as the event cameras or SCAMP). More on our research on event cameras (papers and videos) can be found here. Our research on visual inertial odometry with standard cameras can be found here.

An up-to-date list of our current research projects is here. For videos, please check out our YouTube channel. For media coverage of our research, please check out our media page.


The position is fully funded. PhD student and Postdoc positions in Switzerland are regular jobs with social benefits (e.g., a pension plan!). You will get a very competitive salary and access to excellent research facilities (motion capture, 3D printing, large flying arenas (indoors and outdoors), and electronic and machine workshops. Additionally, we have a very enjoyable work atmosphere and organize many social events, such as ski trips, hikes, lab dinners, and lab retreats. Zurich has been regularly ranked among the top 1-2 cities in the world for quality of life (link). Over the past 10 years Swiss robotics research has developed so much that Switzerland was recently chosen by Forbes as the Silicon Valley of robotics (link).

Who we are

Our research lab, called the Robotics and Perception Group, belongs to two departments: the Dept. of Informatics of the University of Zurich and the Dept. of Neuroinformatics of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. The lab was founded in 2012 and has since made world-class contributions in visual SLAM, event-based vision, and vision-based navigation of quadrotors, for which it has received many prestigious awards, research grants. The research carried out in our lab has received extensive media coverage. More recently, we were in the news worldwide for our works on deep learning for autonomous drone navigation and agile navigation of quadrotors using standard cameras or event-based cameras.

Your Skills:

  • A passion for computer vision, robotics, mathematics, programming and abstract thinking
  • Excellent written and spoken English skills
  • For PhD candidates:
    • a Master degree in computer engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, robotics, physics, or related fields
  • For Postdocs:
    • a PhD degree in computer engineering, computer science, robotics, or related fields
    • Excellent track record (publications in high-impact-factor conferences and journals)
      • for the Postdoc in Vision-based Navigation
        • Proven theoretical and practical experience in solving large-scale reinforcement-learning, machine learning, and/or recommender system problems.
        • Ability to develop and implement complex algorithms efficiently
      • for the Postdoc in Computer Vision
        • Proven theoretical and practical experience in solving large-scale computer vision and/or machine learning problems.
        • Experience in complex systems' analysis, including multi-objective optimization and the quantification of uncertainty as it propagates through a complex system.
        • Experience working independently in a shared machine learning implementation setting

    Recommended: Strong experience with C++, Python, Deep Learning frameworks, GPU optimization skills. Familiarity with tools such as ROS, TensorFlow, OpenCV, and Git is desirable.

Starting Date

Starting Date: Between 1st of January and 1st of April 2019. The evaluation of the recevived applications starts on 1st December 2018 and will continue until the position is filled. Check here for updates.

How to apply

PhD candidates: APPLY HERE
Postdocs: APPLY HERE

You will be requested to upload single PDF including (in the order):

  • 1. Letter of motivation (max half page). Please specify your strong experience in the fields related to the openings (including the skills recommended above if matching). Postdocs applicants, please show evidence with publications in strong venues.
  • 2. Your CV (please include: your nationality for visa requirements, date of birth, your English level, scientific publications if any, programming skills, hobbies). Postdoc applicants: please include the publication list and reprints of your 3 major publications;
  • 3. List of at least 3 referees (support-letter writers). Support letters will be requested only if your application is considered. So you don't need to upload them now.
  • .

Please include your homepage and link to videos and code if available.


For questions, please contact Prof. Davide Scaramuzza at: careersrpg (AT) ifi (DOT) uzh (DOT) ch (please do not use his private email for inquiries about these job positions). Please do not send inquiries asking to check whether your CV fits any of the positions. If you are unsure, just apply; you have nothing to lose. Applications sent directly by email and not through the web form will not be considered. In case of positive feedback, you will be contacted within 4 weeks from your application. If not positive, you won't hear back.