Researcher for News Recommender Systems to counter the filter bubble

Recommender research at UGent/imec – INTEC – WAVES

The "WAVES" research group ( of the department of Information technology of imec-Ghent University is the expertise center in Belgium for recommender systems, personalization and information filtering (which are subtopics in the research domain of machine learning).

Current research within the WAVES group is focused around the recent trends emerging in the current online and offline world where users have to cope with an overload of information (blogs, social networks, audio-visual content providers, ...). At the same time, we observe that the presence on the web becomes more personal and online identity and activities gain importance. As a result, assisting and adaptive intelligent software tools and techniques get an increasingly important role in online services. Recommender systems are such commonly used solutions that generate personal suggestions for users based on their preferences, thereby alleviating the problem of information overload.

Function description

The researcher will perform research within a multidisciplinary 4 years University project on Diversity of News. In this project the researcher will cooperate with researchers of law, communication sciences and linguistics. The project aims at providing diverse news to readers. We all know that based on social media the filter bubble acts and provides us with less diverse news. The researcher will develop recommendation algorithms that make the news proposition more diverse. To make the algorithms applicable we will work together with the Belgian press.

This job position will thus focus on this topic of recommender systems, personalization and information filtering. The research will exist among other things of:

  • Study and design of self-learning algorithms
  • User-modeling and data set analysis / processing
  • Initiation of experimental set-ups investigating new recommender/personalization techniques


We are looking for enthusiastic candidates to perform research in the domains above in the context of projects thereby collaborating with other research groups of Ghent University and other universities, as well as with companies in the private sector. Candidates with a Master degree in Computer engineering, Electrical engineering, and Informatics qualify for this research job.

  • Experience in the domain of recommender systems is not necessary but interest in machine learning and data analysis is a definite plus.
  • Programming skills (Java or Python) are required.
  • Good written and oral English skills are required and knowledge of the Dutch language is a plus

What do we offer? We offer a pleasant work climate within a young dynamic team and the possibility of obtaining a PhD. If you are interested in joining our research team, address your application letter and curr. vitae to:

Isabelle Van der Elstraeten
Ghent University
iGent, Technologiepark-Zwijnaarde 15
9052 Gent, BELGIUM

Tel.: +32-9-2643321