PhD Student in Reinforcement Learning for Control of Partially Observable Dynamical Systems

Ref LiU-2023-02171

We have the power of over 40,000 students and co-workers. Students who provide hope for the future. Co-workers who contribute to Linköping University meeting the challenges of the day. Our fundamental values rest on credibility, trust and security. By having the courage to think freely and innovate, our actions together, large and small, contribute to a better world. We look forward to receiving your application!

We are looking for a PhD student in automatic control with specialization within reinforcement learning for control of partially observable dynamical systems.

Your work assignments

The control-oriented research at Linköping University concerns different topics such as sensor fusion, learning methods for control, and optimization. We are currently looking for a PhD student to conduct research on the intersection of reinforcement learning and control theory.

Project description: Reinforcement Learning (RL) provides an end-to-end framework to control dynamical systems, from sensory data to control input, and has shown astonishing performance for example in playing strategic games and surpassed human champion performance. This project aims to study, analyze, and develop RL algorithms for control of partially observable dynamical systems. More specifically, the following research directions will be followed:

  • To study and quantify the effect of partial observability, noise, and uncertainty.
  • To study how data can be efficiently used in RL algorithms including model-free and model-building approaches.
  • To develop efficient algorithms for partially observable dynamical systems.

The idea is to leverage control theory and new advances in RL to develop algorithms to use sensor data efficiently. The possibility of using Kalman filters and model-free observers will be investigated.

This position is a part of a Zenith project called “Reinforcement Learning for partially observable dynamical systems with continuous state and action spaces”. For more information about the project, see link.

As a PhD student, you devote most of your time to doctoral studies and the research projects of which you are part. Your work may also include teaching or other departmental duties, up to a maximum of 20% of full-time.

Your qualifications

You have graduated at Master’s level in electrical engineering, computer science, engineering physics, applied mathematics or similar, or completed courses with a minimum of 240 credits, at least 60 of which must be in advanced courses within the same topics. Alternatively, you have gained essentially corresponding knowledge in another way.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious candidate with the following qualifications

  • Solid background in control theory.
  • Knowledge of reinforcement learning.
  • Solid programming skills.
  • Great communication skills and proficiency in English.

It is meriting to have knowledge in machine learning, optimization, and statistics. Knowledge of programming with Python is also an advantage.

Your workplace

The Division of Automatic Control at Linköping University carries out research, undergraduate and postgraduate education within control, sensor fusion, system identification, autonomous systems, robotics, complex networks, optimization, and learning control. Read more

The employment

When taking up the post, you will be admitted to the program for doctoral studies. More information about the doctoral studies at each faculty is available at Doctoral studies at Linköping University

The employment has a duration of four years’ full-time equivalent. You will initially be employed for a period of one year. The employment will subsequently be renewed for periods of maximum duration two years, depending on your progress through the study plan. The employment may be extended up to a maximum of five years, based on the amount of teaching and departmental duties you have carried out. Further extensions can be granted in special circumstances.

Starting date by agreement.

Salary and employment benefits

The salary of PhD students is determined according to a locally negotiated salary progression.

More information about employment benefits at Linköping University is available here.

Union representatives

Information about union representatives, see Help for applicants.

Application procedure

Apply for the position by clicking the “Apply” button below. Your application must reach Linköping University no later than June 11, 2023. Applications and documents received after the date above will not be considered.

We welcome applicants with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives – diversity enriches our work and helps us grow. Preserving everybody’s equal value, rights and opportunities is a natural part of who we are. Read more about our work with: Equal opportunities. We look forward to receiving your application! Linköping university has framework agreements and wishes to decline direct contacts from staffing- and recruitment companies as well as vendors of job advertisements.

Contact persons

Farnaz Adib Yaghmaie

Assistant professor

Martin Enqvist

Associate professor and Head of division


Rebecka Delvert

HR Partner

Karin Blomdahl

HR coordinator