The IRIDIA (Institut de Recherches Interdisciplinaires et de Développements en Intelligence Artificielle- research group at the Free University of Brussels (ULB)  has been nominated by the European Commission to act as a Host Institution for Marie Curie Early Stage Research Training (EST) Fellowships. Subject to final budget approval by the Commission, IRIDIA-ULB plans to offer a number of long-term 'Ph.D. grants' (3 years) and  short term 'Visiting Fellowships' (from 6 to 12 months) with a starting date in April 2004.



Detailed project description


The COMP2SYS (COMPutational intelligence methods for COMPlex SYStems) Early Stage Training project focuses on the training of early stage researchers to the use of Computational Intelligence techniques for the treatment of complex systems in science and engineering. The programme aims at developing the knowledge and skills necessary to solve complex problems using the powerful emergent  methods and tools of Computational Intelligence.


The COMP2SYS programme will focus on five main research topics:


  1. Evolutionary computation
  2. Ant colony optimization
  3. Artificial chemistry and biological networks
  4. Theoretical and applied machine learning
  5. Swarm intelligence and swarm robotics



The COMP2SYS training programme will interest two profiles of early stage researchers:


*   Grant holders: they will spend a research period of 3 years at ULB-IRIDIA. They are expected to enroll as doctoral students in the doctoral program of ULB.

*   Young visiting scientists: typically they are doctoral students of other universities who are  pursuing their doctorate on a topic related to Computational Intelligence. Occasionally they can be early stage researchers in companies research labs.  Their typical stay at ULB-IRIDIA will last for a period of time ranging from 6 to 12 months. Shorter visits, 3 to 6 months, might occasionally be considered.


The training programme will cover the foundations of Computational Intelligence techniques, their practical implementation as computing tools and their real-world application to many areas of strategic importance in the fields of business, finance, management, commerce, engineering, healthcare and the environment. The strength of the training method resides in its specific focus on state-of-the-art Computational Intelligence techniques and on the substantial research expertise of the staff involved, with respect to both the fundamental aspects of the technologies and their industrial application.

Through the national and international research activities of the training team in this fast-developing field, students will be exposed to the most up-to-date knowledge available. Through the close interaction of the team with industry, students will be made fully aware of the opportunities and problems in bringing these technologies to bear on practical problems and in fully integrating them into industrial and business processes.


Training supervisors:


The COMP2SYS training staff will be composed of the following senior scientists:


*   Marco Dorigo

*   Hugues Bersini

*   Gianluca Bontempi

*   Jean-Louis Deneubourg



Information for applicants


*   EST researchers  refers to researchers at the beginning of their research career with a degree that entitles to embark on Ph.D. studies and less than four years' active research experience (e.g. researchers undertaking a doctoral degree).

*   Eligibility conditions are restricted, so please carefully check these before contacting IRIDIA-ULB. Please refer to the following Marie-Curie website:


*   Interested applicants should send as soon as possible an email to the EST Coordinator ( with

  1. the subject "COMP2SYS application: research interest R1-R2" where R1 and R2 are the number of the (at most ) two research topics of interest (see above). For example the subject "COMP2SYS application: research interest 1-4" indicates an application for the research topics "Evolutionary computation" and "Theoretical and applied machine learning".
  2. a PDF document in attachment containing
    1. a detailed CV of the applicant,
    2. the list of publications,
    3. the name and the complete address (E-mail and phone number) of three scientific references
    4. a statement of interest for the COMP2SYS research topics they are applying for.
    5. an indication of which position (3-year grant holder or short term visiting scientist) they are applying for. In the case of a preference for short term visiting  positions, the applicants should also mention the preferred duration of  stay and whether she will maintain her salary/fellowship in the institution of origin while visiting IRIDIA-ULB.


*   We explicitly encourage women to apply for our advertised positions, including those returning to work and/or those with flexible working needs. We guarantee that the selection process will give equal opportunities to female and male applicants and that regarding salary, promotions, career development and all other aspects of employment, equal opportunities shall be vigorously pursued. NB: mobility allowances for employees with dependants may be higher.


*   Application DEADLINE: Position will be filled as adequate candidate will become available. However, we suggest to apply before 30th July 2004.


*   General information about the allowances of appointed EST researchers (salary, living allowances, travel expenses) can be found here.



Interesting links


Women and science

 4000 years of women in sciences

Association of women in science and engineering

Association femmes et sciences

Frauen in Naturwissenchaft und technik (NUT)

The Marie-Curie EU programme

EU Marie Curie Actions

Guide to the Marie Curie Programme

Marie Curie Fellowship Organization

Marco Dorigo's Marie Curie Award

Former EU-supported grant-holders in IRIDIA

Edy Bertolissi

Mauro Birattari

Christian Blum

Gianluca Bontempi

Daniele Catanzaro

Gianni Di Caro

Marco Dorigo

Stefka Fidanova

Jorge Gasos

Joshua Knowles

Philipp Kostuch

Nicolas Meuleau

Carlotta Piscopo

Andrea Roli

Hussain Saleh

Michael Sampels

Thomas Stützle

Morgan Tamplin

Vito Trianni

Elio Tuci

Mark Zlochin


The ULB university

Welcome to the ULB

The ULB, a university born of an idea

Awarded ULB researchers

Research at the Free University of Brussels

ECULB: the entrepreneurship center

IRIDIA research group

Computer Science Department (Faculty of Sciences)

CENOLI (Centre d'études des phénomènes non linéaires et des systèmes complexes)



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