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School of Electrical Engineering

Job category

Doctoral candidates

The Aalto Robot Learning research group operates in the intersection of artificial intelligence and robotics. We focus on developing methods for reinforcement learning, robotic manipulation, decision making under partial observability, imitation learning, and decision making in multi-agent systems. The goal of the research group is to help robots understand what they need to learn to perform their assigned tasks, and, thus, make robots capable of operating on their own and pro-actively help humans. To accomplish these goals the research group develops novel decision making methods and uses these methods to solve unsolved robotic tasks. For more information, please see:

The Robot Learning research group is seeking a talented PhD student with strong interest in Mobile Manipulation, Reinforcement Learning, and Planning.

The main task of the PhD student will be to develop methods for mobile manipulation and information gathering and utilize them on our Boston Dynamics Spot robot with a Spot arm. The goal is to allow robots to operate in unstructured partially observable real-world environments where the environment changes and is not fully observable. The methods will be evaluated in real-world environments found on construction sites and other settings.

The developed methods may be based on one of our focus areas including, but not limited to, reinforcement learning and planning under uncertainty. The exact direction of the research is chosen depending on your experience and interests. Please relate clearly to some of the research topics in your Letter of Motivation.

Outstanding researchers from the areas of Machine Learning, AI, and Robotics and related areas including Reinforcement Learning, Control Engineering, Computer Vision, Statistics & Optimization, or Mathematics & Physics are welcome to apply. The candidate is expected to conduct independent research and at the same time contribute to the topics listed above. Successful candidates will be furthermore given the opportunity to work with undergraduate, and M.Sc. students.

The research group collaborates with research groups in construction, computer vision, robotics, mobile heavy machines, human-robot interaction, reinforcement learning, imitation learning, multi-agent systems, under-water vehicles, and robot motion planning. Moreover, two of the PhD students in the research group are located at the Intelligent Autonomous Systems institute at TU Darmstadt, Germany, so there will be ample opportunities for international collaboration.

Aalto University ( is located in Finland. Finland is among the best countries in the world according to many quality of life indicators, including being the happiest country in the world (UN study 2018 and The World Happiness Report 2022). In addition to a computing cluster at Aalto University and computing clusters in Finland available to the research group, Finland has Europe’s fastest supercomputer LUMI. Aalto University is the foremost university in Finland in Engineering, Design and Business.


The position will be filled for a period of 4 years (2+2). The starting date is in August 2022 or as mutually agreed. The salary will be based on both the job requirements and the employee’s personal performance in accordance with the salary system of Finnish universities. The starting salary for a PhD student is approximately 2600 EUR/month.

We offer a wide range of staff benefits, such as occupational health care, flexible working hours, excellent sports facilities on campus and several restaurants and cafés on campus with staff discounts. The position is located at the Aalto University Otaniemi campus which can be easily reached by public transport.


Please submit your application through our online recruitment system. The closing date for applications is July 17th, 2022 (23:59 EEST (GMT+3)).

Please write your application and all the accompanying documentation in English and attach them in PDF format. Please attach only the following documents to your application:

  • A letter of motivation describing your research interests and how the research fits to the Robot Learning research group (max. 1 page)
  • Curriculum vitae (including the contact details of two referees)
  • A list of publications as a part of the curriculum vitae (if available)
  • PDF copy of your MSc and BSc degree certificates, including transcripts of all MSc and BSc university records (grades and courses) and their English translations (Finnish and Swedish certificates are also accepted)

Please note that our recruitment system allows max 5 attachments, so please combine the copies of certificates and transcripts in one PDF, if necessary.


For further information, please contact Assistant Professor Joni Pajarinen, Additional information in recruitment process related questions, please contact HR Coordinator Camilla Hanganpää,

Aalto University is where science and art meet technology and business. We shape a sustainable future by making research breakthroughs in and across our disciplines, sparking the game changers of tomorrow and creating novel solutions to major global challenges. Our community is made up of 12 000 students, 400 professors and close to 4 000 other faculty and staff working on our dynamic campus in Espoo, Greater Helsinki, Finland. Diversity is part of who we are, and we actively work to ensure our community’s diversity and inclusiveness. This is why we warmly encourage qualified candidates from all backgrounds to join our community.

The School of Electrical Engineering promotes high-quality science, technology and innovations for the benefit of the Finnish society and all of humankind. In our research environment, the natural sciences, engineering and information technology intertwine to form smart systems and innovations that save energy and promote well-being. With our research, we seek to respond to many challenges posed by sustainable development and the results are applied, for example, in mobile devices, electrical networks, health care and in satellites. School’s special strength is linking the research with the Finnish and international business sector. We have around 2000 students in total, and around 250 master’s and 50 doctoral degrees annually. Our personnel consists of 700 people with over 70 professors.


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