PhD/Postdoc Vacancy at the intersection of mental Healthcare and artificial intelligence

IDLab, University of Antwerp


February 10, 2022


PhD/Postdoc Vacancy at the intersection of mental Healthcare and

artificial intelligence

Job description

The Baekeland/Innovation mandates program offers the possibility of conducting academic research in an industrial environment, within the context of a collaboration between the University of Antwerp (research group IDLab) and the company FARESA.

This is a win-win situation for researcher, company and university! From the IDLab UAntwerpen research group you will be guided by a top research group in the field of artificial intelligence and computer vision. FARESA gives you the opportunity to develop new mental health tech tools together with a team of its specialists.

About Faresa

Faresa is a rapidly growing mental health company with 6 offices in Belgium and 30 psychologists improving mental health in over 1000 patients per year (B2C) and offering B2B services for large clients (up to 10000 employees). The business unit Faresa Digital Tools is evolving towards a health tech company, with a great entrepreneurship culture and digital “start-up” spirit. In the future it will enable an automated and AI-driven mental health care pathway including early risk detection and intervention.

Right now, Faresa is looking for a strategic artificial intelligence engineer/researcher, being interested in AI-algorithms for mental health profiling on the one hand, and on business growth and decision-making on the other. If the mental health use case is interesting to you, after successful completion of the research assignment, you might be the ideal co-pilot for Faresa's CEO and our future CTO.

University of Antwerp – imec Internet & Data Lab (IDLab)

The Internet & Data Lab (IDLab) is an imec research group at the University of Antwerp and Ghent University. IDLab focuses its research on internet technologies and data science. IDLab is a joint research initiative between Ghent University and the University of Antwerp. Bringing together 300 internet experts, we develop technologies outperforming current solutions for communication subsystems, high speed and low power networking, distributed computing and multimedia processing, machine learning, artificial intelligence and web semantics. Within Antwerp, the overall IDLab research areas are machine learning and wireless networking.

Context of the vacancy

One out of 4 people suffer from psychological or neurological disorders worldwide. According to WHO, depression will evolve from being the fourth most important reason for disability worldwide today to being the first by 2030. Evidence-based interventions for prevention and curation are available, but only 1/3rd of people suffering from these complaints seek professional help. Evidently, digital tools for early detection and treatment can benefit from AI to bridge the gap between people feeling depressed or anxious and evidence- based interventions to overcome these complaints.

Project description

DeRisk Diary: Depression Early Risk Detection (through personal narrative analysis) is a Faresa-IDLab project wherein video and speech analysis (data collection through diary/therapy room) are used for early detection of depressive and anxiety complaints to enable better automatic or blended care paths. Firstly, an automatic digital care path including the automatic early detection of depression markers from visual data and a recommender system (social agent) are envisioned. Secondly, the AI-algorithm will be used for triage and optimalization of face-to-face or blended therapy leading to more cost-effective interventions in mental health care. The project is funded through a Baekeland or Innovation mandate, depending on the profile of the candidate.

Our Offer

You receive the opportunity to combine academic and industrial research ranging from designing theoretical and algorithmic innovations to creating real impact in clinical practice together with a team of psychologists through technical innovations.

At least 60% of your time will be spent on academic research. You will be responsible for algorithm development, running experiments, data management, interactions with research collaborators within IDLab. You will participate in collaborative research with industrial and academic partners in Flanders and on a wider geographic scale in new and ongoing projects. You will publish your research results at major international conferences and in journal papers. Next to this, you will spend a limited amount of your time on project management (e.g., project reporting, setting up and organizing project meetings, writing data management plans and ethics assessment as and when required).

Responsibilities for Faresa include getting in touch with mental health services & products, and covering the following topics: IT vision and strategy, Projects and IT operations, Technological trends, and Security. Topic selection in line with candidate's profile, feasible time investment and future perspective of growth towards CTO position. You report directly to the CEO.

Job requirements


  • Minimal: Master's degree in Computer Science, Data Science, Engineering, Informatics, ICT or related field. Applications from Post-doctoral researchers are also welcome.
  • Familiarity with Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, or a related area.
  • Fluency in Python and experience with Deep Learning frameworks (PyTorch, Tensorflow)
  • Strategic thinker, you are familiar with a variety of business concepts
  • Fluent in English, spoken & written
  • Self-directed and able to perform independent work
  • You are a strong team-player
  • Enthusiastic about working in an industrial & research environment
  • You like to speak in public
  • Interested?

    Please apply using the application button on this webpage at the latest by 24/01/2022. Applications should include:

  • An academic/professional resume
  • A personal motivation letter
  • Transcripts of study results (for pre-doctoral candidates)
  • For questions regarding the research aspects of the vacancy, contact Prof. José Oramas (

    Apply for this job

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