KInIT Launches Doctoral Program, Attracts Applicants with Cutting-Edge Research and Mentors

Bratislava, March 1, 2021 – The Kempelen Institute of Intelligent Technologies (KInIT) launches a PhD program in cooperation with the Faculty of Information Technology VUT in Brno. KInIT promises to involve internationally recognized mentors from universities abroad, companies such as Google, as well as Slovak innovative companies. Applications may be submitted until April 20, 2021 at

KInIT was created in September 2020 and is the first privately held institute of its kind in Slovakia. KInIT aims to connect researchers in artificial intelligence and other domains with innovative companies, their needs and knowledge.

The institute was founded by a team led by the former dean of Faculty of Informatics and Information Technologies Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Maria Bielikova, to continue previous research cooperations with the private sector and international research teams. As of today, KInIT employs 29 researchers.

The institute is financially supported by companies, namely ESET, Tatra banka, Innovatrics, Seesame, Softec, Gerulata Technologies, and by an individual donor, Andrej Kiska Jr.

The goal of KInIT is to significantly improve the quality of research activities and education, connect research with innovations, and consequently help transform the Slovak economy toward sectors with high added value. This is one of the reasons KInIT launches the doctoral (PhD) program.

Maria Bielikova, the director general of KInIT, explains the motivation behind the institute: “We are looking for curious people. We want to show them that they can engage in cutting-edge research even in Slovakia and connect with the world.”

Applications may be submitted until April 20

Those interested in the doctoral program at KInIT may submit their application to the first round of admission interview until April 20, 2021.

Afterwards, the chosen candidates will have a month to meet with supervisors from KInIT, external mentors and representatives of companies. The candidates are expected to select a research topic and get to know KInIT better from the inside.

Candidates that have successfully found their topic and supervisor may then submit their PhD application to the Faculty of Information Technology, Brno University of Technology, which cooperates with KInIT to provide the PhD program at KInIT.

KInIT’s doctoral students will be full-time KInIT employees and devote their time to research and study for their PhD degree. At the same time, KInIT’s doctoral students will act as external students of FIT VUT and graduates will receive their degree from FIT VUT.

The doctoral program starts on September 1, 2021.

Dissertation topics, deadlines, contacts and other details are available at

PhD students supervised by top researchers 

Apart from research teams at KInIT, the doctoral students will also be supervised by several mentors from world-leading universities and research teams in technology companies.

“We are glad that KInIT allows Slovaks from abroad – and not only them – to bring world-class research back home,” explains M. Bielikova.

KInIT has so far established partnership with the following external mentors:

  • Peter Brusilovsky, expert on user modeling and personalization from the University of Pittsburgh (h-index 76)
  • Jana Kosecka, expert on computer vision from the George Mason University (h-index 47)
  • Branislav Kveton, expert on machine learning from Google Research (h-index 31)
  • Peter Richtarik, expert on machine learning from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (h-index 43)
  • Martin Takac, expert on machine learning from the Lehigh University (h-index 28)
  • Peter Tino, expert on machine learning from the University of Birmingham (h-index 36)

Companies directly involved in research

KInIT strives to prepare doctoral students for practice and work in innovative companies. It is these companies that can bolster the Slovak economy and shift the economy toward sectors with high added value.

Bielikova further sheds light on the matter: “I would like to address a common misconception about PhD alumni. Their place is not only in academia. Now more than ever, intelligent technologies require complex solutions, and these alumni may apply their knowledge and skill in practice. Also, basic research and its outcomes – apart from applied research – may be beneficial for companies as well, especially if said companies provide their data and domain expertise. This way, they not only support talents, but also encourage the discovery of knowledge and its subsequent transfer to their domain.”

Four Slovak innovative companies will be involved in the PhD program at KInIT: ESET, Luigi’s Box, Sfera and Softec. These companies enrich the teams of supervisors of several doctoral students with their very own experts and provide interesting data from their areas of expertise to students. Each topic will be focused toward solving a research problem that is also of concern in enterprises, as is commonly the case in other countries.