PhD Positions Data Science and Systems Complexity COFUND Programme (10.0 fte)

University of Groningen

Organisation
The Data Science and Systems Complexity COFUND Doctoral Programme (DSSC COFUND) at the University of Groningen offers 10 early stage researcher (ESR) positions co-funded through the Marie Sklodowska Curie COFUND action under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Work Programme. The DSSC aims to train highly skilled graduates who will use state of the art data methodology to understand the behaviour of complex systems and who can handle data and complexity problems for society at large.

In their application the candidates are invited to select one or several from the 18 projects available at the DSSC in which they are interested and which cover various topics in the areas Adaptive Models and Big Data, Complex Systems and Engineering, Advanced Instrumentation and Big Data such as: system reconstruction, the learning of models and large scale computing, methods to predict and control the behaviour of complex systems, and methods and techniques for high data volumes and high data transmission speeds involved in complex instrumentation. All 18 projects involve interdisciplinary collaboration between at least 2 DSSC institutes at the University of Groningen, and temporary internships with the DSSC partners.

If selected, the candidates will be matched to one of the projects they opted for in their application. Thus, the 10 selected candidates will conduct research on 10 of the 18 interdisciplinary projects offered at the DSSC. The complete list of projects, including supervisory teams and potential internships, is available on the DSSC COFUND website http://www.rug.nl/dssc-cofund and at http://www.rug.nl/research/fse/themes/dssc/cofund/training/

Job description
The defining features of our programme are its interdisciplinarity and international outlook.

At the DSSC, the ESRs will conduct interdisciplinary research that combines mathematics, computer science, artificial intelligence, engineering, and systems and control, with applications in fields such as astronomy, medicine, bioinformatics, or theoretical high-energy physics. In the course of their projects they will develop methods, models, and algorithms for the three interdisciplinary and interconnected areas of the DSSC: Adaptive Models & Big Data; Complex Systems & Engineering; Advanced Instrumentation & Big Data. All projects concern highly relevant massive scientific data sets. The ESRs will also be placed on temporary internships with our partners and will apply their expertise in fields such as energy and smart grids, smart industry healthcare, safety and security, and scientific instrumentation. The ESRs are expected to become active in international networks through participation in summer schools, short visits with international partners and attendance of conferences.
As DSSC PhDs, they will publish articles in peer-reviewed journals, develop methods and algorithms as required by their project and as agreed with their supervisors, participate in DSSC meetings and scientific events, and write a dissertation.

Qualifications
Eligibility criteria:
Applicants should:

  • be in possession of a master’s degree or its equivalent in one of the fields relevant to the DSSC (e.g. mathematics, statistics, computer science, artificial intelligence, engineering, physics, bioinformatics, astronomy)
  • not have resided or carried out their main activity in The Netherlands for more than 12 months in the three years immediately before the reference date of the DSSC COFUND call deadline (15 July 2017) unless it was as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention
  • qualify as early stage researchers, i.e., be in the first four years of their research careers, and not have been awarded a doctoral degree, by the reference date of the DSSC COFUND call deadline (15 July 2017).

Evaluation criteria:
We are searching for applicants who excel academically and professionally, are creative and independent, and have communication and leadership skills. Evaluation will focus on the candidates’:

  • educational and professional background
  • compatibility of research interests with the DSSC (fit with the research areas; motivation to conduct a PhD project at the DSSC; career plans)
  • complementary skills (English proficiency and communication skills; creativity, independence, leadership).

Conditions of employment
The University of Groningen offers a gross monthly starting salary of € 2,191 in the first year and increases to € 2,801 in the fourth year of employment for a full-time position (including taxes such as for pension premiums). In addition to the primary salary, the university offers 8% holiday allowance and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.

The terms of employment comply with the terms of the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU). The 10 DSSC positions offered are for four years (48 months), at full-time employment. PhDs will receive a full-time appointment of 1 year with the perspective of extension for another 3 years. The extension depends on the outcome of the PhDs’ evaluation after 9 months from the beginning of their appointment. The evaluation assesses the possibility that the PhD student will successfully complete a thesis within the following 3 years.

Successful applicants are expected to begin their appointment no later than 1 March 2018.
All DSSC PhDs are required to complete a PhD thesis by the end of the employment period. The appointment requires that the PhD employee will devote up to 10% of the time to teaching.

Application
You may apply for this position until 14 July 23h59 / before 15 July 2017, Dutch local time, by means of the application form, see: http://www.rug.nl/about-us/work-with-us/job-opportunities/overview?details=00347-02S0005KFP

Applications should include:

  • curriculum vitae, including a list of attended conferences and published papers
  • motivation letter
  • copy of master’s diploma and copy of transcripts
  • research abstract (max. 400 words) about the match between applicants’ previous experience and activity and the DSSC projects in which the applicants are interested
  • TOEFL/IELTS certification of English proficiency
  • two reference letters from academic advisors or professional supervisors. Referees can send their letters with the mention DSSC COFUND REFERENCE LETTER to the address: f.van.mastrigt@rug.nl

To ascertain the applicants’ qualifications, the selection committee might request additional documents.

We anticipate that Skype interviews with shortlisted candidates will be scheduled in September 2017 and on-campus interviews in October 2017.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Information
For information you can contact:

Dr Frank van Mastrigt (for the Programme and the call and the dispatch of reference letters), e-mail address: f.van.mastrigt@rug.nl (please do not use for applications) 

Additional information
COFUND:
http://www.rug.nl/research/fse/themes/dssc/cofund/
DSSC: http://www.rug.nl/research/fse/themes/dssc/cofund/