1. Vacatures
  2. Universiteit Utrecht (UU)
  3. PhD position in Differential and Probabilistic Programming (1.0 FTE)

PhD position in Differential and Probabilistic Programming (1.0 FTE)

Join our interdisciplinary team to develop the mathematical and programming language foundations of tomorrow’s machine learning ecosystems!

28 dagen geleden


Domplein, Utrecht, Utrecht
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 40 uur
€ 2325 - € 2972 per maand


The Department of Information and Computing Sciences at Utrecht University is looking for a junior researcher who wants to jump-start a career by becoming a PhD student in Differential and Probabilistic Programming. This position can be taken up as a five-year contract with 70% research time and 30% teaching time. This position provides an excellent opportunity to develop an academic profile as a competent Researcher and capable Teacher.

As a PhD candidate you would be primarily responsible for conducting excellent research in Differential and Probabilistic Programming. This research should result in successfully obtaining a PhD degree during the appointment. You will also be involved in supporting the preparation and teaching of Bachelor's and Master's level courses, supervising student theses, managing research infrastructure, and participating in public outreach.

You will join the Software Technology group led by Gabriele Keller to conduct research in the field of Mathematical Aspects of Computer Science. The daily supervision will be done by Matthijs Vákár. The focus of this position is on differential and probabilistic programming techniques, as used in machine learning and computational statistics. This exciting new field of research combines knowledge from machine learning, programming languages, scientific computing, and statistical physics communities. Projects could include developing new differential and probabilistic programming techniques, giving mathematical proof of their correctness and efficiency, building state-of-the-art implementations of these new techniques, and applying them to solve real-world problems. As this research group contains core members of the Accelerate and Stan projects, newly developed techniques could quickly have a large impact and reach a large audience of end-users. The precise focus of the position will depend on the candidate's strengths and interests.

You will be involved in teaching activities within the Department of Information and Computing Sciences. Teaching activities may include supporting senior teaching staff, conducting tutorials, and supervising student projects and theses. These activities will contribute to the development of your didactic skills.


As a successful candidate you are a driven student who

  • holds a Master’s degree with research experience in a relevant discipline like Computer Science, Mathematics, or Physics;
  • has excellent English communication skills;
  • has a strong interest in research and is motivated to explore the areas of differential and probabilistic programming and mathematical aspects of computer science, more generally.

In particular, we are looking for enthusiastic candidates who will take the initiative to make the most of the academic freedom offered in this PhD position.


  • a position for 5 years;
  • a full-time gross salary that starts at €2,325 and increases to €2,972 per month (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities);
  • salary is supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% per year;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao).

We offer an exciting opportunity to contribute to an ambitious and international education programme with highly motivated students and to conduct your own research project at a renowned research university. You will receive appropriate training, personal supervision, and guidance for both your research and teaching tasks, which will provide an excellent start to an academic career.

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the cao for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example agreements on professional development, leave and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your personal terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This way we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here.

Additional information

If you have any questions about this position, please contact Matthijs Vákár (Assistant Professor), via m.i.l.vakar@uu.nl.

Questions about the application procedure? Send an email to science.recruitment@uu.nl.


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