PhD-position in Huge Scale Optimization in the Social Sciences

A fully funded PhD position is available at Tilburg University, Departments of 1) Methodology and Statistics and 2) Econometrics and Operations Research, to work on the development of statistical methods for Big Data in the Social Sciences under the supervision of Dr. Katrijn Van Deun and

4 dagen geleden


Warandelaan, Tilburg, Noord-Brabant
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 - 40 uur


The employment is primarily dedicated towards carrying out the proposed research described above, with the aim to write several academic articles that are publishable in high-impact peer-reviewed journals and supported by computer code. If desired, the position and the environment in which the candidate will be embedded provide an optimal starting point for a possible academic career. The candidate will follow a customized track of graduate courses which will further develop the candidate’s research skills and background knowledge.


You have sound knowledge of mathematics, statistics, optimization, or programming and affinity with research methods and techniques. You have or are about to obtain a (preferably research) Master’s degree with excellent academic results in operations research, econometrics, computer science, mathematics, statistics, bioinformatics, or a related field. You have an interest in Big Data, Data Science, Machine Learning and Mathematics. Academic curiosity and an interest to work in an interdisciplinary environment are important characteristics for this position. Your written and spoken English are excellent.


Tilburg University is among the top Dutch employers and has an excellent policy concerning terms of employment. The collective employment terms and conditions for Dutch universities will apply. Initially the appointment will be on a temporary basis for the period of 1 year. After a positive first year evaluation the contract will be prolonged for 3 years. The salary for the position of PhD-candidate on a full-time basis ranges between € 2,222.00 and € 2,840.00 gross per month (not included are various allowances).

Additional information

TITLE: A huge scale optimization approach to joint data modeling in the social and behavioral sciences


Social science research has entered the era of big data: Many detailed measurements are taken and multiple sources of information are used to unravel complex multivariate relations. For example, in studying obesity as the outcome of environmental and genetic influences, researchers increasingly collect survey, dietary, biomarker and genetic data from the same individuals. Such novel integrated research can inform us on health strategies to prevent obesity. High-dimensional (this is more variables than samples) multi-source data form an extremely rich resource for research. However, the current situation for the integration of large-scale multi-source data is one where we have highly promising statistical modeling approaches yet unsatisfactory solutions for practical data analysis: for example, with very large numbers of variables existing methods require excessive computation time. With this project we want to address these issues by proposing an alternative framework that relies on powerful optimization methods.

Additional information

More information about Tilburg University and the Tilburg Schools of Social and Behavioral Sciences (TSB) and of Economics and Management (TiSEM) can be found on: For more information regarding this position and the project you can contact dr. Katrijn Van Deun ( or dr. Juan Vera Lizcano ( The telephone number of the secretary is 013-4662544.


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