PhD Position Game Theory of Cancer and Its Treatment

Join our team developing and combining new game theory, data science and control theory to help oncologic patients!
  • WO
  • Tijdelijk
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


Within the Dutch Research Council project "ANTICANCER: Game theory empowered by data science and control theory to improve treatment of metastatic cancer" we are looking for PhD candidates to join our team focusing on mathematical oncology to improve our understanding and treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.  

Within this PhD position, you will extend existing evolutionary game-theoretic models of cancer so that they can include multiple cancer cell types and multiple treatments. You will analyze properties of these models, such as evolutionary stability, with respect to different parameters, and design therapies that can maximize patient quantity and quality of life indepently of the model specifics, utilizing Stackelberg and evolutionary game theory and optimal control. You may be also validating the models with patient data, together with another PhD candidate within this project.

While this project is theoretical and requires strong mathematical basis, you will collaborate with a team of data scientists, cancer biologists and clinicians from different universities and medical centers, as the outcomes of this project should improve standard of care of patients with non-small cell lung cancer. 


  • MSc degree in (applied) mathematics, mathematical control theory, operations research, ore related field
  • Strong knowledge of evolutionary game theory, Stackelberg game theory, and/or optimal control in continuous time
  • Ability to analyze both stability and dynamic properties of continuous dynamical systems
  • Ability to collaborate in a multi-disciplinary team
  • Interest in both developing new mathematical theory and its real-world applications
  • Excellent command of English

Knowledge of numerical mathematics, data-driven modelling, and programming is a plus.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.


Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Meer informatie

For more information about this vacancy, please contact dr. Katerina Stankova,    

For information about the application procedure, please contact Olivie Beek,