PhD Position Impact Measurement of Research Software

PhD Position Impact Measurement of Research Software

Published Deadline Location
6 Apr 4 Jun Amsterdam

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If you have the drive to continuously improve software, are creative and communicative, and enjoy tackling complex challenges, this is the job for you.

Job description

The Netherlands eScience Center at the Amsterdam Science Park is constantly looking for enthusiastic research software engineers (RSEs) to join the eScience Center Team. We are currently looking to fill a PhD position for Impact Measurement of Research Software.  

In this project the eScience Center collaborates with the Department of Information and Computing Sciences at Utrecht University. The department is nationally and internationally renowned for its fundamental and applied research in computer science and information science. It contributes to innovative information technologies through the development and application of new concepts, theories, algorithms and software methods. You will be part of the Software Ecosystems Security research group, who are working on a safer worldwide software ecosystem through empirical software engineering.

What does your work look like? 

Scientific impact measurement is moving away from traditional methods such as citation indices towards measuring other forms of impact from research outputs. One of the research outputs that has received insufficient attention is research software. In this project we will explore novel methods for impact measurement of research software, as part of the broader FAIR software narrative.

The challenge is approached in two ways. First, we use an existing source code database to rapidly identify reuse across the software ecosystem. Using this code database and others, we expect to identify uncited reuse of software and report this through information portals, such as Secondly, we look at novel methods for identifying reuse, such as searching for pseudo-code in implemented form across the worldwide software ecosystem.

The project aims to use search-based software engineering techniques for research software impact measurement. You are expected to create new solutions that support this endeavour, and provide different proofs of impact, other than, for instance, citation scores. For this reason, we are looking for someone who is passionate about research software engineering.

The work will be done at the eScience Center, where you will be based four days per week, in partnership with the Software Ecosystems Security group at Utrecht University, where you will be based one day per week.


Netherlands eScience Center


You are intrinsically motivated to solve complex research problems using digital methods. You are passionate about working at the crossroads of research and technology, solving cutting-edge research questions with advanced technology. In addition, you can communicate effectively (in English) with both academic researchers and technical experts. Furthermore: 

  • You are in possession of an MSc in computer science, data science, applied mathematics or AI;
  • You are willing to engage in a dual PhD/software engineering position;
  • You are willing and able to learn new programming languages and technologies;
  • You have interest in open-source software community building, user engagement and dissemination;
  • You are willing to challenge the status quo regarding research impact management;
  • You have experience in languages such as Python and C++;
  • Experience in the development of compilers and interpreters is a plus.

Conditions of employment

  • We work at the forefront of cutting-edge international research.
  • You will be part of a team of intelligent, collaborative and ambitious people with a passion for academic research.    
  • You will be given extensive opportunities to further develop your professional and personal capacities.    
  • Salary based on PhD salary scales (Oio-1 to Oio-4) of our Collective Labour Agreement  (WVOI Cao-OI);
  • Excellent secondary benefits: travel and communication allowance, holiday allowance (8%), 42 holidays on the basis of fulltime, a year-end bonus (8,33%), personal development budget, fitness plan, bicycle plan and flexible work from home options and facilities.


The Netherlands eScience Center is the national center for innovative software solutions in academic research. We aim to bridge the gap in knowledge and expertise between digital technologies on the one hand, and scientific and scholarly inquiry on the other. We create tools and digital methodologies that enable researchers across all disciplines to answer research questions, harnessing our unique blend of academic expertise and software development skills. We attach great importance to software quality and sustainability, and academic recognition of research software.

We stand for a research-focused, professional, collaborative, open and resourceful approach to everything we do, and we require that our staff identify with these eScience Center values. Our people reflect diversity in background, education, gender, nationality and ethnicity. Together, we form an inclusive group with a common drive.  


  • PhD; IT; Research, development, innovation
  • Natural sciences; Engineering
  • University graduate
  • SP ES 20220406-1


Netherlands eScience Center

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Science Park 402, 1098 XH, Amsterdam

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