PhD Position Spread in Networks (ERC ViSioN)

PhD Position Spread in Networks (ERC ViSioN)

Published Deadline Location
1 Feb 31 May Delft

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Challenge: Developing non-Markovian theory to enhance or prevent the spread in networks.
Change: Adopting the theory of non-Markovian processes on time-varying networks.
Impact: Robust networks to reduce the impact of network failures and prevent viral epidemics in human population.

Job description

Epidemic processes widely apply to biological and computer network viruses, cascading failures in power grids, the spread of news, rumour or emotions in social networks, transactions in banking networks and to the processing of functions in the human brain. An epidemic process spreads over an underlying network topology or contact graph that is generally changing over time. Standard models used so far are mostly based on Markovian processes and mean-field approximations. As the recent panic caused by Credit Suisse and the Silicon Valley Bank throughout the global banking system and earlier the Covid-19 outbreak have shown, dramatic improvements in modelling spread in networks is crucial to better understand and respond to such crises. As a PhD student at TU Delft, you will conduct research and develop non-Markovian models from the viewpoint of Network Science and geared to predicting and preventing spread in networks.

Depending on your interests in an epidemic application domain, your research may be dedicated to data communications, energy networks, and even pandemics within the scope of the ERC ViSioN project. Once you have mastered the theory, you will build models, describing the natural phenomenon with mathematical precision. Beside deriving theory and collecting data of real-world epidemic spread to validate your model, you will also program your model. Your software will convince decision makers of realistic scenarios and help reduce response times. You will be building your network of relevant stakeholders, e.g. in industry, among academics or at university hospitals. As a PhD student, you will also be coaching and supervising Master students with their thesis projects.

You will be joining the diverse and driven team of academic staff, PhD students and postdocs of the Network Architectures and Services Group. We share a drive to understand the characteristics of and processes running on complex networks, ranging from man-made infrastructures to biological, brain and social networks. Fostering an inspiring, friendly and supportive environment, we meet regularly and share ideas and knowledge. In addition, you will receive all the training you need to evolve as a scientist.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


You are driven to reduce the impact of spread in networks using mathematical modelling. For your research you harness your in-depth knowledge of mathematics, algorithms, probability theory and network science. In addition, you thrive on seeing your models applied, for which you reach out to relevant stakeholders using your communication and networking skills. You also enjoy writing scientific articles and disseminating your findings in relevant communities and conferences. In view of the often privacy-sensitive nature of our research, you are an EU citizen.

You also have:

  • An MSc in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, System and control theory, Electrical Engineering or another relevant subject.
  • Extensive experience of modelling.
  • An eagerness to learn all about the latest technologies and their potential for mathematical modelling and prediction.
  • Excellent programming skills.
  • A good command of English, because you will be working in an international environment.

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.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

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 € 2.541 per month in the first year to € 3.247 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.


Delft University of Technology

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 and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact! 


Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) brings together three disciplines - electrical engineering, mathematics and computer science. Combined, they reinforce each other and are the driving force behind the technology we use in our daily lives. Technology such as the electricity grid, which our faculty is helping to make future-proof. We are also working on a world in which humans and computers reinforce each other. We are mapping out disease processes using single cell data, and using mathematics to simulate gigantic ash plumes after a volcanic eruption. There is plenty of room here for ground-breaking research. We educate innovative engineers and have excellent labs and facilities that underline our strong international position. In total, more than 1,100 employees and 4,000 students work and study in this innovative environment.

Click hereto go to the website of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD01986


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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