PhD Position in Mathematical and Algorithmic Biology

PhD Position in Mathematical and Algorithmic Biology

Published Deadline Location
21 Mar 22 Apr Utrecht
Extend the mathematics of theoretical computer science to create new theories of biological & cultural evolution in cancer, metascience & other domains.

Job description

Do you want to use math and computer science to understand how biological and social systems evolve? Do you want to discover new truths about evolution by analysing it as an algorithm? And extend the mathematics of theoretical computer science to create new theories of biological & cultural evolution in cancer, metascience & other domains? Join us as a PhD candidate and work with Dr Artem Kaznatcheev!

Your job
You have the opportunity to define your own research problems and tools based on your interests and skills (in consultation with Dr Kaznatcheev). Some examples of potential research directions:
  • Which gene-interaction networks allow for endless evolution? Or in terms of AI and CS: which graphs of valued constraints make local search intractable?
  • Can development, ecology, or sex change the computational power of evolution?
  • Can we use game theory to control the somatic evolution of cancer and improve our cancer treatments?
  • Can we better understand the cultural evolution of science and technology by viewing evolution as a distributed learning algorithm?

You will learn to answer questions like these with various techniques. Potential examples in which you will build skills, ranging from the purely theoretical to the more applied:
  • proving new results in computational complexity, discrete math, and combinatorial optimisation;
  • building and analysing new models of evolutionary and ecological processes;
  • working with biologists and oncologists to test your theories with data;
  • mining networks of citations, collaboration, and idea flow from online sources.

You will publish your work in top journals and conferences in math, computer science, and biology. You will also have the opportunity to teach and mentor students in math and computer science.

Specifications

Utrecht University

Requirements

You bring the following qualifications:
  • Demonstrated research experience at the level of a thesis-based Masters in Math, Computer Science, Physics, Quantitative Biology, or related fields;
  • skills in math and programming (Python or similar) for building and analysing models and/or proving theorems about such models;
  • a strong interest in learning new things, working independently, and thinking critically;
  • good communication skills in spoken and written English.

Conditions of employment

We offer:
  • a position for four years;
  • a full-time gross monthly salary ranging from €2,770 in the first year to €3,539 in the fourth year (salary scale P under the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU);
  • 8% holiday pay and 8.3% year-end bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave and flexible terms of employment based on the CAO NU.

In addition to the terms of employment laid down in the CAO NU, Utrecht University has a number of schemes and facilities of its own for employees. This includes schemes facilitating professional development, leave schemes and schemes for sports and cultural activities, as well as discounts on software and other IT products. We also offer access to additional employee benefits through our Terms of Employment Options Model. In this way, we encourage our employees to continue to invest in their growth. For more information, please visit Working at Utrecht University.

Employer

Universiteit Utrecht

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow.

At the Faculty of Science there are six departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing challenges. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

You will be appointed as PhD candidate jointly in the department of Mathematics and the department of Information and Computing Sciences. You will also have the opportunity to make interdisciplinary connections across the university through participation in communities like the Centre for Complex Systems Studies, Cancer Utrecht, Utrecht Bioinformatics Centre, and others.

Additional information

For more information, please contact Dr Artem Kaznatcheev at a.kaznatcheev@uu.nl.

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to science.recruitment@uu.nl.

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 3758

Employer

Location

Princetonplein 5, 3584CC, Utrecht

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Application procedure

As Utrecht University, we want to be a home for everyone. We value staff with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and identities, including cultural, religious or ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. We strive to create a safe and inclusive environment in which everyone can flourish and contribute.

If you are enthusiastic about this position, just apply via the 'Apply now' button! Please enclose:
  • a short motivation letter (under 2 pages), explaining what aspects of mathematical and algorithmic biology interest you most (for example: which of the four potential research directions or variants thereof would you most want to work on) and how your prior experiences align with the job description and meet the qualifications;
  • your curriculum vitae with your education, work, and any prior research outputs (code, papers, blogs, presentations, etc.);
  • a writing sample: either your thesis (Bachelor's or Master's); or, alternatively, a short research proposal specific to this position (under 2 pages). Please upload this writing sample under the “Master thesis” tab in your online application (the other not mandatory tabs do not need to be filled in).

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them
#FundamentalConnection

Application procedure

Application procedure

As Utrecht University, we want to be a home for everyone. We value staff with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and identities, including cultural, religious or ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. We strive to create a safe and inclusive environment in which everyone can flourish and contribute.

If you are enthusiastic about this position, just apply via the 'Apply now' button! Please enclose:
  • a short motivation letter (under 2 pages), explaining what aspects of mathematical and algorithmic biology interest you most (for example: which of the four potential research directions or variants thereof would you most want to work on) and how your prior experiences align with the job description and meet the qualifications;
  • your curriculum vitae with your education, work, and any prior research outputs (code, papers, blogs, presentations, etc.);
  • a writing sample: either your thesis (Bachelor's or Master's); or, alternatively, a short research proposal specific to this position (under 2 pages). Please upload this writing sample under the “Master thesis” tab in your online application (the other not mandatory tabs do not need to be filled in).

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them
#FundamentalConnection

Make sure to apply no later than 22 Apr 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).