PhD in Game Theory and OR with applications to homeland security

PhD in Game Theory and OR with applications to homeland security

Published Deadline Location
27 Jun 28 Jul Eindhoven

Job description

Security agencies throughout the world—such as the Secret Service in the US, the Protected Persons Service in the United Kingdom, or the Dienst Koninklijke en Diplomatieke Beveiliging in The Netherlands—are in charge of protecting  government officials (e.g., cabinet ministers, lawyers, and judges) as well as public figures (e.g., television hosts, crime journalists, or accomplished scientists) from violent events such as terrorist attacks or political violence. The security agencies typically do so by assigning protective resources to individuals with the mission to protect them against any threat.

In the Netherlands, the number of protected individuals has increased tenfold in the last twenty years and it appears that this number is only increasing, while the capacity to protect these individuals is lagging behind. As stated in an official report by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security, this potential lack of protection might already have led to the assassination of a prominent Dutch crime journalist, a Dutch lawyer in charge of defending a key witness as well as a family member of the key witness. Based on this report, the Dutch cabinet decided to increase the total budget of the Dutch Protection and Security program with 112 million euros yearly, to hire and train new personnel, but also to fund scientific research to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the program.

This PhD project contributes to this aim. More specifically, the candidate will investigate how to deploy protective resources, such as surveillance vehicles, bodyguards or police officers. These protective resources have in common that they have to be used in an efficient way. However, the exclusive use of the most efficient solutions also has disadvantages. Possible adversaries can recognize and learn patterns through observation and thus predict future government actions. To prevent this, unpredictable behavior must be taken into account in the efficient deployment of protective resources, so that it is difficult or impossible for potential adversaries to exploit information about security measures. The Ph.D. (student) will investigate how governments should strike a balance between efficient and unpredictable use of protective resources, and will test its findings through case studies (at National Police and Royal Dutch Police). Most likely, the candidate will use methods from Game Theory and Operations Research.

We are looking for someone who has the ambition to perform rigorous research with high practical relevance that can be published in top journals in the field of Management Science and Operations Research. For an impression of the type of research we perform, please have a look at the following papers: 

The PhD position is a collaboration between the Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences and Mathematics & Computer Science Department.

Start date: As soon as possible; preference for but not required to start before January 1, 2025.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


  • A Master's degree in Operations Research, Econometrics, Industrial Engineering, (Applied) Mathematics, or a related field.
  • Strong analytical and mathematical skills and demonstrated competence for quantitative modelling.
  • The ability to work on a challenging topic that has both fundamental and applied research aspects.
  • Proven excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Motivation to develop teaching skills and coach students.

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:
  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates. 

Additional information

About us

Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. 

Curious to hear more about what it's like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the video.


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact Loe Schlicher,, Marco Slikker, or Bart Smeulders,

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact Najat Loiazizi, HR Advisor, or +31 40 2474465.

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button.

The application should include a:
  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae and the contact information of two references.

A List of publications can be included, but is not mandatory.

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V39.7573


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 28 Jul 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).