PhD students in the areas of Big Data Management and Analysis Architectures and Data Science Engineering Technologies

PhD students in the areas of Big Data Management and Analysis Architectures and Data Science Engineering Technologies

Published Deadline Location
26 Jun 20 Jul Amsterdam

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Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) has three vacancies in the Database Architectures research group for talented PhD students in the areas of Big Data Management and Analysis Architectures and Data Science Engineering Technologies.

Job description

Three fully funded PhD positions are available to work under the direction of prof. Stefan Manegold on big data management technology with a particular focus on hardware-conscious data structures and algorithms in distributed and cloud environments as well as the integration of data mining and machine learning into large-scale data management systems.

One position is funded by the CIMPLO ("Cross-Industry Predictive Maintenance Optimization Platform") project, a public-private partnership project supported by the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO); cf.,

The project is a co-operation between the Natural Computing group of the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) at Leiden University, the Database Architectures research group at CWI (where this position will be based), KLM Engineering & Maintenance, and Honda Research Institute Europe GmbH.

The second position is funded by a project in co-operation with CWI's Stochastics research group and a Dutch governmental institution.

The third position is funded by CWI internal budget, and could possibly also become a post-doc rather than a PhD student position.

Research topics for the candidates include the development of (technologies and components for) an integrated data integration, data management and data analysis architecture inspired by (but by no means limited to) the requirements of Predictive Maintenance Optimization. This includes data models and technologies to integrate various heterogeneous data sources, including numerous types of sensors that deliver various types of data (numerical, categorical, images, etc.), as well as high-performance, scalable, distributed and/or hardware-conscious data management technologies, and the integration of data mining and machine learning into large-scale data management systems.

We strongly favour system-oriented research that can be disseminated through the open-source channels, e.g., as part of our open-source columnar analytical DBMS MonetDB. The PhD students are expected to spend part of their time with the non-academic project partners. 

The preferred starting date is 1 September 2017, or earlier.


Centrum Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI)


Candidates are required to have a Master’s degree in computer science (or a five-year diploma). Specialization in data management (preferred), software engineering, or distributed systems is a pre-requisite. Preferable qualifications for candidates include proven research talent, system development and programming skills (in particular in C), practical experience in using *and developing* database technology, as well as an excellent command of English, and good academic writing and presentation skills.

Conditions of employment

The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Research Centres ("CAO-onderzoeksinstellingen"). The initial labour agreement will be for a period of 18 months. After a positive evaluation, the agreement will be extended by 30 months. The gross monthly salary, for a PhD student on a full time basis, is €2,246 during the first year and increases to €2,879 over the four year period.

Employees are also entitled to a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.33%. CWI offers attractive working conditions, including flexible scheduling and help with housing for expat employees.

An internship at one of the partnering academic and industrial database research labs world-wide is considered part of the PhD track for qualified candidates.

Please visit our website for more information about our terms of employment:


Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI)

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) is the Dutch national research institute for mathematics and computer science and linked to the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The mission of CWI is to conduct pioneering research in mathematics and computer science, generating new knowledge in these fields and conveying it to trade, industry, and society at large.

CWI is an internationally oriented institute, with 160 scientists from approximately 27 countries. The facilities are first-rate and include excellent IT support, career planning, training, and courses.

CWI is located at Science Park Amsterdam that is presently developing into a major location of research in the natural sciences in The Netherlands, housing the sciences of the University of Amsterdam and of the Vrije Universiteit as well as several other national research institutes next to CWI.


Database Architectures (DA) research group

The Database Architectures (DA) research group of CWI is a top database systems research group in the broad area of data management systems and infrastructure for supporting data science. The group has a strong international reputation in academia and industry for pioneering column store technology, fast compression methods, vectorized query execution, on-line query-driven indexing (cracking), adaptive caching and integration of statistical languages and analysis in database systems. The group develops, distributes and maintains the MonetDB open-source system, and has spawned multiple spin-off companies (Data Distilleries, VectorWise, MonetDB Solutions). It operates a self-built cluster (SciLens) that unlike many other compute clusters is bandwidth-optimized and thus better suited as a data science infrastructure.

CWI's Database Architectures group as has a long track-record of training excellent PhD students and post-docs that pursue successful careers in academia and industry both in Europe and the US. 

For more information about CWI's Database Architectures group, please check:


  • PhD positions; Research, Development, Innovation
  • Natural Sciences; Engineering
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2246—€2879 per month
  • University Graduate
  • AT PhD students DA


Centrum Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI)

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