PhD student in Statistics

PhD student in Statistics

Published Deadline Location
4 Mar 31 Mar Amsterdam

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Job description

The Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics (KdVI) of the University of Amsterdam invites you to apply for a PhD position in Statistics. You will work on the project entitled 'Shape-constrained estimation in survival analysis'. We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated applicant with a good background in statistics or probability.

In survival analysis we are interested in analyzing the time until occurrence of an event of interest such as death/recovery from a disease, equipment failure, first employment after graduation etc. Time-to-event data can have particular features that need to be accounted for during the modelling and estimation process. For example, in the recent years, there has been an increased interest in handling survival data in the presence of cure, i.e. some subjects never experience the event of interest. Cure rate models, mainly motivated by improved chances of survival for some cancer patients, can help to assess the chances of being cured of cancer and to distinguish a curative from a life-prolonging treatment. More in general, these models find applications in a variety of fields: economics, engineering, social sciences etc. From a statistical point of view, estimation and uncertainty quantification in cure rate models pose both theoretical and practical challenges.

This project focuses on developing shape-constrained estimation methods for cure rate models. Shape restrictions arise naturally in the context of survival analysis (monotone effect of the prognostic factors, monotone/unimodal risk function, convex/concave distribution function) and incorporating such information in the estimation procedure can lead to more accurate results. In addition, such approach enjoys the flexibility of the nonparametric methods without needing to specify tuning parameters. The project consists of several parts: development of statistical methodology and theory, extensive simulation studies and real-data applications.

What are you going to do?

You will:

  • perform research on the project Shape-constrained estimation in survival analysis;
  • be part of the research programme Stochastics and interact with its senior and junior members;
  • contribute to educational programs at the University of Amsterdam.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


What do we require?

  • A Master’s degree in Mathematics (with specialization in Statistics/Probability) or in Statistics (to be completed before the start of the project);
  • a strong interest in statistical methodology and theory;
  • excellent programming skills (programming experience in R is a plus);
  • excellent writing and communication skills in English;
  • commitment and a cooperative attitude.


Experience in teaching is a plus. 

Conditions of employment

Our offer

We offer a temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. The starting date is flexible, but not later than 1 September 2021.

The salary will be €2,395 to €3,061 (scale P) gross per month, based on a full-time contract of 38 hours a week. This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.


University of Amsterdam

With over 5,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad.  

The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.


Faculty of Science and the Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics (KdVI) is the mathematics research institute at the University of Amsterdam. We conduct world-class research in the fields of Algebra, Geometry and Mathematical Physics; Pure, Applied and Numerical Analysis; Discrete Mathematics and Quantum Information; and Stochastics. A smaller portion of our research is directed at teaching (focus area blended learning) or history of mathematics. We are involved with various national and international research collaborations. In addition, we also provide the lecturers and instructors for the mathematics teaching within the Science faculty and within the national programme Mastermath. The institute has about 30 faculty members and 40 postdoctoral researchers and PhD students.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2395—€3061 per month
  • University graduate
  • 21-144


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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