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PhD in Cyclic Proofs for Modal and Higher-order Logic

Deadline: Monday 7 March 2022
Faculty/Services: Faculty of Science
Educational level: Master
Function type: PhD position
Closing date: 7 March 2022
Vacancy number: 8071

Do you have the technical skills and the scientific interest to conduct cutting-edge research in logic? We are looking for a PhD candidate for the research project Cyclic Proofs for Modal and Higher-order Logic.

Proofs are a central tool in mathematics and a core concept in the study of formal reasoning. Traditionally, a proof is conceived as a finite object which is used to certify the correctness of our mathematical structures and their properties. Less common are so called cyclic proofs which, although infinitary, exhibit periodic patterns. Cyclic proof systems have proven to be a remarkably useful alternative in the mathematical study of computational systems, particularly in connection with algorithms, databases and programs.

The overarching goal of the project is to provide a uniform theory for the study of cyclic proof systems. Need for such a framework has become more and more pronounced over the last two decades since sophisticated techniques to handle cyclicity in arguments have emerged independently in different research areas from mathematical logic to theoretical computer science.

The research project Cyclic Proofs for Modal and Higher-order Logic is awarded to Dr. Bahareh Afshari by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). It is part of a larger project on Proof Systems for Modal Fixpoint Logics, directed by Afshari together with Prof. Yde Venema.

You can obtain more details about the research project by contacting Bahareh Afshari.

What will you be doing

You will be expected to contribute to the project described above, and to:

  • complete and defend a PhD thesis within the official appointment duration of four years;
  • and to present research results regularly at international workshops and conferences;
  • and to publish them in conference proceedings and journals;
  • to participate in and to contribute to the organisation of research activities and events at the Institute, such as workshops and colloquia;
  • all PhD candidates at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) and are expected to make a small contribution to the institute’s educational mission, e.g., by working as teaching assistants for courses in their area of expertise and by assisting with the supervision of student research projects.

What do we require of you

  • a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, such as Logic, Theoretical Computer Science or Mathematics;
  • an excellent academic track record;
  • a serious interest in pursuing fundamental research;
  • good writing and presentation skills;
  • good social and organisational skills;
  • full professional proficiency in spoken and written English.

Please note that knowledge of the Dutch language is not required for this position, nor is it required for being able to live in Amsterdam. However, PhD candidates at the ILLC have the opportunity to attend Dutch language classes if they wish.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of four 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 four years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.

Your salary, depending on your relevant experience on commencement of the employment contract, ranges between €2.434 to €3.111 gross per month on the basis of a full working week of 38 hours. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8.3% year-end allowance. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) is applicable.

About us

The University of Amsterdam (UvA)is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds. Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

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 Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) is a research institute at the UvA in which researchers from the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Humanities. collaborate. Its central research area is the study of fundamental principles of encoding, transmission and comprehension of information. Research at ILLC is interdisciplinary, and aims at bringing together insights from various disciplines concerned with information and information processing, such as logic, mathematics, computer science, linguistics, natural language processing, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, music cognition, and philosophy.


If you have any questions about the position, please contact (during office hours):

Job application

If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receive the following in PDF format:

  • a cover letter, including a description of your research interests and an explanation for why you are applying for this position (at most two pages);
  • in one single pdf file; please upload this file in the mandatory CV field:
    • a detailed curriculum vitae (CV);
    • a list of all Master-level modules you have taken, with an official transcript of grades;
    • a link to a writing sample available online, such as a Master’s thesis, a term paper, or a publication (in case of joint authorship, please clearly indicate your own contribution);
    • the names, affiliations, and email addresses of two or (at most) three people we can contact for letters of reference for you.
  • Please mention the months (not just years) in your CV when referring to your education and work experience.

We will invite potential candidates for interviews in the last week of March 2022.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Application form:

Please note that this newsitem has been archived, and may contain outdated information or links.