News and Events: Open Positions

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PhD in Homotopy Type Theory

Deadline: Friday 15 April 2022
Faculty/Services: Faculty of Science
Educational level: Master
Function type: PhD position
Closing date: 15 April 2022
Vacancy number: 8411

Do you have the technical skills and the passion for science to conduct cutting-edge research at the intersection of mathematics and computer science? We are looking for a PhD candidate for the research project The Power of Equality.

The treatment of equality is at the heart of type theory as a framework for computation and the formal verification of proofs. Fundamental properties of type theories such as canonicity and normalisation are all intimately related to the way one approaches the issue of equality. Recent developments in type theory, especially surrounding the new homotopy-theoretic interpretation of equality, have led to a generation of type theories which are based on new ways of approaching this fundamental issue.

The overarching goal of the project is to develop a systematic understanding of the ways equality can be treated in type theory. We will pursue this goal with a view of making type theory more powerful as a framework for proving and computing.

The research project The Power of Equality is awarded to Prof. Herman Geuvers from the University of Nijmegen and Dr. Benno van den Berg from the University of Amsterdam by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The PhD student will be supervised by Benno van den Berg. To complete the team working on this project, we are also hiring a postdoc.

What are you going to do

You will be expected to conduct a doctoral research project in homotopy type theory, under the supervision of Benno van den Berg, and:

  • to complete and defend a PhD thesis within the official appointment duration of four years;

  • 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.

PhD candidates at the ILLC furthermore are expected to contribute 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

  • 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 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.

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.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact the chair of the selection committee: Dr. Benno van den Berg.

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 of at most two pages, in which you specify the motivation for your application;

  • 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. Only applications that conform to these instructions are ensured full consideration by the search committee.

You can apply online via the link below. We will accept applications until 15 April 2022. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for online interviews May.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise 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.

If you encounter Error GBB451, reach out to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application.

Application form:

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