News and Events: Open Positions

Please note that this newsitem has been archived, and may contain outdated information or links.

PhD position in logic and theoretical philosophy

The Faculty of Science occupies a leading position internationally in its fields of research and participates in a large number of cooperative programmes with universities, research institutes and businesses. The faculty has a student body of around 4,000 and 1,500 members of staff, spread over eight research institutes and a number of faculty-wide support services. A considerable part of the research is made possible by external funding from Dutch and international organisations and the private sector. The Faculty of Science offers eleven Bachelor's degree programmes and nineteen Master's degree programmes in the fields of the exact sciences, computer science and information studies, and life and earth sciences.

Since September 2010, the whole faculty has been housed in a brand new building at the Science Park in Amsterdam. Science Park Amsterdam is now one of the largest centers of academic research in the Netherlands.

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation is a research institute at the University of Amsterdam, 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, cognitive science, artificial intelligence and philosophy. Research is organized in three research groups: Logic and Computation (LoCo), Logic and Language (LoLa) and Language and Computation (LaCo).

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation at the University of Amsterdam has a vacancy for a

PhD candidate in logic and theoretical philosophy
full-time (38 hours a week)
vacancy number W12-180

This position is connected to the LogiCIC project which is funded by the European Research Council, under the ERC Starting Grant awarded to Dr. Sonja Smets.

Job Description:

The PhD position is part of the larger LogiCIC project on "The Logical Structure of Correlated Information Change".  The overall project aims to develop a uniform logical system that centres around correlated information change and can be used to explain and model various interactive scenarios. The project is interdisciplinary in nature and will combine insights and techniques from a range of research domains, including logic, quantum mechanics, philosophy of science, belief revision theory, truth approximation and learning theory. In total two PhD students, one post-doctoral researcher and the principal investigator will participate in the LogiCIC project.

The task of the PhD student for this open position is to contribute to the development of a unifying core logical setting, that can deal with a wide range of apparently very different information-gathering phenomena coming from areas as diverse as quantum physics and the social sciences. In particular, the focus lies on examining the correlations that arise in situations in which the very act of learning new information may directly change the reality that is being learnt. Consider the situation when a scientist learns about a phenomenon by performing measurements that perturb the very phenomenon under study. Specific examples can be found in e.g. quantum theory (quantum measurements), the social sciences, economics and psychology. In these cases a true (respectively, false) property can become false (respectively, true) by the very act of observing, learning, communicating or simply accepting (the truth of) that property. More complex scenarios of correlated information change occur when we consider the relationship between the information held by a group or "system" and the information of the members of the group or "subsystems" (e.g. as in the study of quantum entanglement). In general there are several ways in which the information carried by the individual parts of a system can be combined together and depending on how this is done, the system will exhibit different types of correlations. The study of these mechanisms plays a central role in this project.


Candidates should have a Master's degree in Logic, Theoretical Philosophy, Artificial Intelligence or related areas. Fluent English is a prerequisite.

Job Profile:

We are looking for a candidate with a strong outspoken interest in Logic (especially in any of the areas such as Modal Logic, Epistemic Logic, Dynamic Logic, Linear Logic, Logic for Multi-Agent Systems in AI, Quantum Logic) and at least one of the following areas of research: Philosophy of Science and/or Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics, Game Theory, Belief Revision Theory, Formal Epistemology, Learning Theory, Truth Approximation Theory.


The full-time appointment will be on a temporary basis for a maximum period of four years (18 months plus a further 30 months after a positive evaluation) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). An educational plan will be drafted that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. The gross monthly salary will range from 2042 Euro in the first year to 2612 Euro in the final year, according to the Dutch salary scales for PhD students. The collective employment agreement (CAO) of Dutch universities is applicable. The successful applicant will work under the daily supervision of Dr. S. Smets. The main focus of the appointment is on research, but the position also includes moderate teaching duties in subjects relevant to the candidate's research activities.

Further information:

For further information, please contact Dr Sonja Smets at .

Job application:

Applications should include:

  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a letter of motivation (at most 1 page) explaining why you are interested in this position;
  • a Research Statement (at most 2 pages), explaining your research interests and how you think they can be related to the topic mentioned in the above given Job Description;
  • a list of all university courses taken, including a transcript of grades;
  • a short summary of your Master thesis in maximum 2 pages. names and contact details (including email address) of two referees who can provide details about your profile (one of which could be the main supervisor of your Master thesis).

Applications should be sent by email to the personnel department of the Faculty of Science at with subject line:"Vacancy number W12-180: PhD ERC Smets". Please send your information in a single PDF file. The closing date for application is 8th October 2012.

Refer to:

Research at ILLC:
Working at the UvA:

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