PhD position in Human and Social Aspects of Software Engineering (1.0 FTE)


Faculty of Science and Engineering


University of Groningen

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 35,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global center of knowledge.

Within the Faculty of Science and Engineering, a 4-years PhD position is available at the Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science, and Artificial Intelligence with the topic of human and social aspects of software engineering. The candidate would become a member of the Software Engineering and Architecture group and will work in the direct supervision of Asst. Prof. Dr. Ayushi Rastogi.

Job description

Humans shape software that in turn shapes humans. From everyday life to the most complex projects envisioned by humans, software is everywhere. Despite its pervasiveness, we have a limited understanding of what shapes software and the role of human and social aspects. Knowing what shapes software is crucial to decipher the secret life of software but also in shaping work and human values and experiences.

This project aims to gather evidence and provide answers to questions, such as What makes a good software team? How software changes? How do human and social factors shape software and its development? How does software shape software teams and their experiences?

In this project, we will:

1. Investigate how human and social factors manifest in software development activities.
2. Develop software and solutions for better software and society.
3. Lay the theoretical groundwork for how humans and software shape each other.

The objective of the PhD position is to conduct quality research that translates into research articles and generate value for the commercial software companies collaborating with the research group and open source. Research and impact forms the basis of a thesis leading to a PhD degree (Dr) at the University of Groningen.


The successful candidate should:
• have a keen interest in pursuing fundamental and interdisciplinary research in software engineering and AI
• have a master’s degree or equivalent in software engineering, computer science, artificial intelligence, or other relevant fields
• have good analytical skills and a positive attitude towards interdisciplinary work.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

We offer you, following the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary of € 2.395 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3.061 gross per month in the fourth and final year for a full-time working week
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and an 8.3% year-end bonus
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE).

The intended starting date is 1 October 2021, but different starting dates can be considered.

The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering. For details on the admission requirements, see here:

Job Application

Application should include:

1. letter of motivation
2. CV (including contact information for at least two academic references)
3. transcripts from your bachelor’s and master’s degree
4. proficiency in English as evident in test scores, MSc thesis, and/ or research paper(s) in scientific conference.

You can submit your application until 6 June 2021, 23.59h by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Applications received before 7 June 2021 will be given full consideration; however, the position will remain open until it is filled.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers,

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Ayushi Rastogi

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 221241

Digital application form