PhD position in Proof Theory of Modal Logics (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 36,000 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 centre of knowledge.

The PhD candidate will join the Fundamental Computing group at the Department of Computer Science at the Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence. The Fundamental Computing group conducts cutting-edge research on formal methods using concepts and theories from logic, type theory, category theory and discrete mathematics. The broader aim is to develop the foundations of computing and to improve the correctness and reliability of software.

Job description

Applications are invited for a fully-funded 4-year PhD position in Proof Theory of Modal Logics at the Fundamental Computing group at the Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, University of Groningen.

We are looking for excellent candidates interested in conducting research in the proof theory of modal logics. Modal logics are non-classical logics that have numerous applications in computer science, AI, and philosophy. Propositional Dynamic Logic (PDL) and Game Logic are some notable examples - these logics are able to represent dynamic features of programs and games and thus provide a framework for reasoning about program correctness and what players can achieve in strategic games. Proof theory is the branch of Logic that studies a logic based on a formal (mathematical) notion of its proof system and its proofs. Despite having been introduced more than 40 years ago, dynamic modal logics do not yet possess a well-developed proof theory.

A potential research project would be to develop refined proof systems for modal logics such as PDL and Game Logic with the aim of using these proof systems to determine their logical properties. Other research projects in the area of modal logic and proof theory are also possible, based on the background and interests of the candidate.

The PhD candidate will be supervised by Prof. Helle Hvid Hansen and dr. Revantha Ramanayake. Potential candidates are encouraged to contact the supervisors well in advance to discuss their interests and learn about the possibilities.

As a PhD candidate, you will conduct original research leading to a PhD thesis, completed within the 4 years of the appointment and defended at the University of Groningen. You are expected to present your research results at seminars and international conferences, and to publish in conference proceedings and journals. You are expected to make a small contribution (at most 10%) to teaching e.g. as a teaching assistant or supervising student projects.


The successful candidate should have:

● a Master’s degree or equivalent (e.g. Honours degree) in logic, computer science, mathematics or another relevant field
● an excellent academic record, and a keen interest in doing fundamental research
● good communication skills in English (written and spoken).

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch:

● a salary of € 2,434 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,111 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
● the ‘30% ruling’ tax benefit may apply to non-Dutch applicants
● a full-time position (1.0 FTE). The successful candidate will be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Renewal 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 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

Job Application

Applications should include the following documents submitted as PDFs:

● letter of motivation describing why you are interested in this position (1 page)
● CV (including 2 academic references with contact information and affiliation)
● a research proposal (at most 2 pages) outlining a main topic and goal
● an electronic copy or a link to a Master’s thesis (possibly a draft), and (if available) a Bachelor’s thesis
● copies of official grade transcripts from your bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

You can submit your application until 29 November 11:59pm / before 30 November 2021 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Shortlisting of candidates will commence immediately after the deadline. The intended starting date is early 2022 (exact date negotiable).

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:

Prof. Helle Hvid Hansen

Dr Revantha Ramanayake

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 221589

Extra informatie kan worden verkregen via een van de volgende links:

prof.dr. Helle Hvid Hansen dr. Revantha Ramanayake Fundamental Computing group Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligenc

Digital application form