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PhD position in Probability theory with applications in epidemiology (222243)

Job description

In recent years mathematical models for epidemics and pandemics have, for obvious reasons, received much attention. Both strengths and weaknesses have been revealed, leading to important challenges for mathematical modelers. Examples of those challenges are to extend existing toy models for epidemics, to include contact tracing, behavioral change in response to epidemics and seasonality.

We seek a PhD student to work with Dr. Pieter Trapman on stochastic models for the spread of infectious diseases. The subject of the PhD project is to develop, extend and rigorously analyse probabilistic models and theory for this spread. This will likely involve branching processes, random graphs, percolation theory and interacting particle systems.

The objective of the temporary position is the production of a number of research articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, which together will form the basis of a thesis leading to a PhD degree (Dr.) at the University of Groningen.

The successful candidate should start the position in the fall of 2022 (Earliest September 1).


The successful candidate should:

  • have a Master’s degree or equivalent in Mathematics or another field of science relevant for the position
  • have good command of English (oral and written)
  • be enthusiastic and have the ability to work in an interdisciplinary team, have a passion for science, be highly motivated to work in probability theory and communicate with public health researchers on formulation of problems and their solutions, possess excellent communication skills and an affinity for writing scientific papers and delivering presentations
  • in addition to these general qualifications, specific research projects may require specific qualifications, to be discussed with the intended supervisors.


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.

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 probability theory. The candidate would become a member of the Probability and Statistics group and will work under the supervision of Dr Pieter Trapman

Conditions of employment

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

  • a salary of € 2,443 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,122 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 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.


Application should include:

1. a cover letter introducing yourself, describing your motivation and qualifications to conduct scientific research
2. a full CV demonstrating academic excellence, including publications and presentations (if applicable), and a copy of your passport
3. a certified copy or scan of your MSc diploma (or equivalent; provide a certified University letter stating when your graduation will be if between the application deadline and start of the project) and academic records
4. Proof of sufficient competence in English
5. Names and contact details of two academic references.

You can submit your application until 31 May 11:59pm / before 1 June 2022 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Applications received before 16 May 2022 will be given full consideration; however, the position will remain open until it is filled.

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

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For information you can contact:

  • Dr Pieter Trapman, j.p.trapman

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.