PhD candidate in Surrogate Modelling for Multiscale Simulations

Faculty of Science – Informatics Institute

14 juni 2018
Master's degree
€2,222 to €2,840 gross per month
10 augustus 2018
38 hours per week

The Informatics Institute (IvI), one of the large research institutes of the Faculty of Science, with a focus on complex information systems divided in four broad themes: Artificial Intelligence, Computational Science, Data Science en Systems and Network Engineering. We have a prominent international standing and are active in a dynamic scientific area, with a strong innovative character and an extensive portfolio of externally funded projects.

Project description

In Multiscale Modelling a macroscale model is typically coupled to a few microscale models, where the microscale models are usually the ones that require very large computing resources. Examples could be coupling continuous models of materials or fluids to molecular of mesoscopic models that would capture the micro dynamics of e.g. a complex material or fluid. In this project we consider classes of multiscale models where the amount of executions of the microscale models becomes so exceedingly high that, even on the fastest supercomputers, simulation times would become prohibitive. The goal of this project is to develop advanced meta modelling techniques that would render such applications tractable. The main focus will be on two scenarios. The first is on Uncertainty Quantification of multiscale models, the second on Heterogeneous Multiscale Models (HMM).

The research will be driven forward by applications within the Computational Science Lab, mainly from the biomedical domain, and in relation to the development of the Virtual Artery. The research will be embedded within a large European collaboration called VECMA, where nine laboratories throughout Europe collaborate to enable a diverse set of multiscale applications (from fusion and advanced materials through climate and drug discovery to clinical decision making in personalized medicine) to run on current multi-petascale supercomputers such that the simulations are Validated, Verified, and equipped with Uncertainty Quantification (UQ), and which will deliver a VVUQ toolkit for multiscale computing on High Performance Computers.

VECMA is funded by the European Commission, where 9 laboratories from all over Europe collaborate. Within the Netherlands the University of Amsterdam and the Center for Mathematics and Informatics (CWI) participate in VECMA. As PhD student, you will be in the unique position to collaborate intensively with the other labs that participate within VECMA. You will have regular contacts with the Dutch partner and will be encouraged to spent part of your time in other labs within the VECMA project, e.g. in London or Munich.

You will also collaborate with the eMUSC project, a collaboration between the University of Amsterdam and the Dutch eScience center, where algorithms and libraries for UQ for multiscale applications are developed.


You should have a Master's degree in either Computational Science, Applied Mathematics, Computational (bio)Physics, Computational Biomedicine, or related disciplines. You should have relevant experience somewhere on the spectrum of topics as described above. Prior experience with surrogate modelling and/or Uncertainty Quantification is not a must, but certainly a surplus. And if this knowledge is lacking, you should have a strong drive to acquire it.

We seek a candidate able to collaborate with researchers working on other topics, thus forming a bridge between their own domain and collaborators with the larger European VECMA project. You should be able to work in an international multidisciplinary team.

You should have experience in modelling and simulation, with good knowledge of modern computing environments such as Python, C++ and experience with Linux. Experience with high performance computing is certainly preferred. As PhD candidate you should form a bridge between several communities within the project (application developers, mathematicians, computer scientists) and should therefore be capable to ‘speak their languages’. You should be able to work in an international multidisciplinary team and be willing to travel to labs all over Europe.

Further information

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The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a period of 4 years (initial appointment will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it can be extended for a total duration of 48 months) and 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 of bachelor and master students.

Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from €2,222 (first year) to €2,840 (last year). There are also secondary benefits, such as an 8% holiday allowance per year and the end of year allowance of 8.3%. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Among other things, we offer:

  • competitive pay and excellent benefits;
  • extremely friendly working environment;
  • high-level of interaction;
  • international environment (10+ nationalities in the group);
  • access to high-end computing facilities (cluster with 4,000+ cores);
  • new building located near the city center (10 minutes by bicycle) of one of Europe’s most beautiful and lively cities.

Since Amsterdam is a very international city where almost everybody speaks and understands English, candidates need not be afraid of the language barrier.

Job application

The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity.

You may only submit your application by electronic mail using the link below.

We will accept applications until 10 August 2018.

To process your application immediately, please quote the vacancy number 18-348.

The committee does not guarantee that late or incomplete applications will be considered.

In the research statement (see below) you should clearly describe your research vision in relation to the topics that we described, as well as a clear statement which would be your direction of research.

You should also include the following information, in separate PDF files (not zipped), using surname, initials and a self-evident word as file names, e.g. , Smith J CV:

  • a curriculum vitae (including an url allowing download of pdf of MSc. thesis -- if relevant);
  • 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 topics mentioned in the Job description above;
  • a list of all university courses taken, including a transcript of grades;
  • the name and contact details (including email address) of two to three referees who can provide details about your profile (one of whom should be the main supervisor of your Master's thesis). #LI-DNP

No agencies please

Gepubliceerd door  Universiteit van Amsterdam