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Job ID: 128118

PhD Position in Formal Methods for Biology
DTU Technical University of Denmark

Date Posted Aug. 26, 2019
Title PhD Position in Formal Methods for Biology
University DTU Technical University of Denmark
Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Department DTU Compute - Applied Mathematics and Computer Science
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Expected end of 2019 or early 202
  • Graduate Student
  • Computer/Information Sciences
    Mathematics/Applied Mathematics

The section for Formal Methods of DTU Compute offers a 3-years PhD position starting in late 2019 or early 2020. The position is funded by the Independent Research Fund of Denmark through the project ‘REDUCTO: A novel approach for the reduction of Boolean networks’. The PI of the project is the Associate Professor Andrea Vandin in collaboration with Luca Cardelli (University of Oxford, UK), Claudine Chaouiya (I2M, Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, Centrale Marseille, Marseille, France & Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal), and Lars Keld Nielsen (Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Denmark). Funds are allocated for research visits to the project collaborators. The PhD student will be co-supervised by Andrea Vandin and the Head of Section Alberto Lluch Lafuente. 
Project Description
Boolean networks (BN) are a graph-based well-established method to model biological systems. In order to accurately model systems, we often face models too complex to be interpreted or analyzed. Several reduction techniques exist to mitigate this problem. Our crucial hypothesis is that novel approaches to the reduction of BNs are needed, and that those can be developed by using a theoretical computer science approach. The project aims at developing novel mathematically-grounded techniques and tools to reduce and simplify complex BNs. The starting point will be recent work of the PI, presented e.g. in:

  • Maximal aggregation of polynomial dynamical systems, L Cardelli, M Tribastone, M Tschaikowski, A Vandin, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114 (38), 10029-10034,

Tool support will be based on the tool ERODE (, maintained by the PI.
Candidates must have (or be close to complete) a master degree in computer science and engineering, applied mathematics, or similar academic qualifications. Preference will be given to candidates with documented experience in formal methods, while interest in biological topics will be positively considered. Good command of the English language is essential.
We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment. DTU is a leading technical university in northern Europe which benchmarks with the best universities in the world. Salary is competitive (roughly in the order of 2400 EUR net per month). This is a 3 years full-time position.
Expression of Interest
Interested candidates should contact Andrea Vandin ( at

  • Equality Policy at Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
    DTU is a secular university that appreciates differentiation in personal preferences, nationalities, and cultures. Diversity is a driver for groundbreaking research, education and innovation of the highest level. Diversity, equal treatment, and equality are expected at DTU, which is an international university in range and standard.
    As an elite university, DTU attracts and develops the best talents. There is a continuous focus on preventing visible and invisible barriers from negatively affecting talent development and career path progression at DTU.
    It is fundamental at DTU, as a public institution with requirements in recruitment principles, to employ the best-qualified candidates in available positions, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, physical capability, personal preferences, etc.
    Gender, age, ethnicity, religion, physical capability, personal preferences, etc. do not affect pay or an individual’s career or competence development. Attention is given to individual employees’ needs in different life and career phases.
    Therefore, gender equality and diversity are founding principles, which are supported through the requirement of respect and equality by and among all employees and students at DTU.

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Associate Professor Andrea Vandin
    DTU Compute - Applied Mathematics and Computer Science
    DTU Technical University of Denmark
    Copenhagen, Copenhagen


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