PhD scholarship in Verification of Concurrent and Distributed Applications – DTU Compute

We are looking for a bright and motivated PhD student with research interests in formal methods, distributed systems, security and privacy. The position (3 years, starting in July 2023) is part of the Horizon Europe project TaRDIS (Trustworthy And Resilient Decentralised Intelligence for edge Systems). By joining the project team, you will become part of an international research collaboration to advance the development of secure and reliable distributed applications.The goal of TaRDIS is to design and develop a novel, event-driven programming model and toolkit (with solid foundations based on formal methods) to help programmers in creating safe and reliable distributed applications.

The focus lies on distributed applications with smart and autonomous components deployed across the cloud-edge continuum. The main research topic of the PhD thesis is the verification of privacy and security goals of distributed programs and their interaction.

To apply for these positions, you should have some experience with formal methods for programming languages, as well as verification with automated or interactive proof systems. A background in security as well as software engineering is also highly beneficial. 

The TaRDIS project is a collaboration between DTU (Denmark), NOVA University Lisbon (Portugal, project coordinator), the University of Oxford (UK), the University of Novi Sad (Serbia), the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece), and 6 industry partners: Actyx AG (Germany), GMV Aerospace (Spain), EDP NEW R&D (Portugal), Telefónica Research (Spain), Caixa Mágica Software (Portugal), and Martel Innovate (Switzerland).

Responsibilities and qualifications

If you join this project, you will become a member of the DTU Compute research section on Software Systems Engineering, which involves researchers in various areas of software specification, verification, engineering, and security – with a strong emphasis on formal methods. You will also join the DTU Compute PhD school and take part in its courses and activities.  As part of your PhD training and research activities, you will have research stays at the academic collaborators’ universities.Your main tasks within this project will be:

  • become familiar with relevant state-of-the-art research in formal methods for modelling and verifying distributed applications – with a focus on either (1) verification of correctness, safety and reliability, or (2) modelling and verification of privacy and security properties;
  • study the project’s industrial use cases;
  • explore new methods to ensure the correctness of distributed applications.  You will help in developing the necessary theory and implementing new software tools based on such theory.

You will also have the opportunity to co-supervise MSc or BSc student projects related to your research.To be considered for the position, you need some experience with formal methods for programming languages, or distributed systems, or security. 

You will need to document these skills by listing the relevant university courses you took, or the relevant experience you have.

It will be an advantage if you can also document good programming skills – preferably including functional programming, and some experience in developing distributed applications.To begin the PhD position, you must have a two-year master’s degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master’s degree. You can apply prior to obtaining the degree, providing the expected graduation date.

Approval and Enrolment

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU’s rules for the PhD education


The assessment of the applicants will take place end of March 2023.

We offer

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.The expected starting date for the PhD position is 1 July 2023 (or the earliest available date, by mutual agreement).You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information

For further information and inquiries, please contact Sebastian Alexander Mödersheim, You can read more about DTU Compute here and about the Software Systems Engineering section here.

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

Application procedure

Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 17 March 2023 (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file

The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma including official description of grading scale

You may apply prior to obtaining your master’s degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Compute

DTU Compute is a unique and internationally recognized academic department with 385 employees and 11 research sections spanning the science disciplines mathematics, statistics, computer science, and engineering. We conduct research, teaching and innovation of high international standard – producing new knowledge and technology-based solutions to societal challenges. We have a long-term involvement in applied and interdisciplinary research, big data and data science, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), smart and secure societies, smart manufacturing, and life science. At DTU Compute we believe in a diverse workplace with a flexible work-life balance.