PhD Candidate in Network Science (4 years, 1.0 FTE)

  • Vacancy number- 23-340
  • Job type- Academic staff, PhD positions
  • Hours (in fte)- 1
  • External/ internal- External
  • Location- Leiden
  • Placed on- 9 May 2023
  • Closing date- 15 June 2023 24 more days to apply

The Faculty of Science and the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) are looking for a:

PhD Candidate in Network Science (4 years, 1.0 FTE)

Vacancy number: 23-340

Are you a passionate and committed young researcher well versed in social network analysis, complex networks or network science? Effective immediately, Leiden University’s lively Computer Science and AI Institute LIACS is seeking a PhD student in Algorithmic Fairness in Social Network Analysis. The candidate will be involved in frontier research on developing fairness-aware algorithms, as well as analyzing biases and inequalities in large-scale social networks. 

We are looking for

An excellent young scientist with a MSc degree or equivalent in computer science, data science, computational social science, statistics, physics, mathematics, or a related field. You have a keen interest in algorithms, well-developed skillset in (scientific) programming, and an affinity with network analysis in particular. You are able to work with very large data and have the creativity and curiosity to develop new network algorithms and measures. The ideal candidate has a critical, open-minded, and collaborative spirit; is creative, precise, and does not shy back from entering new scholarly terrain. You take initiative, have excellent communication skills, and you are well able to work in a team as well as independently. Do you recognize yourself? Do you want to be involved in frontier fairness-aware social network analysis research? Are you thrilled by the opportunity to work in a group making a true societal impact? Please send us your application!

You will be part of the Computational Network Science (CNS) research group (see of LIACS, the computer science and AI department of the Faculty of Science at Leiden University. The candidate will be encouraged to collaborate on projects with other members of the group, which has access to a large number of relevant open and proprietary network datasets and a wide range of expertise, both in applied and fundamental network science research areas. Moreover, there are ample opportunities to collaborate with other research groups at LIACS; for example, data science, text mining, and algorithms. LIACS has an active PhD community that organizes seminars and social events specifically for PhD students. Additionally, there are plenty of opportunities for interaction and academic collaboration with other researchers in network science. For example, faculty-wide through the Leiden Complex Networks Network (LCN2, and nationally through, for example, the Dutch Network Science Society (

Key responsibilities

●    Conducting research on Algorithmic Fairness in Social Network Analysis

●    Co-supervising BSc and perhaps MSc students

●    Writing papers that ultimately constitute a PhD thesis

●    Presenting research at international conferences

●    Being an active member of the CNS research group

●    Engaging in a limited number of teaching activities

Selection Criteria

●    An academic (research) MSc degree* in a relevant field, ideally with experience in network science, complex networks and/or social network analysis

●    Experience with programming in languages relevant to social network analysis, including at least Python and perhaps also R and/or C++

●    Excellent writing skills and proficiency of the English language

●    Able to work independently and in a team

●    An academic, creative and curious mindset

*Candidates not (yet) past the master’s phase are also invited to apply, assuming they will graduate in Summer 2023. 

Research at our faculty

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future. 

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2.300 staff and almost 5,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together. 

For more information: &

Terms and conditions  

We offer a full-time 1-year term position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary ranges from € 2,541,-  to € 3,247,-  gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

D&I statement

Diversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.


In case of doubt or questions about the suitability of your research interest for this position, feel very welcome to reach out to dr. Akrati Saxena (email: or dr. Frank Takes (email:, before formally applying. If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Anne-Marie Alleblas, email:


To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to with the subject “PhD Application for Vacancy No. [vacancy_no.]”. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

●    A short cover letter of at most 2 pages detailing your motivation to apply for the position, stating why you think you are an excellent candidate.

●    A CV listing relevant academic activities thus far. 

●    A recent writing example (paper or thesis) that you are proud of and reflects your academic writing skills.

●    Names and contact details of one person that can be contacted for reference (and who has agreed to be contacted). 

Only applications received before June 15, 2023 will be considered. The selection procedure will take place from June 15 onwards, until a suitable candidate has been found. Interviews are expected to take place in the week of June 19. The earliest possible starting date is September 1, 2023.