PhD candidate on Policy-based Federated Analytics

Faculty of Science – Faculty of Law

7 augustus 2018
Master's degree
€2,266 to €2,897 gross per month
15 september 2018
38 hours per week

The Informatics Institute (Faculty of Science) and the Leibniz Center for Law (Faculty of Law) are running broad research programs with an overlapping interest in simulation-based policy analysis, to be applied in a variety of domains (health-care, logistics, financial services, etc.). EU Horizon2020 together with KPMG, and the NWO (the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) together with a number of partners, are funding four to five year projects conducted within these institutes to develop and implement a simulation-based policy analysis framework for the financial sector and a policy-based federated analytics scheme in the context of a trusted digital marketplace.

Project and job description

Sharing information and digital collaboration is important for increasing performance, lowering costs and reducing risk. Furthermore, digital collaboration makes the creation of new concepts possible, which leads to new business opportunities by providing solutions for optimization challenges. The overarching project will establish an infrastructure where sharing information among partners is easy and robust and can be set up in an ad-hoc fashion. Agreements for information sharing have to be trustworthy, data owners must have full control over who has access to what data and can limit that access to a specific purpose. The infrastructure will maximize business value, enhance existing facilities, comply with various legal requirements whilst allowing partner autonomy. We refer to this infrastructure as a trusted digital marketplace.

Although most data scientists conceive algorithms with the assumption that the data is maintained in a single, centralized repository, in actual operational settings, data is inherently distributed; federated analytics techniques aim to generate analytical insight by adequately distributing the analytical process on distributed nodes, and aggregating the obtained results. You are going to conceive a generic infrastructure template and protocol for doing policy-based federated analytics. You will create a framework to build analytical functions exploiting metadata and samples, satisfying criteria defined by a given policy; additionally, these functions could be executed on a remote infrastructure.
This PhD position will contribute to the conception and development of a holistic policy framework aiming to set, monitor and enforce specific conditions on any element in the data processing chain.


You should have completed a master in computer science or a related field, or will do so on short term. You must have the ability to give demonstrations to scientific and business audiences. Your grades demonstrate your knowledge and commitment to study; your master thesis your ability to continue with a PhD research in Computer Science.

You must have knowledge of databases and data analytics, statistics and mathematics, knowledge representation, model building, and strong coding abilities. We consider knowledge of law, networks, cyber security and concurrent and distributed systems a plus.

Further information


The appointment will be full-time (38 hours a week) for a period of four years (initial employment is 18 months). Periodic evaluations will be held after 9 and 14 months, and upon positive evaluation, we will extend the appointment to a total of 48 months. The appointment must lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses, summer and/or winter schools, and national and international meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching of undergraduate students.

The salary is in accordance with the university regulations for academic personnel and will range from €2,266 (first year) up to a maximum of €2,897 (last year) before tax per month (scale P) based on a full-time appointment. There are also secondary benefits, such as 8% holiday allowance per year and the end of year allowance of 8,3%. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities is applicable.

Among other things, we offer:

  • competitive pay and good benefits;
  • top-50 University worldwide;
  • interactive, open-minded and a very international city;
  • excellent computing facilities.

English is the working language in the Informatics Institute. As in Amsterdam almost everybody speaks and understands English, you 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 15  September 2018.

To process your application immediately, please quote vacancy number 18-484.

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

Your application should 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/project description above;
  • a list of all university courses taken, including a transcript of grades;
  • the name and contact details (including email address) of two or three referees who can provide details about your profile (one of them should be the main supervisor of your Master thesis). #LI-DNP

No agencies please

Gepubliceerd door  Universiteit van Amsterdam