PhD Position Validating Automatically Generated Code

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 16 Jun 2024

PhD Position Validating Automatically Generated Code
PhD Position Validating Automatically Generated Code
Published Deadline Location
24 May 16 Jun Delft

Make the code generated by AI more robust: Exploring the techniques for validating the automatically generated code.
Job description

AI-powered coding tools are set to revolutionize how we develop software. These AI tools are based on machine learning (ML) models trained on massive collections of open-source code and allow developers to easily (re)use the programming knowledge aggregated by these ML models.

Although LLMs can generate code, recent studies have shown they have several important limitations and problems with the generated code. For instance, Copilot, which is based on Codex, has been found to generate code snippets with small bugs that are challenging to fix manually. Additionally, LLM models may produce significantly different and even unexpected results when queried with semantically equivalent yet differently phrased requests.

All these points have the same underlying question that needs to be answered for the AI tools to become useful: How do we validate the generated code?

The main focus of this PhD position is to answer this question.

Note: This PhD position is part of the AI for Software Engineering lab (AI4SE), a collaboration between JetBrains and Delft University of Technology. Hence, the prospective PhD student will also work closely with researchers and developers of JetBrains. More information is available on

  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • Delft View on Google Maps

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)



  • A Master's Degree (or equivalent) in Computer Science, with a focus on Software Engineering, Software Testing, Machine Learning, or similar areas.
  • Proficiency in JVM-based languages such as Java, Kotlin, or Scala, ideally supported by contributions to open-source projects.
  • Effective communication skills in English, both written and spoken.
  • A team-centric attitude, able to work in international collaborations with researchers and developers.
  • An independent, proactive approach combined with pragmatic practical creativity.


  • Knowledge of Large Language Models in Software Engineering or experience in their practical use.
  • Experience with static and dynamic program analysis techniques, such as type systems or symbolic execution.
  • A readiness to take the lead on projects.
  • An inclination to mentor and guide junior colleagues.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements .

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. 

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme  for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values  and we actively engage  to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) brings together three scientific disciplines. Combined, they reinforce each other and are the driving force behind the technology we all use in our daily lives. Technology such as the electricity grid, which our faculty is helping to make completely sustainable and future-proof. At the same time, we are developing the chips and sensors of the future, whilst also setting the foundations for the software technologies to run on this new generation of equipment – which of course includes AI. Meanwhile we are pushing the limits of applied mathematics, for example mapping out disease processes using single cell data, and using mathematics to simulate gigantic ash plumes after a volcanic eruption. In other words: there is plenty of room at the faculty for ground-breaking research. We educate innovative engineers and have excellent labs and facilities that underline our strong international position. In total, more than 1000 employees and 4,000 students work and study in this innovative environment.

Click here  to go to the website of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.

Additional information

 For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Annibale Panichella, associate professo at: [email protected]

Working at TU Delft

Join the oldest and largest technical university in the Netherlands. Work on clever solutions for worldwide challenges, to change the world and make an impact. Ready to bring your energy to our research?

Challenge, change, impact!

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Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply no later than 16 June 2024 via the application button and upload your:

  • Motivation;
  • Transcripts;
  • CV;
  • Reference letters.

Please note:

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

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