PhD Candidate in Computational Social Sciences (m/f)

Updated: 5 months ago
Deadline: 27 May 2019

The Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) and the University of Luxembourg invite applications for a position of

PhD Candidate in Computational Social Sciences (m/f)

  • 48 month PhD project
  • Enrolment at the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Luxembourg
  • Pluri-disciplinary Doctoral Training Unit “Data-driven Computational Modelling and Applications” (DRIVEN)
  • Co-supervision by Alessio Fusco (LISER), Philippe Van Kerm (LISER and University of Luxembourg) and Stéphane Bordas (University of Luxembourg)
  • Fixed-term, full-time, employment contract at LISER
  • Earliest start date: 1st September 2019
  • Ref: PhD 2019-06


The position is a collaboration between LISER and the University of Luxembourg. Enrolled as a PhD student in the Doctoral School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Luxembourg, you will be working at LISER within the pluri-disciplinary Doctoral Training Unit DRIVEN (Data-driven Computational Modelling and Applications).

DRIVEN ( ) will train a cohort of 19 Doctoral Candidates who will develop data-driven modelling approaches common to a number of applications strategic to the Luxembourgish Research Area and Luxembourg's Smart Specialisation Strategies. DRIVEN builds a bridge between state-of-the-art data driven modelling approaches and particular application domains, including Computational Physics and Engineering, Computational Biology and Life Sciences, and Computational Behavioural and Social Sciences.

DRIVEN is funded by the Luxembourg Fonds National de la Recherche PRIDE scheme ( ).

The PhD project is part of the Computational Behavioural and Social Sciences cluster of DRIVEN.

Integrating the research stream ”Predicting well-being in old age”, the Doctoral Candidate will address how the conditions, events and environments to which individuals are confronted over their lifetime shape their well-being as they grow older. The complexity and high dimensionality of these mechanisms challenge traditional modelling techniques. The PhD project will develop data-driven predictive models for a range of dimensions of well-being factors in old age on the basis of life course individual data on employment trajectories, migration, partnerships and household demographics. The project will exploit the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) which has collected individual level data of more than 120,000 individuals aged 50+ in Europe. SHARE also collects information about people's lives across many dimensions. Supervised learning algorithms will be developed to map life course information to later life outcomes.

You will be co-supervised by Alessio Fusco (LISER), Philippe Van Kerm (LISER and University of Luxembourg) and Stéphane Bordas (University of Luxembourg).

Your primary tasks as a Doctoral Candidate are to:

  • Manage and drive forward your PhD research project
  • Attend doctoral school courses, trainings and social events both at the University of Luxembourg and LISER
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Disseminate your research at conferences, seminars and policy relevant events

Your Profile

  • MA or MSc in a social science or DRIVEN related discipline, i.e. Computer science, mathematics, statistics or computational engineering with a strong interest in social sciences
  • Strong background in quantitative methods and statistical analysis
  • Interest in data science, machine learning, data visualization and computational methods
  • Experience with programming and related software development environments is an asset (Stata/R/Python/C++)
  • Good English skills (a certified level B2 is the minimum required, while level C1 is a plus).
  • Willingness to work in an inter-cultural and international environment
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Curiosity and self-motivation

We offer

  • A dynamic and well-equipped research environment with good working conditions
  • A training allowance
  • Employment contract up to 48 months, subject to progress review
  • Enrollment as a PhD candidate in the Doctoral School of Humanities and Social Sciences of University of Luxembourg, within the DRIVEN Doctoral Training Unit
  • Personal work space at LISER


The Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) offers a vibrant and stimulating international research environment. It is a publicly funded research institute located in Luxembourg and devoted to applied empirical research in economic, social and spatial sciences. Interdisciplinarity is a key element for stimulating scientific innovation. The institute attracts researchers from all over the world and high-level doctoral training is part of the institute’s activities. LISER is well connected to the University of Luxembourg and to universities in the cross-border neighbourhood. The institute employs 160 people including a survey and data center as well as 85 researchers from all over the world active in the fields of economics, sociology, political sciences and geography (see ). LISER is host to the Luxembourg Country Team of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (see ).

Students find a wealth of information on research activities as well as the living and working conditions in Luxembourg at the EURAXESS portal ( ).

Application process

Please provide the following documents:

  • a letter of application outlining your profile and thematic interest in relation to the ‘predicting well-being in old age’ project and demonstrating your quantitative skills and motivation to carry out this doctoral project
  • a CV
  • copies of diplomas, transcripts with grades, with English, French or German translation
  • two letters of recommendation (to be uploaded with the application documents or sent to )
  • If available, Master’s thesis (final or draft, if draft, then state the expected submission date)

Please apply here:

Closing date for applications: 27th May 2019.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for Skype interviews in June 2019. On-site interviews will take place in Luxembourg on 16th July 2019.

For information about the research project, please contact Alessio Fusco ( ). For administrative information, please contact .

LISER is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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