PhD Position in Computing Science focusing on design and implementation of managed programming languages

Updated: 15 days ago
Deadline: 22 Apr 2021

Published: 2021-04-08

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 45,000 students, more than 7,000 employees and a turnover of around SEK 7 billion.

The Department of Information Technology holds a leading position in research as well as teaching at all levels. The department has 280 employees, including 120 faculty, 110 PhD students, and 30 research groups. More than 4000 students are enrolled annually. More  information, please see www.it.uu.se .


Description of project and subject area: Managed languages (such as Java, Python, R and JavaScript) allow a high level of programming abstraction which allows rapid application development with fewer errors. Despite huge improvements in performance of managed languages lately (exemplified by Graal, JavaScript VMs), managed languages are still often slower than their compiled counterparts (e.g. C, C++ and Rust) due to extra checks and operations performed at run-time. In this project, we aim to study the balance between the abstraction that enables the timely construction of more complicated, correct software – and performance.

Ultimately, this project aims to enable more applications to be written in safe programming languages with high developer productivity, making a larger class of programs open to a larger class of developers, and making software more sustainable.

Duties: The position is for four years of research, but will typically include 20% teaching extending the time to five years. We encourage our students to do industrial internships during their PhDs. You will be expected to teach in Swedish or English. Excellent skills in spoken and written English are an absolute requirement.

Requirements: Candidates should have a Master of Science in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or equivalent.

Ultimately, pursuing a PhD will require that you learn new skills and master new subjects. While we consider experience with programming languages, type systems, formal semantics, compilers, runtimes and computer architecture important and meritorious, you will be working in a coaching-focused environment where such skills can readily be improved with help from your advisors, fellow PhD students, and courses. Thus, aptitude, self-motivation, interest and perseverance are therefore more important a particular skill-set. There are however a few things which one will not have the time to learn during a PhD and hence we require that applicants are already good writers and good programmers, and are able to point to indications thereof, such as text and code produced by the in the past.

In addition to the above, applicants should be able to work well both on their own and with others in a diverse group, be comfortable giving and receiving constructive criticism, and have strong abilities for critical thinking and structured work. These competencies are as important as the technical qualifications.

Working in Sweden: Sweden is a fantastic place for living and working. Swedes are friendly and speak excellent English. The quality of life is high, with a strong emphasis on outdoor activities. The Swedish working climate emphasizes an open atmosphere, with active discussions involving both junior and senior staff. PhD students are full employees, with competitive salaries, pension provision and five weeks of paid leave per year. Spouses of employees are entitled to work permits. Healthcare is free after a small co-pay and the university subsidizes athletic costs, such as a gym membership. The parental benefits in Sweden are among the best in the world, including extensive parental leave (for both parents), paid time off to care for sick children, and affordable daycare. Upon completion of the PhD degree, students are entitled to permanent residency to find employment within Sweden.

Application: The application must include a statement (at most 2 pages) of the applicant’s motivation for applying for this position, including the candidate’s research interests and how they will support this project, a description of MSc thesis, and evidence of the applicant’s self-motivation and ability to work in a group. The application must also include a CV, degrees and grades (translated to English or Swedish), a copy of the MSc thesis (or a draft thereof), publications (and specific descriptions of the candidate’s own contributions), links to online repositories of code and other artefacts (such as GitHub or Bitbucket) other relevant documents, and the earliest possible starting date. Contact information for at least one reference should be provided. Promising applicants will be invited for a practical programming challenge and an in-depth interview before hiring. The department is striving to achieve a more equal gender balance and female candidates are particularly invited to apply.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines.

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.
Starting date: As soon as possible or as otherwise agreed.

Type of employment: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7.

Scope of employment: 100 %

For further information about the position please contact: Professor Tobias Wrigstad Ph. +4618 471 1072 tobias.wrigstad@it.uu.se or Professor David Black-Schaffer, Ph. +4618 471 6830, david.black-schaffer@it.uu.se.

Please submit your application by 22 April 2021, UFV-PA 2021/1269.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? Find out more about what it´s like to work and live in Sweden. 

Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services.

Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.


Placement: Department of Information Technology

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: ST/TCO tco@fackorg.uu.se
Seko Universitetsklubben seko@uadm.uu.se
Saco-rådet saco@uadm.uu.se

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2021/1269

Last application date: 2021-04-22


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