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Funded PhD position, in Proof Engineering Technologies in Probabilistic Programming and Software Verification, at Faculty of Engineering and Business Administration, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, in Norway


On January 1st, 2017, Bergen University College, Sogn og Fjordane University College and Stord/Haugesund University College merged to form Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.

With about 16,000 students, it will be one of the largest higher education institutions in Norway. A broad range of academic programmes will be offered at Bachelor, Master and PhD levels.

Our ambition is to build stronger and more solid academic and research environments that will interact nationally and internationally. The aim is to become a recognized actor on the international higher education arena. Increased international cooperation and engagement in externally funded projects will work towards this goal.

PhD research fellow position in Proof Engineering Technologies in Probabilistic Programming and Software Verification.

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), Faculty of Engineering and Business Administration has an open position for a PhD research fellow in Proof Engineering Technologies in Probabilistic Programming and Software Verification.

The PhD research fellow will be affiliated with the faculty’s ICT-oriented strategic research programme on ICT engineering ( which currently includes 20 professors and associate professors, 15 PhD students, and a number of master’s students. The ICT engineering research environment at HVL, Campus Bergen has a strong focus on use-inspired and applied research, and on ICT as an enabling technology. The research environment has cooperation with many national and international research groups, and with national and regional industry partners. The programme includes the research themes of software engineering, engineering computing, sensor networks, and grid computing.

The PhD research fellow will be part of the ICT Research Group (
The computer science and mathematics group at HVL has long experience in formal modelling technologies, that guarantee correctness with regard to specifications, e.g., for security properties of models and software. We are now interested in applying verification techniques to e.g. distributed protocols and/or machine learning.

Machine learning is changing the landscape of engineering. Within machine learning, approximate inference algorithms are becoming essential tools. An immense challenge is to test those algorithms, which are random by nature. One idea is to use functional programming to construct and verify such algorithms.

Research focus of the position will be the application of software verification techniques, e.g. to:

  • machine learning algorithms;
    • distributed protocols;
    • probabilistic algorithms.

The PhD research fellow should have a master’s degree in computer science or in a closely related field, or have submitted the master’s thesis before the application deadline. In the latter case, it is required that the master`s degree be awarded within 4 weeks after the applications deadline.

The ideal candidate will have experience and interest in one or more of the following areas:

  • functional programming or verification;
    • programming language semantics;
    • machine learning.

In addition to the required educational background, the following criteria will be evaluated: competence and grades on completed course work, quality of the master’s thesis (excellent grade, equivalent of grade B or better on the ECTS grading system), publications (if any), research and teaching experience, practical software engineering skills and experience. A possible outline of a research plan for a potential PhD project will also be taken into account.

The candidate must be diligent and display the ability to work independently, supplemented with regular guidance, and is expected to carry out high-quality research and to publish the results in international workshops, onferences, and journals.

The PhD research fellow must enroll in the PhD programme in Computer Science: Software Engineering, Sensor Networks and Engineering Computing at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, and must meet the formal admission requirements for admission into the PhD programme. 25% of the 4-year period will be designated to duties such as teaching, development and administrative tasks. The employment period may be reduced if the successful applicant has held previous employment as a research fellow. The PhD candidate will be assigned two academic supervisors at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. An application for enrolment should first be submitted after an appointment is made and the supervisor(s) will help with this procedure. The candidate must be enrolled as a PhD student within 3 months from the start of the employment.

Application procedure

Applications will be evaluated by an expert panel of three members.

Applicants are asked to submit their application and CV online. Please use the link “Apply for this job” (“Søk stillingen”).


The following documentation should be uploaded as an attachment to the online application:

Master thesis

Copies of selected academic publications (no more than 15)

A CV with a complete list of academic publications

Diplomas and certificates

Applicants should indicate which publications or parts of publications should be given special consideration in the evaluation. If the documents submitted are not in a Scandinavian language or in English, the applicants must submit certified translations of these. The transcripts must specify the topics, the course works, and the grades at the bachelor`s and master`s degree levels.


Applicants should note that the evaluation will be based on the documentation submitted electronically via Jobbnorge within the submission deadline. The applicants are responsible for ensuring that all the documentation is submitted before the closing date. It is of utmost importance that all publications to be considered in the evaluation are uploaded as an attachment with the application, since these are sent electronically to the expert panel. Applications cannot be sent by e-mail or to individuals at the college.



Initial salaries will be offered at grade 50 (code 1017) in the Civil Service pay grade table scale. There is a compulsory 2 % deduction to the pension fund (see for more information).

The successful applicant must comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at any time.

General information

The appointment will be made in accordance with the regulations for State employees Law in Norway (“Lov om statens ansatte)”. Organizational changes and changes in the duties and responsibilities associated with the position must be expected.


State employment shall reflect the multiplicity of the population at large to the highest possible degree. Western Norway University of Applied Sciences Bergen has therefore adopted a personnel policy objective to ensure that we achieve a balanced age and gender composition and the recruitment of persons of various ethnic backgrounds.


Information about the applicant may be made public even though the applicant has requested not to be named in the list of applicants. The applicant will be notified if his/her request is not respected.


Applicants may be called in for an interview.




Associate Professor Volker Stolz,

phone: 55 58 75 86, e-mail:

Associate Professor Olivier Verdier,

phone: 55 58 76 68, e-mail

Professor Håvard Helstrup, Coordinator of PhD Program on ICT Engineering,

phone: (+47) 55 58 75 61, e-mail:


Deadline: Unspecified

Apply Now