2 PhD candidates in Proof Systems for Modal Fixpoint Logics University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Science – Institute for Logic, Language and Computation Netherlands

2 PhD candidates in Proof Systems for Modal Fixpoint Logics

Faculty of Science – Institute for Logic, Language and Computation


2 PhD candidates in Proof Systems for Modal Fixpoint Logics

Publication date 7 March 2019

Closing date 14 April 2019

Level of education Master's degree

Hours 38 hours per week

Salary indication €2,325 to €2,972 gross per month

Vacancy number 19-156


The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) at the University of Amsterdam invites applications for two fully funded four-year PhD positions on the project Proof Systems for Modal Fixpoint Logics, directed by Bahareh Afshari and Yde Venema.


Project description

The positions are part of the research project Proof Systems for Modal Fixpoint Logics, to be directed by Dr Bahareh Afshari and Prof. Yde Venema. This project, which also involves a post-doc position, is a merger of two research projects:

  • Proof Theory of Fixed Point Modal Logic (1 PhD), a project funded by the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam as part of Afshari's MacGillavry fellowship;
  • Derivation Systems for Modal Fixpoint Logics (2 PhDs and 1 PD), a project awarded to Venema by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in the ENW TOP grant programme.


Many applications of modal logic, in particular in computer science, require the formalism to deal with various kinds of recursion. Modal fixpoint logics are extensions of basic modal logic that deal with the concept of recursion in an elegant and fundamental way by adding operators or connectives that can express recursive statements. Whereas semantic and computational aspects of these logics are by now reasonably well understood, the theory of proof systems for modal fixpoint logics has remained relatively underdeveloped.


The aim of the Proof Systems for Modal Fixpoint Logics project is to develop a general and uniform theory of proof systems for modal fixpoint logics. Such a theory will extend that of basic modal logics with proof systems that allow for derivations that are circular or feature other mechanisms for dealing with the recursive nature of fixpoints. The envisaged methodology for designing and studying such proof systems will integrate insights from proof theory with ideas from the theories of automata, infinite games, and (co-)algebra. A more detailed description of the research project can be obtained from the project leaders.


You will be expected to contribute to this research project. Specifically, we will ask you to perform the following tasks:

  • to complete and defend a PhD thesis within the official appointment duration of four years;
  • to regularly present research results at international workshops and conferences, and to publish them in conference proceedings and journals;
  • to participate in and to contribute to the organisation of research activities and events at the Institute, such as workshops and colloquia.


All PhD candidates at the ILLC furthermore are expected to make a small contribution to the institute’s educational mission, e.g., by working as teaching assistants for courses in their area of expertise and by assisting with the supervision of student research projects.


These PhD positions will be embedded in the ILLC’s PhD Programme, which offers training in a range of transferable skills that are relevant for a successful research career.



We are looking for candidates who have the technical skills and the scientific interest to conduct cutting-edge research in logic. You should hold, or expect to obtain before the start of your appointment, a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, such as Logic, Theoretical Computer Science, or Mathematics. Furthermore, you should possess:

  • an excellent academic track record;
  • a serious interest in pursuing fundamental research;
  • good writing and presentation skills;
  • good social and organisational skills;
  • full professional proficiency in spoken and written English.

Please note that knowledge of the Dutch language is not required for these positions, nor is it required for being able to live in Amsterdam. However, PhD candidates at the ILLC have the opportunity to attend Dutch language classes if they wish.


Job offer

  • A fixed-term initial employment contract for 18 months full-time (38 hours per week). This will be extended with a further 30 months after a positive assessment. The starting date is 1 September 2019 or shortly thereafter;
  • the gross monthly salary amounts to €2,325 during the first year, rising to €2,972 during the fourth year, and will be supplemented with an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities applies;
  • good secondary employment benefits: Working at the Faculty of Science


Further information

For informal inquiries regarding the general research project, the postdoc positions or the application procedure, please contact:

  • Bahareh Afshari
  • Yde Venema


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.


Your application should include the following information (in one single PDF file):

  • a cover letter, including a description of your research interests and an explanation for why you are applying for this position (at most two pages);
  • a detailed curriculum vitae (CV);
  • a list of all Master-level modules you have taken, with an official transcript of grades;
  • a link to a writing sample available online, such as a Master’s thesis, a term paper, or a publication (in case of joint authorship, please clearly indicate your own contribution);
  • the names, affiliations, and email addresses of two or (at most) three people we can contact for letters of reference for you.

Submit your application no later than 14 April 2019 via the link below and use the CV field to upload the PDF file specified above. Only applications that conform to these instructions are ensured full consideration by the search committee. In particular, please do not submit more than one file. #LI-DNP

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