PhD Student Position in Robust Methods for Data Science
Catholic University of Leuven Department of Mathematics

The research group on Robust Statistics (ROBUST@Leuven: M. Hubert, P. Rousseeuw, S. Van Aelst and T. Verdonck) belongs to the Statistics and Data Science section of the Department of Mathematics. The group is very active in developing robust methods and outlier detection techniques for multivariate and high-dimensional data. We study theoretical properties, develop fast algorithms and apply our methods to data from chemometrics, bio-informatics, engineering, actuarial sciences and more. We regularly collaborate with academics and practitioners from different scientific fields and different countries, and participate in international meetings and conferences. See our website for publications and software. The research group is also part of the Leuven Statistics Research Centre (LStat), which brings together all researchers in statistics and related fields at KU Leuven and organizes the Master in Statistics and Data Science.


Your work will be on the development of one or several of our current research topics:

  • methods for reliable sparse analysis of (ultra)high-dimensional heterogeneous data by means of linear models, generalized linear models, principal component analysis, classification, graphical models and others;
  • methods that can reliably handle both cellwise and casewise outliers;
  • reliable methods to analyze heterogeneous high-dimensional dynamic data with computationally efficient update mechanisms to monitor processes online;
  • computationally efficient algorithms that maximally exploit high performance computing machinery;
  • applications of the new methods and techniques in collaboration with experts from different fields.

You will

  • do research in robust statistics and data science leading to a PhD;
  • follow the doctoral training program of the Arenberg Doctoral School;
  • give exercise sessions for some statistics courses;
  • assist in the guidance of bachelor projects and mastertheses. 


  • You have a master degree in mathematics, statistics, data science, engineering or an equivalent degree with a mathematics and statistics component, with at least the grade of distinction;
  • You have a good command of English, both spoken and written.


We offer a position as PhD student which is initially for one year, but will be renewed three times after a positive evaluation. The four year period allows you to obtain a PhD. 


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Mia Hubert, tel.: +32 16 32 20 23, mail: or Prof. dr. Tim Verdonck, tel.: +32 16 32 27 89, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than June 05, 2020 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: June 5, 2020
  • Tags: Wiskunde
  • Download: file

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