Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

The department of mathematics and mathematical statistics invites applicants for a tenure track position as an Assistant Professor in Mathematical Statistics with specialisation in nonconvex inference and learning. The position comes with a substantial recruitment package including full funding of four years' own research time, one PhD student, two postdocs, and discretionary funds related to the project at   a level of 60 kSEK yearly. The last day for applications is January 13, 2020.


The expansion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most exciting developments of the 21st century. The centre Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems, and Software Program (WASP) is launching a program to develop the mathematics of AI and strengthen Sweden's position in the field. The current call is part of the WASP recruitment program and is intended to further develop the research environment within statistical learning at the Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics, Umeå University. 

Industrial robots, autonomous cars, stocks trading algorithms, and deep network assisted evaluation of medical images all crucially involve real-time, intelligent and automated decision making from complex and heterogeneous data, at ever growing scale and pace. This presents unprecedented theoretical and algorithmic challenges and opportunities for researchers in collecting and transforming data into information, predictions and intelligent decisions.

Optimization theory is vital to modern statistical learning and at the forefront of these advances, and the main objective of this position is to develop the next generation of learning theory to address the above challenges in the context of modern statistical learning, and potentially explore their applications in AI, including medical imaging, automated quality control, and self-driving cars, evaluated on both simulated and real data.

Subject description

The subject area is mathematical statistics with specialisation in nonconvex inference and learning. The proposed research field has a focus on developing new mathematical, statistical and computational methodology for nonconvex learning, establish the theoretical framework, and explore their applications in AI

The employment

The applicant should contribute to the build-up of the research environment on mathematics for AI, with focus on nonconvex inference and learning, and supervise PhD students and postdocs. The description of the applicant's intended research shall be given great significance in the evaluation process.

You are expected to work independently, and your main focus should be to develop novel theory in nonconvex inference and learning for AI. Education at the department will offer an opportunity to supervise qualified degree projects in collaboration with external partners. You are eventually expected to create a new research group, while engaging in WASP's graduate school, WASP national meetings and other activities. You are also expected to actively engage in applying for external research funding.

The employment as Assistant Professor (biträdande universitetslektor in Swedish) is a five-year position where 80% of the time is devoted to research. At the end of this employment period, an Assistant Professor has the right, after requesting, to be examined for a promotion to Associate Professor at Umeå University.


Those eligible for employment as an Assistant Professor (biträdande universitetslektor) are individuals who have been awarded a PhD, or equivalent academic competence. Preference should be given to those who were awarded a PhD or attained equivalent research competence no more than five years prior to the expiry of the application period for the position as assistant professor.

The applicant should have a doctoral degree in mathematics, mathematical statistics, or equivalent scientific competence in an area of relevance for the position.

Assessment criteria

The basis for assessment of the employment will be of the degree of scientific competence, degree of pedagogical competence, ability to develop and lead activities and staff at a university, administrative and other competence of importance for the subject area and tasks in the position.

The degree of scientific competence is primarily assessed from publications in relevant areas. Considerable weight will be put on the assessment of the enclosed research plan. The applicant must have international research experience and documented knowledge that strengthens the competence in the research field in Sweden. The applicant must also be able to demonstrate an ability to work, collaborate, and communicate in a responsive and independent way, in contexts both inside and outside of academia.

The applicant must have contributed in nonconvex inference and learning theory and methodology development. Achievements of new theory in both optimisation front and statistical learning front with applications in deep neural networks and inference with generative adversarial networks are of particular interest for the position. Experience of successful development of mathematical and statistical methods for analysis of big data and experience of interdisciplinary research projects will be meritorious, as will a documented ability to attract competitive research funding.

Pedagogical competence should relate to mathematical statistics or mathematics. Documented experience of teaching at first-cycle and second-cycle (basic and advanced level) and supervision of degree theses and pedagogical development work are meritorious.

Administrative competence should be the ability to develop and lead activities and staff at a university and the ability to establish collaboration between research and education at all levels, within the subject area of the position and with other academic subject disciplines.

A well-documented ability to lead, organise and develop research activities is meritorious.

Documented successful educational and professional activities in mathematics or mathematical statistics and documented successful experience of collaboration between research and education are meritorious.

Also, the ability to independently organise, lead and manage projects will be considered. The applicant must be fluent in oral and written English.

Weighting of the assessment criteria

With selection of applicants for the position, the degree of scientific competence shall be decisive. In addition, the degree of pedagogical competence as well as administrative and other competences of importance should be taken into account with regard to the subject content of the employment and the duties to be included in the employment. Furthermore, consideration should be given to the degree of ability to develop and manage business and staff at the university and the ability to collaborate with the surrounding community and to inform about research and development work.


  • The application should include:
  • Personal letter, including contact details
  • CV with academic and professional qualifications
  • List of publications
  • Statement of scientific work (see instructions in link)
  • Statement of pedagogic work (see instructions in link)
  • Statement of development and management of activities and staff
  • Statement of collaboration with the surrounding society and popular science work
  • A research plan, maximum of 6 pages in length, which describes the research and issues you wish to investigate as a part of the employment and how you could contribute to the corresponding research projects linked to WASP strategic areas.
  • Certified copies of relevant degree certificates
  • Copies of at most 10 relevant publications, numbered in accordance to the list of publications
  • Two references, including contact details

Here you will find instructions how to formulate the statement of scientific and educational activities

Your application should be submitted through Umeå University's digital recruitment system Varbi on 2020-01-13 at the latest.

More information

Please contact associate Head of Department Patrik Rydén, +46-90-786 95 62,, and/ or Head of Department Åke Brännström, +46-90-786 78 62,

Consideration for promotion to Associate Professor

An Assistant Professor shall, upon application, be promoted to Associate Professor if he or she is qualified for an appointment as an Associate Professor and upon review is deemed to meet the requirements for such appointment according to the assessment grounds to be applied in a promotion to Associate Professor. Such a promotion entails an open-ended contract as an Associate Professor. The application for review for promotion must be submitted six months before the fixed-term appointment ends. If an Assistant Professor is not promoted after review, the fixed-term appointment ends. The criteria for promotion can be found in the employment profile established by the Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology November 6th, 2019. 

Read more about working with us (link) 

Umeå University is dedicated to providing creative environments for learning and work. We offer a wide variety of courses and programmes, world leading research, and excellent innovation and collaboration opportunities. More than 4 300 employees and 33 000 students have already chosen Umeå University. We welcome your application!

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Upon agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-1634-19
  • Åke Brännström, prefekt, 090-7867862
  • Peter Anton, biträdande prefekt, 090-7866399
  • Patrik Rydén, biträdande prefekt, 090-7869562
Union representative
  • SACO, +46 90-786 53 65
  • SEKO, +46 90-786 52 96
  • ST, +46 90-786 54 31
Published 11.Nov.2019
Last application date 13.Jan.2020 11:59 PM CET

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