Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest higher education institutions with over 37 000 students and about 4 700 employees. The University offers a diversity of high-quality education and world-leading research in several fields. And the groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was made here. At Umeå University, everything is close. Our cohesive campuses make it easy to meet, work together and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture.

The ongoing societal transformation and large green investments in northern Sweden create enormous opportunities and complex challenges. For Umeå University, conducting research about – and in the middle of – a society in transition is what it is all about. But also about delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. This is simply where the future is built.

Are you interested in learning more? Read about Umeå university as a workplace

The Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics conducts research in computational mathematics, discrete mathematics, mathematical modelling and analysis, and mathematical statistics. Our teaching is conducted at all levels and includes mathematics, mathematical statistics and computational science. Among our partners are international research groups, academic institutions, public organizations and companies.

The Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics at Umeå University is opening a PhD position in Computational Science and Engineering with specialization in mathematics of artificial intelligence. The general aim is to provide its holder with a possibility to earn a PhD degree. The position is for 48 months of research. As a PhD student you will perform research and take courses on graduate level. Deadline for application is January 31, 2020.

Project description
Artificial intelligence and deep neural networks have had tremendous success on several previously unsolved data analysis problems. The mathematical understanding of how and why deep neural networks work is however very limited. This project focuses on the development of mathematical methods and tools for investigation and future development of deep neural networks. In particular we will investigate the imposition of scale separation in deep neural networks for improved robustness and explainability. The research project involves mathematical and algorithmic development as well as practical application and testing using state of the art software. The project is part of the AI/Math track of the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems, and Software Program (WASP) and the PhD student will be enrolled in the WASP graduate school, see for more information.

Admission requirements
Prerequisites include 240 ECTS credits (swe. högskolepoäng) of higher education studies of which 60 ECTS credits should be on an advanced level (master level). In addition to these general requirements, the applicant is required to have completed at least 90 credits in computational science and engineering courses, of which at least 30 credits shall have been acquired at second-cycle level. Computational science and engineering courses refer to courses with major quantitative, statistical or computing science elements, such as courses in computing science, mathematics and mathematical statistics, and relevant courses in biology, ecology, physics and chemistry. Applicants who in some other system either within Sweden or abroad have acquired largely equivalent skills are also eligible. 

Candidates need to be skilled in both oral and written communication in English and should be able to work independently as well as in collaboration with others. Applicants with a degree not from a Swedish university are encouraged to provide results obtained from GMAT (and/or GRE) and TOEFL tests if available. The candidates also need to have a genuine interest, but not necessarily documented knowledge, in working with computers and programming, e.g. in Matlab, C++, or Python. Experience from industrial computer programming projects is meriting. A good background in mathematics, numerical analysis, optimization, partial differential equations, finite element methods, and/or programming is qualifying.

About the employment
The position is intended to result in a doctoral degree and the main task of the PhD student is to pursue their doctoral studies which include participation in research, postgraduate courses, and to take part in the WASP graduate school. The duties can include teaching and other departmental work (up to a maximum of 20%). The employment is limited to four years of full-time (48 months) or up to five years including teaching part-time. Salary is set in accordance with the established salary ladder for the PhD position. The employment starts in the spring of 2020 or according to agreement.

A complete application should include the following documents:

  • a personal letter with a brief description of qualifications, research interests, and motivations and with your contact information
  • a curriculum vitae
  • authenticated copies of degree certificates and copies of relevant work such as master’s thesis or articles that you have authored or co-authored
  • contact information for at least one reference person

The application must be written in English or Swedish and the documents must be in Word or PDF format. The application must be submitted electronically using the e-recruitment system of Umeå University (see button below), and be received no later than January 31, 2020.

Since we strive for a more equal gender distribution within our department, we especially encourage female applicants. 

The procedure for recruitment for the position is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance (chapter 12, 2§) and the decision regarding the position cannot be appealed. 

Further information
Further information is provided by Professor Mats G. Larson, +46(0)70 2680923, and Associate Professor Karl Larsson, +46(0)90 7867816, You can also contact the head of department Åke Brännström for additional questions at

Research at the Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics is conducted within mathematics, mathematical statistics and computational science. Important cooperation partners include the Faculty of Science and Technology, the Faculty of Medicine, Umeå School of Business and Economics, Umeå School of Sport Sciences, the University Hospital, the Faculty of Forest Sciences at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, as well as public authorities and industry. We provide education at all levels with a particular focus on civil engineering programs.

For more information see statistics/

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Spring of 2020 or according to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-2069-19
  • Mats G Larson, Professor,, +46(0)70 2680923
  • Karl Larsson, Associate professor, +46(0)90 7867816,
  • Åke Brännström, HoD,, +46(0)90 7867862
Union representative
  • SACO, +46(0)90 7865365
  • SEKO, +46(0)90 7865296
  • ST, +46(0)90 7865431
Published 19.Dec.2019
Last application date 31.Jan.2020 11:59 PM CET

Return to job vacancies