Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest institutions of higher education with over 35,000 students and 4,200 faculty and staff. We are characterised by world-leading research in several scientific fields and a multitude of educations ranked highly in international comparison. Umeå University is also the site of the pioneering discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors - a revolution in genetic engineering that has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

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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 focusing on the mathematics of artificial intelligence. Deadline for application is April 13, 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. A good background in mathematics, numerical analysis, optimization, partial differential equations, finite element methods, and/or programming is qualifying. To be admitted to the WASP graduate school strong grades are required.

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 after summer 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 two reference persons

The application must be written in English or Swedish and the documents must be in PDF format. The application must be submitted electronically using the e-recruitment system of Umeå University, and be received no later than April 13, 2020.

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

About the department:

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-432-20
  • Mats G Larson, Professor, +46 70 2680923,
  • Karl Larsson, Associate Professor, +46 90 7867816,
Union representative
  • SACO, +46 90 7865365
  • SEKO, +46 90 7865296
  • ST, +46 90 7865431
Published 18.Mar.2020
Last application date 13.Apr.2020 11:59 PM CEST

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