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. Notably, 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 key. We also take pride in delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. In fact, the future is made here.

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

At our department, characterized by world-leading research in several scientific fields and a multitude of educations ranked highly in international comparison, we now look for a Doctoral student in AI for Data Management.

The Department of Computing science has been growing rapidly in recent years where focus on an inclusive and bottom-up driven environment are key elements in our sustainable growth. The 50 doctoral students within the department consists of a diverse group from different nationalities, backgrounds and fields. If you work as a doctoral student with us you receive the benefits of support in career development, networking, administrative and technical support functions along with good employment conditions. See more information at:

Is this interesting for you? Welcome with your application before 30 June 2022

Project description

The project, led by Professor Diego Calvanese, concerns foundational and/or applied research in the context of flexible and efficient management of large amounts of richly structured data, by relying on the paradigm of Virtual Knowledge Graphs (VKGs, also known as Ontology-based Data Access). Specifically, the project aims at extending VKGs to address novel settings, that may include the following elements:

  • (i) additional forms of data/knowledge (e.g., temporal, geospatial, aggregated, numeric);
  • (ii) heterogeneous data sources of different types beyond relational ones (such as graph-structured data, json, xml, csv, streaming, textual);
  • (iii) novel kinds of problems, notably provenance, explanation, personalization, data analysis and machine learning over VKGs, optimization and performance tuning; and
  • (iv) novel applications of VKGs (e.g., industry 4.0, smart cities, e-health).

Depending on the qualifications and interests of the student, the PhD research topic can include one or more of the above extensions of the traditional VKG paradigm, and can be targeted more towards foundational and theoretical research or more towards applied and experimental research.

Description of research group

The research will be carried out within the research group in “Artificial Intelligence for Data Management”, led by Prof. Diego Calvanese. The research group currently consists of two post-doctoral researchers and three PhD students, and it will be joined starting from summer this year by two associate professors, two additional post-doctoral researchers and several PhD students. The group will closely collaborate with the research team of Prof. Calvanese at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (Italy), well-known as one of the leading groups worldwide for its foundational and applied research at the interplay between Semantic Technologies, Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, and Databases.

Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP) is Sweden’s largest individual research program ever, a major national initiative for strategically motivated basic research, education and faculty recruitment. The program addresses research on artificial intelligence and autonomous systems acting in collaboration with humans, adapting to their environment through sensors, information and knowledge, and forming intelligent systems-of-systems. The vision of WASP is excellent research and competence in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and software for the benefit of Swedish industry. Read more:

The graduate school within WASP is dedicated to provide the skills needed to analyze, develop, and contribute to the interdisciplinary area of artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and software. Through an ambitious program with research visits, partner universities, and visiting lecturers, the graduate school actively supports forming a strong multi-disciplinary and international professional network between PhD-students, researchers and industry. Read more:

Admission requirements

The general admission requirements for doctoral studies are a second- cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits are at second-cycle level, or have an equivalent education from abroad, or equivalent qualifications. To fulfil the specific entry requirements for doctoral studies in computing science, the applicant is required to have completed at least 90 ECTS credits in computing science, or in a subject considered to be directly relevant for the specialization in question. Applicants who otherwise have acquired skills that are deemed equivalent are also eligible.

Candidates are expected to have very good knowledge in databases, data management and data modeling principles, or in semantic technologies and artificial intelligence (including knowledge representation and reasoning). For a more theoretically oriented PhD, candidates are expected to have a solid background in the formal foundations of computer science (including mathematics, discrete mathematics, mathematical logic, theory of computation, possibly complexity theory).  For a more applied PhD, candidates are expected to have good programming skills and ideally experience in open-source and collaborative software project development.

Important personal qualities are good communication skills, including good communicative skills in English, good ability to co-operate within a team, ability to quickly grasp new concepts and place them in context, and creativity.

 Terms of employment

The position is aimed for PhD studies and research during four years, leading to a PhD exam. It is mainly devoted to postgraduate studies (at least 80% of the time), but may include up to 20% department service (usually teaching). If so, the total time for the position is extended accordingly (up to maximum five years). Expected starting date is October 2022, or as otherwise agreed.

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.


Applications must be submitted electronically using the e-recruitment system of Umeå University.

 A complete application should contain the following documents:

  • A cover letter including a description of your research interests, your reasons to apply for the position, and your contact information;
  • A curriculum vitae;
  • Reprints / copies of completed BSc and/or MSc thesis and other relevant publications, if any;
  • Copies of degree certificates, including documentation of completed academic courses and obtained grades;
  • Contact information for two persons willing to act as references;
  • Documentation and description of other relevant experiences or competences.

The application must be written in English (preferably) or Swedish. Attached documents must be in Word or pdf format. Applications must be submitted electronically using the e-recruitment system of Umeå University, and be received no later than 30 June 2022.

The Department of Computing Science values gender diversity, and therefore particularly encourages women and those outside the gender binary to apply for the position.

For additional information, please contact Professor Diego Calvanese (

We look forward to receiving your application!

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 221001
Salary Monthly pay
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-738-22
Published 29.Apr.2022
Last application date 30.Jun.2022 11:59 PM CEST

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