The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

PhD position in Rational Verification and Synthesis in Multi-Agent Systems (1.0 FTE)

This job offer has expired

    Utrecht University
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    16/05/2021 00:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Netherlands › Utrecht


In complex multi-agent systems, decisions made by one agent affect the rational responses of other agents and hence the behaviour of the whole system. Given a model of the causal relationships in a multi-agent system, you will investigate: (a) how automated verification techniques can be used to predict the effects on overall system behaviour of changes to the system; and (b) how to synthesise strategies for a particular agent to achieve an overall system goal when other agents in the system adopt rational strategies.

This PhD position is part of the CAUSES project funded by NWO and ProRail, the Netherlands railway infrastructure organisation. ProRail will provide the data and simulation environments for use in the project. You will work with another PhD student who will focus on how causal models of multi-agent systems can be learned. Supported by developers from the innovation and development lab and the data scientists at ProRail, both PhD students will be involved in designing and implementing a decision support system based on the results of the project, and will regularly visit ProRail for consultation and development.

You will also be involved in supporting the preparation and teaching of Bachelor- and Master-level courses, supervising student theses, managing research infrastructure, and participating in public outreach. You will be part of the Intelligent Systems (IS) group, led by professor Mehdi Dastani, who will also be your daily supervisor along with dr. Natasha Alechina, and dr. Brian Logan.

More Information


We offer an exciting opportunity to contribute to an ambitious and international education programme with highly motivated students and to conduct your own research project at a renowned research university. You will receive appropriate training, personal supervision, and guidance for both your research and teaching tasks, which will provide an excellent start to an academic career.

In addition, you will have

  • the opportunity to work in a collaborative, social, and dedicated team of researchers;
  • a full-time position for 4 years;
  • a full-time gross salary starting at €2,395 in the first year and increasing to €3,061 in the fourth year (scale P Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao));
  • benefits including 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, andflexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here.

Selection process

Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives and we attach great importance to diversity and gender balance. Applicants are encouraged to mention any personal circumstances that need to be taken into account, for example parental leave or military service.

If you have the expertise and the experience to excel in this role, then simply respond via the “Apply now” button!

Please enclose the following documents in English:

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your Curriculum vitae;
  • the names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of two references;
  • a copy of your MSc certificate;
  • transcripts showing grades obtained on your bachelor and master courses.

If this specific opportunity is not for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward the link to them.

Please note: Due to the current situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the process of selection and interviews is subject to change. Initial interviews will most likely be conducted online.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

Additional comments

If you have any questions about this position, please contact Professor Mehdi Dastani via m.m.dastani@uu.nl.

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Then please send an email to science.recruitment@uu.nl.

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

Specific Requirements

We are looking for a candidate with perseverance and a committed spirit. You also have

  • a good background in modal or temporal logic and algorithmic complexity;
  • understanding of basic AI concepts and techniques (intelligent agents, planning, learning);
  • good programming skills;
  • a Master’s degree in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, or a related field;
  • excellent communication skills in English, both in speech and in writing.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Utrecht University
3512 JE
Domplein 29

EURAXESS offer ID: 623163
Posting organisation offer ID: 299338


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