The Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics (KdVI) of the University of Amsterdam invites you to apply for a PhD position in Statistics. You will work on the project entitled ‘Shape-constrained estimation in survival analysis’. We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated applicant with a good background in statistics or probability.

In survival analysis we are interested in analyzing the time until occurrence of an event of interest such as death/recovery from a disease, equipment failure, first employment after graduation etc. Time-to event data can have particular features that need to be accounted for during the modelling and estimation process. For example, in the recent years, there has been an increased interest in handling survival data in the presence of cure (some subjects never experience the event of interest), which is mainly motivated by improved chances of survival for some cancer patients. Estimation and uncertainty quantification in cure rate models pose both theoretical and practical challenges.

This project focuses on developing shape-constrained estimation methods for cure models. Shape restrictions arise naturally in the context of survival analysis (monotone effect of the prognostic factors, monotone/unimodal risk function, convex/concave distribution function) and incorporating such information in the estimation procedure can lead to more accurate results. In addition, such approach enjoys the flexibility of the nonparametric methods without needing to specify tuning parameters. The project consists of several parts: development of statistical methodology and theory, extensive simulation studies and real-data applications.

What are you going to do?

You will:

  • perform research on the project Shape-constrained estimation in survival analysis;
  • be part of the research program Stochastics and interact with its senior and junior members;
  • contribute to educational programs at the University of Amsterdam;
  • write a PhD-thesis and obtain a PhD within 4 years.

What do we require?

  • A Master’s degree in Mathematics (with specialization in Statistics/Probability) or in Statistics (to be completed before the start of the project);
  • a strong interest in statistical methodology and theory;
  • excellent programming skills (programming experience in R is a plus);
  • excellent writing and communication skills in English;
  • commitment and a cooperative attitude.

Experience in teaching is a plus.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. The starting date is flexible, but not later than 1 September 2021.

The salary will be €2,395 to €3,061 (scale P) gross per month, based on a full-time contract of 38 hours a week. This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Then find out more about working at the Faculty of Science.

About the Faculty of Science and the Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics (KdVI) is the mathematics research institute at the University of Amsterdam. We conduct world-class research in the fields of Algebra, Geometry and Mathematical Physics; Pure, Applied and Numerical Analysis; Discrete Mathematics and Quantum Information; and Stochastics. A smaller portion of our research is directed at teaching (focus area blended learning) or history of mathematics. We are involved with various national and international research collaborations. In addition, we also provide the lecturers and instructors for the mathematics teaching within the Science faculty and within the national programme Mastermath. The institute has about 30 faculty members and 40 postdocs and PhD students.


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

The Korteweg-de Vries Institute strives for a better gender balance in its staff. We therefore strongly encourage women to apply for this position.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 31 January 2021. You may apply online by using the link below.

Applications should include:

  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a motivation letter that explains why you have chosen to apply for this specific position;
  • a copy of your Master’s thesis or, if not completed, a copy of your Bachelor’s thesis (please include it even if it is not written in English);
  • a complete record of Bachelor and Master courses (including grades);
  • names and contact information of two academic references (please do not include any recommendation letters).

All these should be grouped in a single PDF attachment.

Please mention the months (not just years) in your CV when referring to your education and work experience.

No agencies please

Apply now

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