PhD in Sustainability-Aware Software Architecting for the Future Cloud, a joint project between Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and University of Groningen

The ever increasing digitalization of our world exacerbated the need (and opportunity) to address global sustainability goals at software level. In fact, architecting sustainable software-intensive systems is recognized as one of the grand challenges of contemporary software engineering. The ubiquity of such systems generates the necessary urgency in delivering sustainability through appropriate architecting practices. These practices are particularly compelling because they allow us to reason and evaluate system sustainability throughout the system’s lifecycle. The wide adoption of cloud computing, however, where software, platforms, and infrastructure are delivered as-a-service makes this task complicated due to the opaqueness of the consumed services.

To address this issue, this project aims to develop a sustainability-aware architecting framework specifically for cloud-based software services which incorporates all dimensions of system sustainability (economic, environmental, social, and technical). The envisioned framework is structured around the use of sustainability indicators, one per dimension. The position we aim to test through this project is that improving the indicator for each of the sustainability dimensions creates a positive reinforcement effect on the other indicators. We aim to investigate the efficacy of this (pro)position through a combination of empirical software engineering and design science and develop architecting tools, methods, and guidelines for delivering sustainability-aware cloud-based software services.

This is a joint project between Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and University of Groningen, each hiring a PhD candidate. The PhD position at the University of Groningen is to mainly focus on the technical and economic aspects of sustainability in software architecture, and in particular on their associated indicators, monitoring toolkits, best practices, and decision-making mechanisms.


The successful candidate should have:

• a Master’s degree in Software Engineering, Computer Science or related disciplines
• strong motivation for scientific research in the areas of software engineering and software sustainability
• (preferred) Strong background in software architecture and related practices and paradigms
• (preferred) Strong background in cloud computing and related technologies
• good communication, organizational and social skills.


Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 36,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.
Within the Faculty of Science and Engineering, a 4-years PhD position is available at the Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence with the topic of sustainability-aware software architecting for cloud-based software services. The candidate placed at the University of Groningen will become a member of the Software Engineering and Architecture Research Group (SEARCH) of the Computer Science Department and will work under the supervision of Dr Vasilios Andrikopoulos. The project is a collaboration with the Software and Sustainability research group at VU Amsterdam.

Conditions of employment

We offer you, following the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary of € 2,443 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,122 gross per month in the fourth and final year for a full-time working week
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and an 8.3% year-end bonus
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE). The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.


Application should include:

• a cover letter (max 1 page) explaining your motivation for this position
• CV (including contact information for at least two academic references)
• transcript of records from your bachelor’s and master’s degree.

You can submit your application until 15 March 11:59pm / before 16 March 2022 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on “Apply” below on the advertisement on the university website).

Applications received before 16 March 2022 will be given full consideration; however, the position will remain open until it is filled.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), and European Commission’s European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers,

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.

Additional information


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