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PhD position in Property-based Testing for Industry 4.0

The SDU Software Engineering at the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute, University of Southern Denmark, invites applications for a fully-funded PhD position in Software Engineering. The starting date for the position is March 1, 2021, or as soon as possible thereafter. 

Research environment
The PhD position is part of a project within the SDU Software Engineering section entitled EF-CPS: Error-Free Cyber-Physical Systems. The project supports the Industry 4.0 Laboratory Initiative at University of Southern Denmark, a long-term strategic initiative created to support research, teaching, and industrial collaboration and experimentation. The University invests more than 15 Mill. Euro over the next five years in the Industry 4.0 initiative. 

SDU Software Engineering is a relatively new and growing section focusing on many aspects of software engineering and production from requirements to test as well as data and security across many domains. We are focusing on building a strong collaborative environment and we are currently expanding with many new positions. The section is located in Odense. 

The PhD project
The overall goal of the PhD project is to help ensure a trustworthy software stack for the laboratory’s I4.0 platform, thereby providing a solid foundation for the I4.0 infrastructure to build on. The project aims to do so by applying modern automated testing techniques from property-based testing. Concretely this will involve developing a combination of model-based tests and investigating relevant domain-specific properties within the Industry 4.0 domain to help drive test case generation. 

The ideal candidate for this position has previous experience with functional programming and/or property-based testing.

Job description
  • You will conduct research in the intersection of property-based testing and I4.0.
  • You will develop open-source software prototypes.
  • You will publish and present your work both at international conferences and in scientific journals with high impact.
  • You will assist in teaching and supervision activities.
Profile and requirements
  • MSc degree (equivalent to a Danish master's degree) in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Informatics or equivalent.
  • Comfortable learning new programming languages if needed.
  • Experience (or a genuine interest) in doing research.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Comfortable working both independently and within a team.
  • Interested in longer term commitment in a growing research group.
  • Fluent in English, both spoken and written.
Contact information
For more information, please contact Associate Professor Jan Midtgaard, email:

If you experience technical problems you must contact   

Conditions of employment
Applicants are required to have a master’s degree (equivalent to a Danish master's degree) at the time of enrollment and employment. Employment as a PhD fellow is a 3-year salaried position (start salary amounts to approx. 3.378,- Euro per month incl. supplements).

Employment of a PhD fellow can only happen after the Head of the PhD School has approved the candidate for admission to the PhD school. Employment and enrollment will cease without further notice at the end of the period.

A PhD fellow is not allowed to have any kind of sideline employment, while enrolled as PhD fellow at the faculty.

Employment is governed by the Protocol on PhD Research Fellows signed by the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Please check links for more information on salary and taxation.

The successful candidate will be enrolled at SDU in accordance with Faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order), read more here. 

The assessment process
Read about the Assessment and selection process. Shortlisting may be used.
Application procedure
The Faculty expects applicants to read the Faculty information for prospective PhD students and How to apply before applying.

The application deadline is January 20, 2021.

The application must be in English and must include - the required forms must be found at the above mentioned Faculty website:
  • Completed TEK PhD application form for 5+3 applicants.
  • Motivation letter stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project in question (max. two pages). Upload in the field called “Project description”. 
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae, describing research, publication and teaching experience, computational skills and including personal contact information.
  • Verified copies of the official bachelor diploma and master's diploma and transcripts of exams.
  • Completed TEK PhD form for calculation grade point average. Upload in one of the fields called “Publication”. 
  • An official document describing the grading scheme of the awarding universities (if not Danish). Upload in one of the fields called “Publication”. 
  • An official and verified written assessment of the thesis or dissertation project from the grade giving institution, if the thesis/examination project is evaluated by approved/passed. The statement must clearly state that the candidate has been among the top 30 pct. in the graduation class for the study programme.
  • References, if any. You're welcome to use the form for reference letter at the Faculty website.
  • List of publications and maximum 2 examples of relevant publications, in case you have any publications.
The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

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