PhD position in spectral analysis of networks

Job description

The Mathematical Institute at Utrecht University invites applications for a doctoral student. The position is fully funded for 4 years, with a preferable start by the end of 2020.

You will conduct research under the daily supervision of Dr Ivan Kryven in spectral properties of several models of random graphs and use these results to develop analytical methods and algorithms for analysis of stability and long-time behaviour of random dynamical systems. You will also be encouraged to engage in activities at the Centre for Complex Systems Studies wherein your results will be applied to improve predictive power of existing ecological and Earth-system models.

As the PhD candidate you will take part in:

  • conducting research in the area of spectral analysis of random graphs;
  • providing modest teaching service in English;
  • contributing to the academic activities at the Mathematical Institute and the Centre for Complex Systems Studies.


We are looking for a collaborative and ambitious candidate who has:

  • completed a Master’s degree in mathematics or a related discipline by the time the position starts;
  • a strong background in discrete mathematics or probability theory is advantageous, but mathematical maturity and motivation are more important;
  • a positive attitude towards disseminating their results in applied fields, namely in ecology and climate science.


  • A research experience in a friendly and inspiring international environment;
  • the possibility to engage with leading researchers of the field as well network of their collaborators;
  • a position for 4 years doing full-time research;
  • a full-time gross salary starting from € 2,395 at year 1 to € 3,061 at year 4 (scale P);
  • benefits including 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions external linkbased 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  external link.  

About the organisation

Utrecht University’s Mathematical Institute (MI) is internationally recognised for its research in both pure and applied mathematics. In applied mathematics, we excel in research on dynamical systems, including differential equations, stochastic processes and computational mathematics, and in networks, including random graphs and statistical physics. 

The institute has a long-standing tradition of transdisciplinary collaboration with other scientific fields including, atmosphere/ocean sciences, computational life sciences, mathematical biology, medical and seismic imaging, materials science and theoretical physics. The MI regularly engages in funded research collaborations with industry, National Research Organisation (NWO) and government institutes.

The Mathematical Institute houses the Utrecht Geometry Centre and is an active force within the Centre on Complex Systems Studies. The Centre for Complex Systems Studies offers workspaces where researchers from different disciplines can meet and work together. The centre harbours talented young researchers as well as renowned scientists and facilitates the collaboration on complexity science over the boundaries of disciplines.

At the Faculty of Science  external linkthere are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes which work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do mentality of our people. This lively and inspiring academic environment attracts professors, researchers and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the University and the Faculty of Science a wonderfully diverse and vibrant international community. 

Utrecht is well connected to the rest of the country and to Europe (train trips to Amsterdam take 20 minutes and 25 minutes to Schiphol Airport).

Additional information

The interviews will take place during the third week of September. You will be selected for interview purely based on your ability to satisfy the selection criteria outlined in this description. If you are unsure whether you are eligible, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us directly through an informal enquiry to  external link.

Do you have a questions about the application procedure? Please send an email to  external link.


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

If you have the expertise and the experience to excel in this role, then simply go to

and respond via the “Apply now” button!

Please enclose:

  • your cover letter including an explanation why you consider pursuing a PhD in this area;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • a list of all courses taken for your bachelor's and master's degrees together with grades and explanations of the grades;
  • if available, a copy of the Bachelor thesis, Master thesis or a copy of a written work;
  • the names and contact details of two academic referees, one of which should be your master thesis supervisor.

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


Job location: 
Budapestlaan 6
3584 CD Utrecht
Contact and application information