PhD fellow in the Theory of Algorithms and Complexity

Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in the theory of algorithms and complexity commencing 01.07.2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment

The Algorithms and Complexity Section at DIKU is headed by Professor Mikkel Thorup. The group is prolific at the topmost conferences like SODA, STOC, and FOCS, e.g., with 7 papers accepted for SODA’20. Adding to the excitement, we have the center Basic Algorithms Research Copenhagen (BARC) which also involves the IT University of Copenhagen. The aim is to attract top talent from around the world to an ambitious, creative, collaborative, and fun environment. Using the power of mathematics, we strive to create fundamental breakthroughs in algorithmic thinking. While the focus of BARC is algorithms theory, we do have a track record of surprising algorithmic discoveries leading to major industrial applications. The successful candidate will participate in BARC, enjoying the inspiration from the many PhD students, postdocs and visitors.

The successful candidate will work in the group led by Professor Danupon Nanongkai. The group has an expertise in sequential, distributed, and dynamic algorithms and complexity, especially on graph problems.

Project description

The project focuses on combinatorial optimization and graph algorithms. The goal is to resolve challenging problems in combinatorial optimization such as matroid intersection, submodular function minimization, and minimum cuts. Examples include improved algorithms for matroid intersection and submodular function minimization, and lower bounds for these problems. This involves inventing and applying techniques in the fields of query complexity, fine-grained complexity, optimization, distributed computing, and graph algorithms.

Principal supervisor is Professor Danupon Nanongkai, Department of Computer Science,

Job description

The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

  • To manage and carry through your research project
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
  • Work for the department

Formal requirements

The candidates must have

  • a BSc or an MSc degree in Computer Science, Mathematics or a related field and good English skills
  • a demonstrated talent within algorithms (the type of algorithms that get published at SODA, STOC, and FOCS). This should be demonstrated by top grades in relevant courses in mathematics or computer science, or at the International Olympiads of Mathematics or Informatics, or by publications at top conferences.
  • A solid knowledge in graph theory and matroid theory will be a big plus.
Terms of employment

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 330,817 (approx. €44,108) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,811). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

Application Procedure

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Cover Letter
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any)
  • 1-3 reference letters (if any)

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The deadline for applications is 18 April 2021, 23:59 GMT +2.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterward, an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.
The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process here.


For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor Professor Danupon Nanongkai,

General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available.


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 18-04-2021
Employment start: 01-07-2021
Department/Location: Department of Computer Science