Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Computer Science

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 47 000 students and more than 8 800 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Description of the workplace

The position is in the Software Engineering Research Group (SERG), known for conducting relevant and rigorous research on the large-scale engineering of software systems, having significant impact on industry and society. We particularly use empirical research methodology for long-term industry-academia collaboration. 

The project is part of the Software track of the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems, and Software Program (WASP), and the PhD student will be enrolled in the WASP graduate school. For more information see

Subject description

In this project, we want to examine the long-term risks of developing powerful and intelligent autonomous systems and how we can support AI alignment through continuous operational testing. The project has three main research focuses:

  1. How to continuously develop and update the value and constraint models that form the basis for testing. We will follow ongoing standardization and legislation processes and also go beyond them to explore new ways of addressing implicit human values and unknown future consequences of AI through testing.
  2. How to continuously identify and schedule effective and feasible tests based on the above models. We are looking at operational testing in both simulated and real-world environments.
  3. 3How to design interactive support for continuously reasoning about AI alignment based on collected test data. The collected data needs to be translated into automated decisions or information that is useful for a human to assess the quality of the testing and the system.

The project takes an engineering perspective on the above issues and will be conducted in collaboration with industry.

Work duties

The PhD student will be part of the WASP research school, which includes shared doctoral courses, summer schools, winter conferences, and international study trips.

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties will also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Detailed description of the work duties:

  • Research within the subject area.
  • Teaching in the second and third cycles.
  • Collaboration with industry and wider society.

Admission requirements 

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if the applicant: 

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in Computer Science if the applicant has: 

  • at least 60 second-cycle credits at an advanced level (M.Sc. level courses) that are relevant for this topic, or
  • M.Sc. degree within Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Information and communication Technology, Engineering Physics or Engineering Mathematics.

Additional requirements

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Good knowledge in mathematics.
  • Good knowledge about software engineering theory and practice.
  • Good knowledge about machine learning.
  • The ability to work both independently and in small teams.

Assessment criteria

Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following: 

  1. Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study.
  2. An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  3. Written and oral communication skills.
  4. Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience. 

Other assessment criteria:

  • Relevant industrial experience
  • Software development skills and experience with the Python ML ecosystem
  • knowledge of empirical studies in software engineering

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive, and independence, and how the applicant, through experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

We offer

Lund University is a public authority which means that employees get particular benefits, generous annual leave and an advantageous occupational pension scheme. Read more on the University website about being a Lund University employee Work at Lund University

Terms of employment 

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

How to apply

Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.). Your are also asked to answer the selection questions. 

Selection takes place continuously. All applications will be considered.

Welcome to apply!

Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment 1 August 2023 at the earliest. 1 January 2024 at the latest.
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2023/1611
  • Emelie Engström,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-2229366
Published 22.May.2023
Last application date 31.Jul.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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