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PhD Position in Computer Science Focused on SAT Solving and Combinatorial Optimization

The Department of Computer Science at Lund University invites applications for a PhD position in computer science focused on SAT solving and combinatorial optimization.

Job Description

The PhD student will be working in the research group of Jakob Nordström, which is currently in transition from KTH to a combined location at Lund University and the University of Copenhagen on either side of the Oresund bridge.

Much of the activities of the research group revolve around the themes of efficient algorithms for satisfiability in propositional logic (SAT solving) and lower bounds on the efficiency of methods for reasoning about SAT (proof complexity). On the practical side, one problem of interest is to gain a better understanding of, and improve, the performance of current state-of-the-art SAT solvers based on conflict-driven clause learning (CDCL). We are even more interested in exploring new algebraic or geometric techniques (such as Gröbner bases or pseudo-Boolean solving) that could potentially yield exponential improvements over CDCL. We also believe that there should be ample room for technology transfer with related areas such as SMT solving, constraint programming (CP), and/or mixed integer linear programming (MIP), and so the research project will likely involve such areas.

This is a four-year full-time employed position, but PhD positions usually (though not necessarily) include 20% teaching, in which case they are prolonged for one more year. The expected starting date is September 2020, although this is to some extent negotiable. The position is fully funded and comes with a competitive salary.


To be eligible to apply for this position, applicants need to have or be close to obtaining either an MSc degree or a 4-year BSc degree. A suitable background is, for instance, a degree in computer science, mathematics or possibly technical physics with a theoretical specialization.

The successful candidate is expected to have a strong background and passionate interest in computer science and mathematics. Problem solving skills and creativity are a must. Practical programming skills are also very important.

Applicants must be strongly motivated for doctoral studies; should possess the ability to work independently and perform critical analysis, and also have good levels of cooperative and communicative abilities. They also need to have a very good command of English in writing and speaking to be able to participate in international collaborations and to publish and present research results in international conferences and journals.

The working language of the group is English, and knowledge of English is also fully sufficient to navigate life in Sweden and Denmark in general. It might also be worth mentioning that Scandinavian countries routinely score at the absolute top in rankings of quality of life such as, e.g., the OECD Better Life Index.


Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the top 100 universities in the world. Lund Technical College (LTH) forms the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, where research of the highest international standard is conducted.

The Department of Computer Science at LTH is a partner in the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP), the largest individual research program in Swedish history, and also in the ELLIIT Excellence Centre focused on basic and applied research in information technologies broadly construed. Furthermore, there are extensive collaborations with the University of Copenhagen, the IT University of Copenhagen (ITU), and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) on the other side of the Oresund bridge.


The application deadline is February 10, 2020 at midnight local time. Early applications are welcome, since this will help speed up the recruitment procedure, but all applications submitted before the deadline will be considered.

Applications must be submitted via the Lund University recruitment system. Please see the official advertisement at for more details including a link to the application form.

The application should include the following documents:

  1. Curriculum vitae.
  2. University grade transcripts.
  3. Brief statement as to why the applicant wishes to conduct doctoral studies, including a description of the applicant's qualifications and interests.
  4. Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc).
  5. If applicable, copies of the applicant's MSc thesis (or possibly BSc thesis) and any research publications.
  6. Names and addresses for three references who might be contacted for reference letters later in the recruitment process.
Please observe that all the documents above should be in English (or for official documents possibly in Swedish).

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

Further Information and Contact Details

Further information about the Department of Computer Science can be found at

Inquiries about the position can be made to Jakob Nordström at or

Published by: Jakob Nordström <jakobn~at-sign~kth~dot~se>
Updated 2021-07-28