PhD Student in Data-Driven Software Engineering to Improve Software Resilience

Deadline: 03.10.2021

Simula Research Laboratory AS

Simula Research Laboratory AS is a publicly owned research institute located at Fornebu, just outside Oslo, Norway. It is a multi-cultural organization, employing over 150 people from more than 30 countries (the official working language at Simula is English). Simula conducts Information and Communication Technology (ICT) research in the fields of communication technology, scientific computing and software engineering. Simula's main objective is to generate new understanding and create vital knowledge about fundamental scientific challenges that are of genuine value for society. This is achieved through high quality research, education of graduate students, industry collaboration, technology transfer, and commercialization. Since 2001, scientific evaluations conducted by the Research Council of Norway have repeatedly placed Simula at the forefront of international research in ICT. The most recent in-depth evaluation graded all research groups at Simula as excellent.

Norway is famous for its epic outdoor scenery, with wonderful fjords, gorgeous waterfalls and majestic mountain ranges. Moreover, Norway is a safe and peaceful country with a thriving economy, offering a high standard of living and all benefits of a social-democratic welfare state, such as social security and universal public healthcare. Oslo is a vibrant European capital, uniquely surrounded by forests and hills offering unsurpassed natural beauty, and the occasional troll. Oslo boasts a wide range of cultural and recreational activities, such as exceptional hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing opportunities within 30 minutes of the city centre by subway.

Call for PhD Student in Data-Driven Software Engineering to Improve Software Resilience

Simula Research Laboratory is seeking outstanding candidates for a full-time three-to-four year paid PhD position in the field of data-driven software engineering with a specific focus on improving software resilience using methods and techniques to create intelligent self-healing software systems. The appointment is available immediately and review of candidates will be performed continuously until the position has been filled.

Project Description

The position is funded by the Norwegian Research Council via the IKTPLUSS project cureIT. The primary objective of the cureIT project is to significantly increase the dependability, robustness, and resilience of today's software systems by developing new methods and techniques that help software engineers with the creation of intelligent self-healing software systems. These are systems that can autonomously detect the occurrence of unanticipated faults during execution, diagnose their causes, and recover from these situations.

To achieve this goal, we will build on the notion of an artificial immune system. Similar to the human immune system, it will recognize and take care of unanticipated pathogens (resp. faults/infections) that could have negative effects.

In particular, the project will address the following key scientific outcomes:

(1) Intelligent data-driven techniques that can detect failures by learning what is the system's normal behaviour, and recognize when a system behaves abnormally.

(2) Adaptive learning techniques that will enable early recognition of failures that are similar to the ones that have been seen before.

(3) Cost-effective techniques to diagnose the root causes of a failure, and for containing its impact, both inside and outside the system.

Candidate profile

The appointment requires an MSc degree in Computer Science, with specialization in Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, or a closely related direction, with excellent marks for both the BSc and MSc degrees. Strong candidates will show that they are self-motivated, organized, eager to work on challenging research problems, and keen to communicate their results to others. Candidates are expected to demonstrate an excellent level of spoken and written English, possess solid analytical and programming skills (we primarily use Python), show good interpersonal and communication skills, and a willingness to work as part of an international team. The position is funded for a period of 3 years, and for qualified candidates with an established track record of working in industry or consulting, there may be the option to spread the position over a period of 4 years with a 25% involvement in contract research. Simula is an equal opportunity employer, and women are particularly encouraged to apply.

Simula Offers

  • a competitive salary (the current range for PhD candidates is NOK 491,200 to NOK 526,000);
  • an informal and inclusive international working environment consisting of a highly competent and motivated team of international researchers and engineers;
  • generous support for conference travel and equipment (incl. laptop, phone and electronic communication subscriptions);
  • excellent opportunities for professional development and growth;
  • brand new office facilities located in the heart of Oslo with an extensive public transport network within a few minutes walk and a vibrant city life right outside the office door steps;
  • various incentives and benefits like subsidized canteen meals and public transport, sponsored social events, access to company cabins, various bonus arrangements, comprehensive travel/health insurance policy, etc.;
  • relocation assistance: accommodation, visas, complimentary Norwegian language courses, etc.;
  • wellness and work-life balance: our employees’ health and well-being is a priority and we encourage them to make use of our flexible work arrangements to help balance their work and home lives efficiently.

Application Requirements

Interested applicants are requested to submit the following (in PDF format):

  • a cover letter explaining the candidate’s background, qualifications, research interests and how/why the candidate is qualified for the position
  • curriculum vitae (summarizing education, positions and academic or industrial experience, scientific publications, and software development experience)
  • grade transcripts of MSc and BSc degree
  • a sample of their writing, such as a copy of Master thesis, or a paper written as first author
  • contact information of two references, including the Master supervisor(s)

The starting date is at the earliest convenience, with a planned project start in November 2021. Review of applicants will be conducted continuously until the position has been filled, and good candidates may be hired even before the deadline. Thus, interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, and before the deadline of October 3rd, 2021.


Further enquiries regarding the position should be addressed to:

Note that applications should be submitted through the online submission system at this link.

Simula Research Laboratory uses Semac´s background check in our recruitment process.

According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

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