PhD fellow in Computer Science

University of Copenhagen


PhD fellow in Computer Science

Department of Computer Science (DIKU), Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in statistics and applied stochastic analysis commencing 01.05.2019 or as soon as possible thereafter.


Description of the scientific environment 

The IMAGE section at DIKU hosts experts in fields including nonlinear statistics, applied differential geometry, shape modelling, image analysis & processing, computer vision, computer simulation, and machine learning. Their work ranges from theoretical analyses, over algorithm development, to solving concrete problems for science, industry, and society. Biomedical imaging is a central application area, including neuroimaging. The section contributes to the theory of image analysis by studying nonlinear statistics, variational problems, and geometry on manifolds and metric spaces. The section conducts core machine learning research, including deep learning, transfer learning, online learning, kernel methods, stochastic optimization, and concentration of measure inequalities. For further information, please visit 


Project description 

Human organs change shape when exposed to disease processes. For example, shape changes in the human brain is linked to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease due to the degeneration of brain tissue. Organ shape can therefore be used as a biomarker for understanding disease progression. However, due to the nonlinearity of shape spaces, classical methods from multivariate and functional statistics cannot be used for quantifying shape variation. The PhD project aims at developing methods for performing statistical analysis of shapes as elements of infinite dimensional nonlinear spaces. Recent probabilistic shape models use stochastic processes to encode variation of shapes, and likelihoods arise from the processes conditioned on observed data. The conditioned processes are examples of stochastic bridges. Particular aims of the project is to develop and prove validity of methods for sampling stochastic shape bridges, to use this to analyze shape variation among Alzheimer’s patients, and thereby to reveal distinct temporal progression patterns within Alzheimer’s disease. 

The PhD student will focus on both theoretical aspects of stochasticity in nonlinear, infinite dimensional spaces, on developing actual statistical tools to analyze shape variation, and on evaluation the methodology on medical image data. The project will thus have both theoretical and applied focus. The PhD student will be part of the Probabilistic Shape Statistics for Disentangling Subtypes in Alzheimer’s Disease project, funded by a grant from the Novo Nordisk foundation. The applicant must have documented experience in aspects of theoretical statistics, stochastic analysis, differential geometry and/or machine learning. The project will require computer implementation of the developed numerical algorithms.


Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Stefan Sommer, Department of Computer Science,, Direct Phone: +4521179125.


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  

Applicants should hold an MSc degree in Mathematics, Computer Science, Statistics or equivalent MSc education with good results and good English skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any) and relevant work experience. 


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 322,642 (approx. €43,015) including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 44,567). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible. 
PhD grant portions (Ph.D.‐SU klip) 
In the period up to the completion of the MSc programme (up to three years), the student is entitled to so-called PhD grant portions. The grant portions are financed by the grant donor but not by the Danish State Educational Grant and Loan Scheme Agency (as is the case for the ordinary study grant portions on the BSc and MSc programmes). They are called PhD grant portions because this kind of remuneration is regulated and described in the Executive Order on the State Educational Grant and Loan Scheme in Denmark (SU‐bekendtgørelsen), and because the value of a PhD grant portion corresponds to the value of an ordinary Danish study grant portion. Students are awarded 48 PhD grant portions during the period of their MSc and PhD studies. 
48 PhD grant portions at DKK 6,090 each, corresponding to DKK 292,320 (approx. €38,975). 
'Duty work' 
As a supplement to the PhD grant portions, the student may, in accordance with the collective agreement of the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC), be offered 'duty work'. In the period up to the completion of the MSc programme, students performing 'duty work' are paid by the hour. UCPH has decided to offer students on integrated MSc and PhD schemes 150 hours of 'duty work' per year during Part A of the programme (until two years of the combined programme of study remain). 'Duty work' during Part A if it has a duration of three years: 450 hours at a rate of DKK 214.16 (+ 12.5% holiday pay), corresponding to DKK 108,418.50 (approx. €14,450) 
For further information about Part A please see:   
Salary in accordance with the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional 
Associations (AC) 
In the period after the completion of the MSc programme, the student is employed as a PhD scholar and is remunerated in accordance with the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The scheme is arranged in such a way that students graduate from the MSc programme at a time when there are two years left of the integrated programme. For this reason, the salary must be paid for a period of two years in accordance with the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The amounts specified include a supplement locally agreed upon as well as pension contributions: Salary as a PhD scholar: 24 months at a rate of DKK 30,600 (including pension contributions and supplement), corresponding to DKK 734,420 (approx. €97,900).

Application Procedure 

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


Please include  

  • Cover Letter, detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project.  

  • CV  

  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc) 

  • Acceptance Letter for the relevant MSc Programme at SCIENCE, if any 

  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any),  

  • Full contact details (Name, address, telephone & email) of 1-3 professional referees 

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 3 March 2019 , 23:59 GMT +1


After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards 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 at



For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor Associate Professor Stefan Sommer, Department of Computer Science,, Direct Phone: +4521179125. 


General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at

In your application, please refer to


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