PhD Fellowship in Algorithms

University of Copenhagen Department of Computer Science


PhD or Integrated MSc and PhD fellowship in Algorithms

Department of Computer Science
Faculty of SCIENCE

University of Copenhagen

The Department of Computer Science at the University of Copenhagen (DIKU) invites applications for PhD or Integrated Master and PhD positions in Algorithms, tentatively commencing 1 October 2024 (the starting date is negotiable).

Description of the scientific environment

The PhD students will be part of a world-class research environment in theoretical computer science with a strong presence at top-tier conferences like STOC, FOCS, and SODA, and also with publications in premier AI conferences like AAAI, IJCAI, and NeurIPS. We are home to the Basic Algorithms Research Copenhagen (BARC) centre joint with the IT University of Copenhagen, and have extensive collaborations with the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and with Lund University on the Swedish side of the Oresund Bridge, as well as with our many visitors.

We aim to attract top talent to an ambitious, creative, collaborative, and fun environment. Using the power of mathematics, we strive to create fundamental breakthroughs in algorithms and complexity theory. While our focus in on theoretical research, we do have a track record of surprising algorithmic discoveries leading to major industrial applications.

The University of Copenhagen was founded in 1479 and is the oldest and largest university in Denmark. It is often ranked as the best university in Scandinavia and consistently as one of the top places in Europe. Within computer science, it is ranked 2nd in the European Union (post-Brexit) by ShanghaiRanking.

Read here for further information about the Department of Computer Science and the Faculty of Science

Inquiries about the positions can be made to Mikkel Abrahamsen (, Rasmus Pagh (, or Mikkel Thorup (

Job description

The positions are available for period of 3-5 years, depending on your current education level as discussed further below, and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are to:

  • Manage and carry through your research project.
  • Complete and pass the MSc education in accordance with the curriculum of the MSc programme (only if you are attending the integrated MSc and PhD programme)
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approximately 30 ECTS (1/2 full-term equivalent).
  • Teach and disseminate your research.
  • Participate in research exchange by working at another research institution, preferably abroad, for a few months.
  • Write scientific articles aimed at high-impact conferences and journals.
  • Write and defend your PhD thesis based on your research project.

Who are we looking for?

To be eligible to apply for these positions, applicants need to have or be about to obtain either a BSc or an MSc degree in computer science, mathematics, or a related field. The successful candidates are expected to have a strong background and passionate interest in mathematics and theoretical computer science, as demonstrated by excellent grades in relevant courses, or by results at the Olympiads of Mathematics or Informatics, or by publications in relevant internationally recognized conferences or journals. Problem solving skills and creativity are a must. For candidates interested in applied research, strong programming skills are required.

Applicants need to be highly motivated for doctoral studies; should possess the ability to work independently and perform critical analysis and have good levels of communicative abilities and English language skills.

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

Principal supervisors expected to be one of the professors Mikkel Abrahamsen (, Rasmus Pagh (, or Mikkel Thorup ( at the Department of Computer Science (DIKU).

The PhD programme

Depending of your level of education, you can undertake the PhD programme as either:

Option A: A three year full-time study within the framework of the regular PhD programme (5+3 scheme), if you already have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master’s degree.

Option B: An up to five year full-time study programme within the framework of the integrated MSc and PhD programme (the 3+5 scheme), if you do not have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master´s degree – but you have an education equivalent to a Danish bachelors´s degree.


Option A: Getting into a position on the regular PhD programme

Qualifications needed for the regular programme
To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. computer science, mathematics, or a related field. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

Terms of employment in the regular programme
Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for a maximum of three years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

The terms of employment and salary are in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Option B: Getting into a position on the integrated MSc and PhD programme

Qualifications needed for the integrated MSc and PhD programme

If you do not have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master´s degree, you might be qualified for the integrated MSc and PhD programme, if you have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish bachelor´s degree. Look here to find out, if that is relevant for you: General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.  

Terms of the integrated programme

The integrated programme is for students starting their PhD-studies while enrolled at one of the faculty’s MSc programmes in Mathematics or Computer Science. Your enrollment as a PhD student can start at any time during the MSc programme and not earlier than you enroll the MSc programme.

Note that because of timing, you have to start enrolling in the Master’s programme before you know if you get the Integrated MSc and PhD Fellowship.

The duration of the integrated programme is up to five years and depends on the amount of credits that you have passed on your MSc programme. Look here for further information on the study programme.

Until the MSc degree is obtained, (when exactly two years of the full 3+5 programme remains), the grant will be paid partly in the form of 48 state education grant portions (in Danish: “SU-klip”) plus salary for work (teaching, supervision etc.) totaling a workload of at least 150 working hours per year.

When you have obtained the MSc degree, you will transfer to the salary-earning part of the scholarship for a period of two years. At that point, the terms of employment and payment will be according to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.


Application and Assessment Procedure

Your application including all attachments must be in English and should be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include:

  1. Curriculum vitae.
  2. Brief statement as to why the applicant wishes to conduct doctoral studies, including a description of the applicant's qualifications and interests.
  3. Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc), including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
  4. Other information for consideration, e.g., BSc/MSc thesis or research publications.
  5. Name and address for three references who might be contacted later in the recruitment process.

Application deadline:

The deadline for applications is July 15, 2024, 23:59 GMT +1.

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment with advice from 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 the successful candidates 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 fellowship, please contact Mikkel Abrahamsen ( Rasmus Pagh (, or Mikkel Thorup (

General information about PhD studies at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available here.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position. 


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.


Mikkel Thorup


Application deadline: 15-07-2024
Employment start: 01-10-2024
Department/Location: Department of Computer Science

In your application, please refer to


amsterdam uni

antwerp uni

cambridge uni

florida uni

harvard uni

hiroshima uni

new south wales uni

oslo uni

purdue uni

ryerson uni

shanghai jiao tong uni

stockholm uni