PhD Position in Applied Mathematics

Utrecht University Department of Mathematics


PhD position in Applied Mathematics (1.0 FTE)

Job description

This PhD position is offered in the area of signal processing, applied harmonic analysis and high-dimensional probability theory, under the supervision of Dr. Palina Salanevich. The research in this area is inspired by the real-world applications, study of which leads to beautiful, deep and insightful mathematical questions. You will have an opportunity to apply your theoretical results to real-world signal processing problems. The precise topic of the PhD project will be fixed based on the candidate's background, interests and preferences. The possible topics include the study of the properties of structured random matrices with applications in phase retrieval and quantization; harmonic and time-frequency analysis on graphs; dynamical systems on graphs with applications to epidemiology; neural networks with random parameters. During your PhD, up to 15% of your time will be devoted to teaching duties in applied mathematics. We are looking to fill the position as soon as possible, but the precise starting date can be flexible.


We are looking for an ambitious and collaborative young researcher who:

  • is excited about working on theoretical and practical aspects of signal processing and related fields;
  • has a M.Sc degree in mathematics, theoretical computer science, or statistics or will obtain it before the starting date of the appointment (exceptions can be made in some rare cases);
  • has a strong track record, as evidenced by excellent grades and an outstanding Master thesis;
  • preferably has prior training in probability theory and/or harmonic analysis and programming experience;
  • has good communication skills in English, both in speech and in writing.


the position is initially for 18 months. In case of good performance and a positive evaluation, the contract will be extended for the remaining period of 30 months (4 years in total). It is expected that the appointment results in a doctorate within this period;
a full-time gross salary that starts at €2,395 and increases to €3,061 per month in the fourth year (scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao));
benefits including 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.
In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here.

About the organization

Your PhD research will be embedded in the Mathematical Modelling group of the Mathematical Institute. The Mathematical Institute of the Department of Mathematics organises and teaches the Bachelor's curricula in Mathematics as well as the (English-taught) Master's programme in Mathematics and some service teaching in mathematics. The Institute currently comprises about 10 full professors, 20 additional faculty members, 25 PhD candidates and 10 post-docs, and teaches 500 students. The Institute is internationally recognised for its research in both pure and applied mathematics. It houses the Utrecht Geometry Centre and maintains a long-standing tradition of transdisciplinary collaboration with other scientific fields including, among others, atmosphere/ocean sciences, computational life sciences, mathematical biology, medical and seismic imaging, and theoretical physics. We participate in the university focus areas in Complex Systems and Applied Data Science.

At the Faculty of Science there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes which work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do mentality of our people. This lively and inspiring academic environment attracts professors, researchers and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the University and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international community and wonderfully diverse.

Additional information

If you have any questions concerning the position, please contact Dr. Palina Salanevich (

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to


If you have the expertise and the experience to excel in this role, then simply respond via the “Apply now” button.

Please enclose:

  • your letter of motivation, where you specify your preferred research topic and outline your qualification for it;
  • your Curriculum vitae;
  • a summary of your grades for your B.Sc. and M.Sc;
  • a sample of your mathematical writing, e.g., (a draft of) your master thesis;
  • the name and e-mail address of at least one senior researcher, who can be contacted for a letter of reference.

Interviews will be conducted between July 7 and July 16 via video conference.

Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

If this specific opportunity is not for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward the link to them.

Please note: Due to the current situation regarding the Corona virus (COVID-19) the process of selection and interviews is subject to change. Initial interviews will most likely be conducted online.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

The application deadline is

In your application, please refer to


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