PhD student in programming languages

The TU Delft Department of Software Technology has two open positions for a PhD student in Programming Languages.

The starting date for the position could be as soon as October 1, 2019.

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Job Description

The PL group in TU Delft is pursuing a broad research programme on tools, techniques, and principles of programming and programming languages, and on the development of a language workbench for declarative and safe-by-construction language definitions.

We are looking for PhD students to work with Casper Bach Poulsen and the Spoofax team at TU Delft on safe-by-construction language definitions, and techniques and tools for language engineering in general. Possible topics include:

  • Making safe-by-construction language definitions (see, e.g., this paper) modular and composable

  • Deriving symbolic executors from, and automatic test frameworks for, definitional interpreters (see, e.g., this paper)

We are looking for a versatile candidate who can contribute to the development of theoretical foundations, design new meta-languages, implement and integrate languages and libraries in the language workbench, and evaluate the new techniques in language design case studies.

For more information, please contact Casper Bach Poulsen, and see the Spoofax website.


We are looking for an excellent candidate with the following qualifications, knowledge, and skills:

  • A master’s degree (or equivalent) in computer science

  • A strong and demonstrable interest in programming languages

  • Independent, self-motivated, reliable, and eager to learn

  • Ability to work in a project team and take leadership and responsibility for different research tasks

  • Excellent command of English and good academic writing and presentation skills

The Position

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

The Organization

The Programming Languages Research Group is an internationally leading research group in programming languages, and active in areas such as language engineering, language design, domain-specific languages, software verification, and program logics. The section employs over 15 people, including academic staff, around 10 PhD students, and two postdoctoral researchers. The group is responsible for programming and programming languages education at the bachelor and master’s levels in the TU Delft Computer Science curriculum.

The Software Technology (ST) Department is one of the leading Dutch departments in research and academic education in computer science, employing over 150 people. The ST Department is responsible for a large part of the curriculum of the bachelor’s and master’s programmes in Computer Science as well as the master’s programme Embedded Systems. The inspiration for its research topics is largely derived from technical ICT problems in industry and society related to large-scale distributed processing, embedded systems, programming productivity, and web-based information analysis.

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) is known worldwide for its high academic quality and the societal relevance of its research programmes. Offering an international working environment, the faculty has more than 1100 employees (including about 500 PhD students) and more than 3000 bachelor’s and master’s students. Together they work on a broad range of technical innovations in the fields of electrical sustainable energy, microelectronics, intelligent systems, software technology, and applied mathematics.