PhD position in the research project “Optimal Proofs”
Utrecht University Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

PhD position in the research project “Optimal Proofs” (1.0 FTE)


Job description

The PhD is embedded in the research project “Optimal Proofs” funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research led by Prof. Rosalie Iemhoff, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Utrecht University. The project in mathematical and philosophical logic is concerned with formalisation in general and proof systems as a form of formalisation in particular. Its mathematical aim is to develop methods to describe the possible proof systems of a given logic and establish, given various criteria of optimality, what the optimal proof systems of the logic are. Its philosophical aim is to develop general criteria for faithful formalisation in logic and to thereby distinguish good formalisations from bad ones. The mathematical part of the project focuses on, but is not necessarily restricted to, the (non)classical logics that occur in computer science, mathematics, and philosophy, while the philosophical part of the project also takes into account domains where formalisation in logic is more rare. The research of the PhD lies mainly within the mathematical part of the project, but can, depending on the interests of the candidate, be extended to the philosophical part of the project as well.



an MA or equivalent degree in Mathematics, Computer Science or Philosophy Specialising in logic;

proficiency in academic English;

the ability to work both independently and as part of a team, with good organisational and communication skills;

a keen interest in abstract fundamental research;




We offer a PhD position (1.0 FTE), initially for a period of 18 months. Upon good performance and a positive evaluation, the contract will be extended for the remaining period of 30 months (4 years in total). The gross monthly salary starts at €2,325 in the first year, and ends at € 2,972 Scale P Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) in the fourth year, on a fulltime basis.


Utrecht University offers a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% per year, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and terms of employment. Conditions are based on the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities. More information: working at Utrecht University.



About the organization

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.


The Faculty of Humanities has around 6,000 students and 900 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city center of Utrecht, where the Faculty is housed, contribute to an inspiring working environment.



Additional information

For additional information about the project, please contact Prof. Rosalie Iemhoff at Please also refer to the websites of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and of Utrecht University for general information.


Applications should contain the following: (1) an application letter that sets out your qualifications and motivation for applying for the position; (2) a curriculum vitae; (3) two letters of reference; (4) a copy of your Master thesis and, if applicable, a sample of your published work; (5) a transcript of grades and/or scan of the Master certificate.


To apply, please click the button below.


Employment will become effective in the fall of 2019.


The application deadline is


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