PhD Scholarship Positions in Software Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology

A fully-funded PhD fellowship in artificial intelligence is available at Chalmers University of Technology. The funds for this fellowship are available for five years. The deadline to apply is August 18, 2019.

Information about the department and the division

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering is a joint department at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, with activities on two campuses in the city of Gothenburg. The department has around 270 employees from over 30 countries. Our research has a wide span, from theoretical foundations to applied systems development and interaction design. We provide high quality education at Bachelor’s, Master’s and graduate levels, offering over 150 courses each year. We also have extensive national and international collaborations with academia, industry and society. For more information about the department, see

Software Engineering is a strategic area at the department and activities in the field are envisaged to grow further. To this end, the Software Engineering division was founded in 2010 by University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology in a joint venture. In 2011, the Software Centre was established in close collaboration with industrial partners, which presents excellent opportunities to conduct research with industry. The division actively collaborates with industrial partners, mainly from the automotive and telecommunications domains.

The “Wallenberg AI, autonomous systems and software program” (WASP), which will fund these projects, is Sweden's largest individual research program ever, a major national initiative for strategically motivated basic research, education and faculty recruitment. The program addresses research on artificial intelligence and autonomous systems acting in collaboration with humans, adapting to their environment through sensors, information and knowledge, and forming intelligent systems-of-systems. Software is the main enabler in these systems and is an integrated research theme of the program. The vision of WASP is excellent research and competence in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and software for the benefit of Swedish industry.

Information about the projects

We are looking for two motivated PhD students to work on the following two projects.

First project - “COLLABORATIVE AND AUTONOMOUS ROBOTS UNDER UNCERTANTY: FROM MISSION SPECIFICATION TO RUNTIME COLLECTIVE ADAPTATION”: In this project, our ambition will be to enable the end-users without knowledge in robotics or ICT to specify missions for robotic applications. The idea is to enable the specification of the mission in natural language and/or in informal models, and to support the refinement of a mission requirement into a precise and unambiguous mission specification describing the intended behavior of multiple robots. Moreover, we will enable the end-users to specify the high-level goal of the mission without saying in detail which robot should perform which task. The high-level goal of the mission will be then decomposed in tasks that will be assigned to available robots, according to their characteristics and their status, such as the battery level, workload or status of sensors. Both the specification of the high-level goal and the allocation of specific tasks will take into account the potential collaboration with humans. Task and actions requested to humans will be considered as expectations/assumptions that other agents (both robots and humans) have on them when performing their tasks. The allocation of tasks to the agents will be performed step-by-step during the mission execution so to be resilient to changes and to optimize the use of the entire fleet. We will define a collective (multi-robot) adaptation algorithm to support re-planning and re-configuration. We will put special emphasis on defining goal-oriented methods to provide assurance of self-adaptive systems, at design- and runtime, with special focus on real-time constraints.

Second project - “MODEL- AND FIELD-DATA-BASED SAFETY- AND MISSION-ASSURANCE OF MOBILE ROBOTS”: A major challenge for autonomous systems is safety assurance, because of the inherently partial specifications that training data sets represent, the risk of over-fitting, and the lack of explanation of what was actually learned. In this context, dynamic quality assurancetestingis necessary, able to cope with elements and disturbances from the real world. Contemporary testing techniques systematically explore the state space of inputs or create event sequences, either randomly or systematically. However, while they can be used to obtain test data, they cannot systematically uncover problematic scenarios, such as collisions or failures to achieve mission goals. Creating realistic test-input data (concrete mission scenarios) leading to problematic situations is challenging, requiring substantial experience or laborious analysis of field data. Another challenge is that problematic scenarios are infrequent, but exactly these need to be identified. Furthermore, finding scenarios with concrete mission executions is not sufficient, since there can easily be variations that lead to the problematic situation as well. Identifying such families of problematic scenarios is a core research challenge. The goal in this project is to build an automated technique to obtain scenario families leading to critical situations. It learns from field data (obtained using runtime monitoring) using AI-based techniques and then uses search-based techniques (e.g., genetic algorithms or simulated annealing) to explore the parameter input space and combinations of the different components of scenarios, establishing an end-user-comprehensible representation of scenario families.

Major responsibilities

You will be enrolled in a graduate program in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. You are expected to develop your own ideas and communicate scientific results orally as well as in written form. In addition, the position will normally include 20% departmental work, mostly teaching duties. This will be a great opportunity to improve your scientific presentation skills.

Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of five years. The current salary range for Chalmers PhD students is very competitive about 29 100 – 34 200 SEK per month.


Applicants must have a strong background in computer science, software engineering or data science. They must have obtained a Master’s degree, or expect to complete such a degree by January, 2020.

Experience with software-engineering research, robotics software engineering or machine/deep learning is particularly welcome. As Chalmers is a highly international environment, proficiency in written and spoken English is necessary.

Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city ofGothenburg.

Read more aboutworking at Chalmersand ourbenefitsfor employees.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20190422 and written in English.

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)


Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.

Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)

- Introduce yourself

- Describe your previous research fields and main research results

- Describe your future goals and future research focus

Copies of bachelor and/or master's thesis.

Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, e.g. TOEFL test results.

Application deadline: 18 August, 2019

Patrizio Pelliccione, e-mail:


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