Ghent University

PhD student Causal Machine Learning

2024-09-01 (Europe/Brussels)
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A propos de l'employeur

Ghent University is one of the top 100 universities in the Dutch language area, with more than 44,000 students and 15,000 staff members.

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Last application date Sep 01, 2024 00:00

Department WE02 - Department of Applied Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics

Contract Limited duration

Degree Master of Statistics, or Master of Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, Engineering (each with a strong statistics or data science component), or equivalent.

Occupancy rate 100%

Vacancy type Research staff

Job description

The Causal Inference research lab at Ghent University is seeking a highly motivated and talented PhD student to join its team. Ghent University has a long tradition of research in causal inference since the mid 90's, and now has a vibrant causal inference community comprising over 20 statisticians dedicated to advancing this field.

This PhD position is one of multiple positions being opened in connection to Advanced ERC Grant ACME ‘Assumption-lean (Causal) Modeling and Estimation’. In an era where the focus on causal inference is increasingly turning away from modeling towards quantifying population-level intervention effects, there is a risk of oversimplifying causal queries and of neglecting the rich history and efficacy of statistical modeling techniques. This ERC project aims to bridge this gap by leveraging the flexibility and power of statistical models to accurately represent intervention effects or facets of the causal data-generating mechanism, integrating it with recent insights from debiased machine learning and causal inference. Besides laying foundations for a novel paradigm for causal/statistical modeling, this project seeks to enhance the robustness and efficiency of debiased machine learning methods. This PhD project will primarily focus on the foundations of an assumption-lean modeling paradigm, with a strong focus on the analysis of repeated measures outcomes, in interaction with fellow researchers on this project.

Job profile

We are looking for a highly creative and motivated PhD student with the following qualifications and skills:

  • You have (or will obtain before the starting date, i.e., a few months after application) a master's degree in Statistics, or Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, Engineering (each with a strong statistics or data science component), or equivalent, with excellent (‘honors’-level) grades. Your degree must be equivalent to 5 years of studies (bachelor + master) in the European Union.
  • You have a strong background in statistical data analysis; familiarity with longitudinal data analysis, causal inference or debiased machine learning is a plus.
  • You are creative and have strong analytical skills.
  • You have experience in at least one modern programming language for data analysis (Python, R, etc.)
  • You are a team player and have strong communication skills.
  • Your English is fluent (C1 CEFR level) both speaking and writing.

Your main tasks will include:

  • Developing debiased machine learning techniques for the analysis of repeated measures outcomes and otherwise correlated endpoints.
  • Using techniques from asymptotic statistics and/or Monte Carlo simulation studies to examine the large and finite-sample properties of the developed debiased machine learning estimators.
  • Applying the developed techniques for debiased machine learning in substantive case studies with real world medical data.
  • Collaborating with fellow researchers to develop foundations for a generic paradigm for assumption-lean causal/statistical modeling.
  • Writing high quality publications, targeting top journals and international conferences.
  • In addition to your primary research responsibilities, you will actively contribute to the educational mission of our institution by providing (limited) support for courses in statistics. In addition, you can take on a mentoring role by supervising bachelor or master theses related to the subject of this PhD.

What we can offer you

  • We offer a full-time position as a doctoral fellow, consisting of an initial period of 12 months, which - after a positive evaluation, will be extended to a total maximum of 48 months.
  • Your contract will start on 10/01/2025 at the earliest.
  • The fellowship amount is 100% of the net salary of an AAP member in equal family circumstances. The individual fellowship amount is determined by the Department of Personnel and Organization based on family status and seniority. A grant that meets the conditions and criteria of the regulations for doctoral fellowships is considered free of personal income tax. Click here for more
    information about our salary scales
  • All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 36 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, bicycle allowance and eco vouchers. Click here for a complete overview of all the staff benefits (in Dutch).

How to apply

The PhD position will begin at the earliest beginning of October 2024. Send your CV, transcripts of study results, a motivation letter of maximum 1 page (highlighting why you believe you are a suitable candidate for the position, why you want this position, and what relevant skills you have developed), and at least two reference contacts to, with the subject ‘Application: PhD Stat ACME’. The transcripts of study results at the time of application are not necessarily official (yet), but these will be required upon recruitment.

Please note that starting July 1st, there will be continuous evaluation of the candidates until the vacancy is filled. The application may therefore be closed before the deadline stated here.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof. Stijn Vansteelandt (

Détails de l'offre

PhD student Causal Machine Learning
Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 33 Gand, Belgique
Date limite d'inscription
2024-09-01 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2024-09-01 23:59 (CET)
Type de poste
Enregistrer le travail

Instructions pour postuler

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A propos de l'employeur

Ghent University is one of the top 100 universities in the Dutch language area, with more than 44,000 students and 15,000 staff members.

Visitez la page de l'employeur

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