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PhD position – Ghent University, Belgium

last modified Nov 26, 2019 10:10 AM

The Complex Systems Institute at Ghent University, Belgium, invites applications for a fully-funded 4-year PhD studentship for research into social physics, complex systems, and innovation. The student will design computational models (e.g. agent-based) and develop/apply data analytic techniques to study the emergence and spread of innovation, ideas, and opinions in society. Particular focus will be on researching the role of social network structure and professional collaborations on innovation.

This is an interdisciplinary project where the successful applicant will be supervised by Prof Luis Rocha ( and co-supervised by Prof Koen Schoors (Dept Economics) and Prof Jan Ryckebusch (Dept Physics). International partners are also involved in the project. The successful applicant will be officially enrolled in the Dept of Economics of Ghent University and, in some cases, may be also enrolled in the Dept of Physics.

Duties include research and light administration related to the position. We offer an intellectually challenging environment, high-quality training to develop hard and soft skills, opportunities to participate in international scientific conferences and to interact with international researchers, and a competitive salary plus other student benefits.

Ghent University is among the top global universities according to several international rankings. Furthermore, Ghent is a charming medieval Flemish town, filled with canals, full of energy, history, culture, and wonderful gastronomy.

Expected starting date is March/April 2020.

Belgian and international candidates are welcomed.

Strong candidates (also post-doctoral) interested in related research in complex systems and network science are encouraged to contact Prof Rocha to discuss other opportunities of hosting and funding.


- Completed (or about to complete) MSc/MA in relevant disciplines, e.g. Physics, Applied Math, Economics, Engineering, Computer Sciences. Strong candidates with other quantitative backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

- Commitment, Independence, Critical and Out-of-the-box Thinking, Motivation towards Research.

- Excellent programming skills in one of the following languages: C/C++, Python, Java, or R. Willingness to learn Python.

- Fluent spoken and written English.

- No previous experience in complex systems, network and data science, or (micro-)economics are requested but will be an advantage.


Send a motivation letter (no more than 1-page) and CV (no more than 3-pages) to Prof Luis Rocha (

Short-listed applicants will be informed in mid-January/2020 and names of referees will be requested. Applications will remain open until the position is filled.

For further information on doctoral education at Ghent University, see:
- Ghent Doctoral Research:
- PhD Dept Economics: