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PhD Position Utilizing Runtime Information to Improve Development Processes

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft, Netherlands
Posted on Thursday, October 12, 2023

How can we use runtime information to improve the development process and make machine learning models better?

Job description

Runtime information is currently out of the IDE scope. It is possible to develop, design, and refactor a system in an IDE, but only a few plugins make it possible to consider the available runtime information during the development process in the IDE. Developers can use various observability tools to receive alerts and create dashboards that can impact development, but getting feedback from runtime information directly in the IDE is difficult.

This information can be used to improve the development process by making the feedback loop faster. It is not needed to switch context and analyze information from observability tools if the IDE can show different anomalies and tooltips right in the editor. Also, it is possible to enrich machine learning models with runtime information, enabling them to generate more accurate source code and better tests covering edge cases, identify locations with potential bugs, detect bug and code smell more accurately, and warn developers about potentially faulty code.

This project includes the following challenges: identification and connection to runtimes such as tests, production or staging environments, identifying pertinent runtime data for developers, addressing the performance dimension of IDE integration, and seamlessly incorporating runtime information into machine learning models.

Note: This PhD position is part of the AI for Software Engineering lab (AI4SE), a collaboration between JetBrains and Delft University of Technology. Hence, the prospective PhD student will also work closely with researchers and developers of JetBrains. More information is available at


We are seeking a candidate who meets the following criteria:

  • Holds a Master’s degree in computer science with a focus on Software Engineering, Software Testing, and Machine Learning.
  • Possesses a strong background in programming using Python, Java, or Kotlin, with a potential portfolio demonstrating contributions to open-source projects.
  • Shows proficiency in writing comprehensive documents and seamlessly integrating production-level software.
  • Demonstrates excellent verbal and written English skills.
  • Is capable of working both independently and collaboratively in a team, with a supportive and team-oriented approach.
  • While prior research experience is not mandatory, it will be considered a plus.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. 

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) brings together three scientific disciplines. Combined, they reinforce each other and are the driving force behind the technology we all use in our daily lives. Technology such as the electricity grid, which our faculty is helping to make completely sustainable and future-proof. At the same time, we are developing the chips and sensors of the future, whilst also setting the foundations for the software technologies to run on this new generation of equipment – which of course includes AI. Meanwhile we are pushing the limits of applied mathematics, for example mapping out disease processes using single cell data, and using mathematics to simulate gigantic ash plumes after a volcanic eruption. In other words: there is plenty of room at the faculty for ground-breaking research. We educate innovative engineers and have excellent labs and facilities that underline our strong international position. In total, more than 1000 employees and 4,000 students work and study in this innovative environment.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy please contact Thomas Durieux, Assistant Professor at:

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply no later than 30 November 2023 via the application button and upload your:

  • Motivation;
  • Transcripts;
  • CV;
  • Reference letters.

Please note:

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.