Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Doctorate
Do you want to contribute to foundational and experimental security, with a focus on the use of data analysis and AI techniques to quantify and assess software security? Do you want to work in close collaboration with our colleagues in system security, software engineering and artificial intelligence? Then please apply for this Assistant Professor (tenure track) position at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).

FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

The research of the Foundational and Experimental Security Group is at the intersection between Security, Software Engineering and Risk Analysis.

We aim at the formalization and sound empirical evaluation of security methodologies and solutions from risk assessment and threat analysis to mining software vulnerabilities and analysing Java and cloud microservices. The empirical approach allows us to solve security problems and defend against adversaries that are real instead of dark lords of our own making, using various applications as test cases. We are particularly interested in how 
AI, Data Science, or Machine Learning techniques can be used to quantify and assess software and system security from open source software to cloud services.

Understanding and quantifying large repositories of data is key to making security effective in practice and expertise in this area is a pre, as is expertise in the design of such data analysis using e.g., mining large software repositories, or other empirical research methods.

We consider collaboration with industry a plus as it is a great source of challenging problems to solve as well as data to analyze. See our group pagina ( for more information or VU’s work.

Your duties

The position includes research, education and management (40%, 40%, 20%) and contains among others the following responsibilities:
  • performing research in AI/Data, Software Engineering and Security 
  • supervising PhD students
  • teaching in the Bachelor and Master programmes of the Department of Computer Science and in particular support the growing number of students in the CS programs
  • supervising MSc/BSc student research projects in the Department
  • contributing to and write research grant proposals
  • contributing to administrative tasks


  • a PhD degree in a relevant field and possibly some years of scientific experience in post-doctoral research
  • expertise in the application of large scale data and repository collection or human subject studies for software and security
  • interdisciplinary mindset and a good team player; experience in collaboration across teams, e.g. in large collaborative projects is a plus
  • ideally, experience in teaching at BSc or MSc level 
  • ideally, some experience in PhD supervision

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €3,807 (scale 11) per month during the first year and increases to €5,211 (scale 11) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

This is a tenure track position; the initial appointment will be for a period of five years. Based on performance indicators agreed at the start of the appointment, a tenure track position will lead to a tenured position of assistant professor 1 (scale 12)  in a period of normally 5 years. In the fifth year of the appointment the tenure decision will be taken and a midterm review will take place in 2,5 years’ time after the starting date.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to discuss whether your qualifications are satisfactory for applying to the position. We encourage women to apply for this position.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • possibility to save holiday hours, for sabbatical leave
  • child daycare facilities available on campus

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

About the department, institute, project
The Department has approximately 180 staff members, including 90 PhD students. University research and teaching staff is a critical and essential basis for the functioning of the department, providing foundational education that helps determine the future of our students. Currently, we offer programs in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Information Sciences (BSc and MSc), Bioinformatics and Systems Biology (MSc), with a total of around 1000 new students each year.

The department explicitly encourages inter- and cross disciplinary research, and expects the successful candidate to be able to collaborate with colleagues in other fields of Computer Science (e.g. Artificial Intelligence and Quantitative Data Analytics, Software and Sustainability, or System Security), as well as with colleagues from other institutes such as CWI. 

A large share of interdisciplinary research with the department is embedded in the Network Institute of Vrije Universiteit, covering disciplines such as Social sciences, Humanities, and Economics. The Department also actively participates in Amsterdam Data Science, a collaboration between more than 600 data science researchers from different institutions in Amsterdam and AMSec, the Amsterdam security collaborative center with researchers from different institutions in Amsterdam.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 22 November 2021. 

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Fabio Massacci
Position: Full Professor
Telephone: +31 (0)20 59 86098

Relocation support
If you have any questions regarding moving to Amsterdam, and working at VU Amsterdam, you may contact:
Name: Sara Veldhorst
Position: Relocation Advisor
Telephone:  +31 (20) 59 86212

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