PhD position in Process Mining (1.0 FTE)

Hours per week: 
38 to 40
Faculty of Science
Department of Information and Computing Sciences, Business Process Management & Analytics
Application deadline: 

Job description

Immense amounts of event data are being recorded across different application domains ranging from healthcare and social media to logistics and finance. Process mining is a research field that aims to analyze these event data, collected in the form of event logs, to derive diagnostics and gain valuable insights into process behavior. The results can be used to improve process performance and compliance. Two main tasks of process mining are (1) to discover a process model from the input event log to understand the process behavior, known as process discovery, and (2) to check the compliance of recorded behaviour against the prescribed process descriptions, known as conformance checking. The abundance of commercial process mining tools illustrates the uptake of process mining.

A five-year PhD grant on Process Mining is offered by the Department of Information and Computing Sciences at Utrecht University. The position consists of 70% research and 30% teaching, so you will also be involved in supporting the preparation and teaching of Bachelor's and Master's level courses, supervising student theses, managing research infrastructure, and participating in public outreach. The project is unique in the sense that you, as the candidate, have plenty of freedom in choosing your own topic of interest across the many opportunities in Process Mining, allowing you to develop a strong academic profile as a competent Researcher and competent Teacher. Process Mining offers to analyse processes and improve them in a data-driven manner. The topics include, but are not limited to, process discovery, conformance/compliance checking, process comparison, predictive process monitoring, robotic process automation, and event data preprocessing. You will be part of the Business Process Management and Analytics (BPMA) group , led by Prof Hajo A. Reijers and will work under the daily supervision of Dr ir Xixi Lu.


We are looking for candidates that meet the following criteria:

  • a Master’s degree in Computer Science, Data Science, or a related discipline;
  • a strong interest in conducting research;
  • well-developed programming skills - candidates are expected to realize research ideas in terms of prototype software;
  • knowledge of data mining, machine learning, process analytics, predictive analytics, or big data;
  • good communicative skills in English, both in speaking and in writing.

Process mining is a young, emerging field, where people work who really want to make a difference and like to work on things that have a high practical relevance. Therefore, you will work closely with companies from the services and healthcare domains to verify and validate your research results. By following this PhD program, you will be prepared for a range of interesting, data science related jobs in both academia and industry.


We offer an exciting opportunity to contribute to an ambitious and international education programme with highly motivated students and to conduct your own research project at a renowned research university. You will receive appropriate training, personal supervision, and guidance for both your research and teaching tasks, which will provide an excellent start to an academic career.

In addition, you will have:

  • the opportunity to work in collaborative, social, and dedicated teams of Researchers;
  • a full-time position for 5 years;
  • a full-time gross salary that starts at €2,395 and increases to €3,061 per month in the fourth year (scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao));
  • benefits including 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the cao for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here.

About the organisation

The Department of Information and Computing Sciences of Utrecht University is nationally and internationally renowned for its research. Current research groups are Algorithmic Data Analysis, Algorithms and Complexity, Decision Support Systems, Simulation of Complex Systems, Geometric Computing, Multimedia, Human-Centered Computing, Social and Affective Computing, Visualisation and Graphics, Interaction Technology, Process Management and Analytics, Organization and Information, Natural Language Processing, Intelligent Systems, Data Intensive Systems, Software Technology and Software Technology of Learning and Teaching. Relevant areas of interdisciplinary research include Artificial Intelligence, Game Research, Foundations of Complex Systems, Applied Data Science and Integrative Bioinformatics. The Department has, among others, close collaborations with the University Medical Center, the Departments of Physics and Mathematics, and the Faculties of Humanities and Geosciences.

The Department offers Bachelor's programmes in Computer Science and Information Science, and six English language Research Master's programmes in Artificial Intelligence, Business Informatics, Computing Science, Human-Computer Interaction, Game and Media Technology and Applied Data Science. High enrolment figures and good student ratings make the education very successful.

You will work at the Business Process Management and Analytics (BPMA) group of the Department of Information and Computing Sciences. This group, led by Prof Hajo Reijers, is composed of Researchers who are experts in the areas of process mining, business process management, and business process improvement. Our main goal is to develop innovative techniques and artifacts to support organizations with managing and improving their business processes. To successfully accomplish this goal, we are closely cooperating with companies from the services and healthcare domains. Within the group, we aim to create a collaborative and inclusive atmosphere. We also adhere to Open Science principles.

At the Faculty of Science there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes which work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do attitude of our people. This fundamental connection attracts Researchers, Professors and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the university and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.

Additional information

If you have any questions about this position, please contact Dr ir Xixi Lu (Assistant Professor), via or Prof Hajo Reijers, (Full Professor), via

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Then please send an email to


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives and we attach great importance to diversity and gender balance. Applicants are encouraged to mention any personal circumstances that need to be taken into account, for example parental leave or military service.

If you have the expertise and the experience to excel in this role, please apply via the “Apply now” button, enclosing:

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • the names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of at least two references.

If this specific opportunity is not for you, but you know someone who may be interested, please forward the link to them.

Please note: Due to the current situation regarding the Corona virus (COVID-19) the process of selection and interviews is subject to change. Initial interviews will most likely be conducted online.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

The application deadline is 1 September 2020.