02 July 2019

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For more information please contact Prof. dr. Marc Denecker, tel.: +32 16 32 75 57, mail: or Prof. dr. ir. Gerda Janssens, tel.: +32 16 32 76 34, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than September 30, 2019 via the online application tool.
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Apply before 30 September 2019

Your PhD research will cover a range of topics on the development of knowledge intense applications within the KB paradigm. 

The Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KRR) research group at the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Engineering of the KU Leuven has an open position for a PhD student. The group of prof. Marc Denecker and prof. Gerda Janssens works on the foundations of formal knowledge specification languages and the development of Knowledge Base Systems. A guiding principle of this research is a strict separation of a knowledge base of formally specified declarative knowledge on the domain and the computational problems that need to be solved in that domain. This facilitates the (re-)use of the knowledge base for solving a range of problems by applying suitable forms of inference. The KRR group is involved in the development of knowledge intensive applications where this paradigm offers great promise. The group develops knowledge representation languages and a state of the art Knowledge Base system IDP while using also other technology (e.g., ASP, CP, SMT, Z3). For candidates from KU Leuven: the vision of the research group is well displayed in courses such as Modelling of Complex Systems and Declarative Languages of the Master in Computer Science.

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Your PhD research will cover a range of topics on the development of knowledge intense applications within the KB paradigm. You will learn about formal and informal aspects of knowledge representation languages and will develop extensions with new language constructs. You will learn about application and implementation of inference techniques. You will develop knowledge intense applications, especially in the context of business applications and study the needed forms of inference in it. You will develop tools to support domain experts to represent their knowledge. Much attention will be on interactive applications where users design solutions in collaboration with a knowledge base system, since here a range of interesting inference tasks arise.


Applicants should have or expect to receive a Master of Science degree in a computer science or mathematics discipline, and have a strong interest in topics such as formal specification, formal logic,declarative problem solving, programming, etc. 

In addition to the formal qualifications, selection is also based on the performance of the candidates in other works (e.g. thesis and advanced level courses), as well as through interviews and assignments.Besides good subject knowledge, emphasis will be on creative thinking,motivation, ability to cooperate, initiative to work independently and personal suitability for research training.


A full time PhD scholarship of 1 year, extendible until max. 4 year (which is sufficient to complete your PhD at KU Leuven).

You will be supported by a strong team of excellent researchers, and be motivated and challenged to deliver excellent research results, and become a KB expert.

A stimulating environment at Europe's most innovative university, in a well-equipped, experienced and internationally oriented research unit. 

The research will be based at the Department of Computer Science at the Arenberg Campus in Heverlee (close to the center of Leuven).