PhD positions in programming languages in LFCS/University of Edinburgh

by James Cheney, Dec. 14, 2020

PhD positions in a range of programming language topics (language design, systems programming, verification, synthesis, probabilistic programming) are available in LFCS and the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh

The Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science (LFCS) and the School of Informatics more broadly is home to academic staff members with interests across the range of PL research topics.  Recently several new academic staff members working on programming languages topics have joined the School and are actively seeking PhD students for funded projects starting in the 2021-22 academic year (or earlier subject to discussion).

A representative sample of our current research interests and (where available) funded projects is listed below.

* Dr. Ohad Kammar ([email protected])
  - My research is in programming language theory, and applications of logic and category theory. I'm also interested in the intersection of programming language foundations and statistical modelling and data science, sometimes known as probabilistic programming or differentiable programming.

* Dr. Sam Lindley ([email protected])
  - interests: effect handlers, session-typing, meta programming, programming language design, functional programming, type systems, semantics
  - funded project: effect handler oriented programming

* Dr. Elizabeth Polgreen ([email protected])
  - interests: synthesis engines, especially syntax-guided; applications of synthesis, for example in software engineering, verification, robotics, or other engineering disciplines

* Dr. Amir Shaikhha ([email protected])
  - interests: Compilation-based systems for universal data analytics (machine learning and analytical databases), using domain-specific languages, differentiable, and probabilistic programming.

* Dr. Michel Steuwer (
  - Interests:
  Domain Specific Compilers, Compilers for Machine Learning, Machine Learning for Compilers,
  Programming Languages for GPUs and Accelerators, Program Optimizations via Rewriting

* Prof. Phil Wadler:   
  - funded project: Verifying smart contracts for Blockchain (

* Dr. James Cheney ([email protected])
  - databases, language-integrated query, type inference, metaprogramming, provenance, verification

In addition to funded projects listed above, funding is potentially available centrally from the School, from doctoral training centres such as the School's Cyber Security and trust DTC.  Depending on nationality additional funding applications and deadlines may apply.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact potential supervisors directly in addition to consulting the School's general information about applications: