Call for Applications: 2 PhD Positions

Two PhD positions are available withing (1) the research group Theory and Logic, Institute of Logic and Computation (Agata Ciabattoni, Vienna University of Technology), and (2) the research group Logic in Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence (Christian Straßer, Ruhr-University Bochum).

We are seeking for two exceptionally talented and motivated student.  The position is embedded in the LoDEx project (Logical Methods for Deontic Explanations), a joint project between TU Vienna (PI: Agata Ciabattoni),  the University of Luxembourg (PI: Leon van der Torre), and the Ruhr-University Bochum (PI: Christian Straßer). 

Both PhD positions are shared with the University of Luxembourg: the candidate is expected to spend the first two years at TU Vienna or Ruhr-University Bochum and then two years in Luxembourg completing his/her PhD under a Cotutelle agreement in the Computational Law and Machine Ethics (CLAiM) group at the University of Luxembourg. 

The Project.

The candidate will be working as a member of the WEAVE project “Logical Methods for Deontic Explanations” (LoDEx). The project’s general aim is to develop formal frameworks for generating explanations in the normative context. The frameworks will be applied to bioethics and legal reasoning, as case studies. These explanations facilitate our comprehension of the underlying reasons for the application of specific norms within a particular context, illuminating why adherence to these norms is crucial. 

The positions.

The PhD positions focuse on:

  • advancing and applying logical methods for explanations in legal reasoning (Vienna-Luxemburg), and
  • advancing and applying formal argumentation for deontic explanations, with special consideration of cases in bioethics. 

Job requirements.

For the position Vienna-Luxemburg the candidate should have familiarity with formal logic, ideally modal/deontic/epistemic/philosophical logics; and a basic affinity with and an interest in legal reasoning. 

For the position Bochum-Luxemburg the candidate should have familiarity with either of the following (ideally several): formal logic (modal, deontic, philosophical logics), formal argumentation, a basic affinity with and interest in ethical and moral theories.   The candidate should have a degree in computer science, philosophy, logic, AI, or related subjects. Knowledge of German is not required. 

We welcome candidates with a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. We especially encourage candidates from underrepresented groups.  For any queries for the position Vienna-Luxemburg, please contact Agata Ciabattoni ( and Réka Markovich (, for the position Bochum-Luxemburg please contact Christian Straßer ( and Leon van der Torre (


The application should contain the following documents: 

  1. a letter of motivation explaining your interest in the position and your qualifications for it, 
  2. your curriculum vitae, 
  3. abstract in English of the applicant’s master’s thesis;  4.  a complete list of completed studies and transcripts of all grades 
  4. a writing sample (such as a master thesis, or seminar paper), and 
  5. the contact details of at least two referees, who can be contacted for a letter of reference 

If you are interested, we invite you to apply before November 30th, 2023.  Applications for the position Vienna-Luxemburg should be sent to Agata Ciabattoni ( and Réka Markovich ( Applications for the position Bochum-Luxemburg to

Agata Ciabattoni
Agata Ciabattoni
Professor of Non-Classical Logics in Computer Science

Agata Ciabattoni is a full professor of non-classical logics in computer science. She is an expert in proof theory for non-classical logics and their applications in various fields. Among other things, she has been investigating proof theory for deontic logic, its applications in AI, connections to legal reasoning, and formalisation of the deontic reasoning of the Mı̄māmsā school of Indian philosophy.

Christian Straßer
Christian Straßer
Professor of Logic in Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence

Christian is a full professor of logic in philosophy and artificial intelligence at the Institute for Philosophy II, Ruhr University Bochum. He is an expert on nonmonotonic logic and logical argumentation. Among other things, he has been investigating nonmonotonic approaches to handling deontic conflicts, deontic detachment principles and proof theoretic approaches in deontic logic.

Leon van der Torre
Leon van der Torre
Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science

Leon van der Torre is a full professor of artificial intelligence and computer science at the University of Luxembourg. He has been working on deontic logic and its applications for nearly three decades. He is one of the founding fathers of input-output logic, the BOID architecture, the game-theoretic approach to normative multiagent systems, and the LogiKEy methodology.