PhD studentship in "Incremental Evaluation of Property Graph Queries"

Deadline: 19 April 2024 (or until position is filled)

One fully funded PhD position to work with Dr Milos Nikolic in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, on a project titled “Incremental Evaluation of Property Graph Queries”.

This project will focus on studying the evaluation of property graph queries over changing graphs. The project goal is to develop novel incremental techniques specifically designed for graph pattern matching queries, with sufficient feature coverage of a practical graph query language (e.g., openCypher). The position is an opportunity to combine cutting-edge research at the intersection of relational databases and graph databases.

Candidate’s profile

  • Project specific skills: databases, SQL, graph query languages. Previous coursework or experience (e.g., thesis) in one of these areas is necessary.
  • Programming skills: proficiency in C/C++, Java, Scala, and/or similar languages
  • A good Bachelor’s Hons degree (2.1 or above or international equivalent) and/or Master’s degree in a relevant subject (physics, mathematics, engineering, computer science, or related subject)
  • Proficiency in English (both oral and written)
  • Prior research experience in the domain of databases is highly desirable.

Studentship and eligibility

The School funded studentship covers:

  • Full time PhD tuition fees for a student with a home fee status (£4,712 per annum) or overseas fee status (£31,500 per annum)
  • A tax-free stipend of £19,237 per year for 3,5 years.
  • Additional programme costs of £1,000 per year.

Application Information

For informal enquiries about the position, please contact Dr Milos Nikolic with a short summary of your background and research interests in the technical themes mentioned above.

Applicants should apply via the University’s admissions portal (EUCLID) and apply for the following programme: LFCS: Theory and and Foundations of Computer Science, Databases, Software and System Modelling with a start date of May 2024 (Home applicants) or September 2024 (Home and Overseas applicants).

Applicants should state “PhD in Graph Databases” and the research supervisor (Dr Milos Nikolic) in their application and Research Proposal document.

Complete applications submitted by 31 March 2024 will receive full consideration; after that date applications will be considered until the position is filled. The anticipated start date is 01 May 2024 or 9 September 2024 (depending on candidates’ immigration status) but later start dates can be considered.

Applicants must submit:

  • All degree transcripts and certificates (and certified translations if applicable).
  • Evidence of English Language capability (where applicable).
  • A short research proposal (max 2 pages).
  • A full CV and cover letter describing your background, suitability for the PhD, and research interests (max 2 pages).
  • Two references (note that it the applicant’s responsibility to ensure reference letters are received before the deadline).

Only complete applications (i.e. those that are not missing the above documentation) will progress forward to Academic Selectors for further consideration.


The School of Informatics is one of the largest in Europe and currently the top Informatics institute in the UK for research power, with 40% of its research outputs considered world-leading (top grade), and almost 50% considered top grade for societal impact. The University of Edinburgh is constantly ranked among the world’s top universities and is a highly international environment with several centres of excellence.



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