Are you looking for an exciting research project for your PhD or Postdoc? The ERC AdG project PRECRIME is scouting excellent applicants to fill 1 PhD position in the area of software testing, within the topics of self-assessment oracles and test generation. Successful candidates will work at Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) in Lugano, under the supervision of the ERC holder Prof. Paolo Tonella, within the PRECRIME team.

The research project:

PRECRIME (Self-assessment Oracles for Anticipatory Testing) is a European Research Council - Advanced Grant (ERC-AdG) project that has started in January 2019 and will last for five years. The project was inspired by one of the long-lasting dreams in science fiction: the ability to arrest criminals before they even commit crimes. Software testing researchers have a similar dream: when the context for a bug manifestation occurs in the field, the goal is to discover and fix the bug before it causes any in-field failure. PRECRIME will introduce a new view on testing, called anticipatory testing, which is activated at run-time by a new type of oracles, called self-assessment oracles. Combined with automated patch synthesis, anticipatory testing will release a patch for a fault before any software failure occurs in the field.

The research environment:

USI has recently started the Software Institute (SI), a center of excellence devoted to Software Engineering research & development. SI includes CodeLounge, a R&D center with the mission of pushing research ideas beyond prototypes. CodeLounge represents a unique opportunity to facilitate technology transfer and the impact of PRECRIME’s research. The Software Institute and the Faculty of Informatics at USI host a unique set of world-class software engineering researchers, such as Michele Lanza, Mauro Pezzè, Antonio Carzaniga, Carlo Alberto Furia, and Gabriele Bavota.

PRECRIME will promote collaborative research with other ERC projects and international institutions working in related areas, among which the ERC AdG projects Tune (Prof. Lionel Briand at the University of Luxembourg) and Epic (Prof. Mark Harman at University College London).

At USI, Postdoc and PhD salaries are highly competitive, in accordance with Swiss standards. The selected candidates are expected to start at the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020. Postdoc contracts and PhD scholarships on PRECRIME last for 4 years. USI is committed to increasing the proportion of female researchers and therefore encourages female candidates to apply.

How to apply:

Applications for PhD positions should include a curriculum vitae and a research statement. PhD candidates should hold a MSc degree in Computer Science by Fall 2020.

If you are interested, send your application to paolo (dot) tonella (at) The call will remain open until all positions are filled, but priority will be given to applications received by May 15th, 2020.