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Theory and Foundations

The Division of Theory and Foundations (aka FoCS: Foundations of Computer Science Research Group) is one of the divisions in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Warwick, one of the leading Computer Science departments in the United Kingdom.

Research in FoCS is concerned with various topics of Theoretical Computer Science such as Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Complexity Theory, Logic, Automata and Formal Verification. Our research aims at providing understanding of fundamental problems arising in Computer Science and to design mathematical tools and better algorithms to solve these problems. Our key research areas include:

  • algorithmic aspects of game theory and economics,
  • approximation algorithms,
  • automata and formal languages,
  • computational complexity,
  • cryptography and quantum computing,
  • discrete mathematics, combinatorics, and their applications,
  • graph and network algorithms,
  • logic and games,
  • online and dynamic algorithms,
  • parallel and distributed algorithms,
  • parameterized complexity and structural graph theory,
  • random structures and randomized algorithms,
  • sublinear and streaming algorithms,
  • string algorithms.

We are the core group affiliated with the Centre for Discrete Mathematics and its Applications (DIMAP) at the University of Warwick.

We meet regularly at DIMAP seminars.

More information about the research (including lists of publications) can be found on the web pages of the individual members of the Division of Theory and Foundations and on DIMAP Centre web pages.

More information about our research activities and achievements can be found here.

Information about our teaching activities is available here.

Academic positions

Post-doc positions

  • If you would like to apply for a research fellowship to be held in our group, please contact us in plenty of time about the application. There are several (very) competitive Fellowship schemes to support talented researchers (some restricted to people who do not currently have a permanent UK position) for periods of 1 - 5 years. These are offered for example by the EPSRC, the Royal Society and by the EU/ERC. All typically provide a full salary plus support for travel, computing, etc; some, as described below, offer funding for a research team. The person who wishes to hold the Fellowship applies via a nominated host institution (which need not be their current home institution, and some schemes actively encourage or even demand mobility). We welcome enquiries from anyone considering applying for such Fellowships nominating the Department of Computer Science and the University of Warwick as the host institution. Please either contact a relevant member of the academic staff, or email the Head of the Department of Computer Science giving brief details of the planned application. We need to know well in advance for administrative reasons, but we can also offer help in deciding which scheme is right for you and navigating through the financial and eligibility regulations etc.
    • Royal Society URFs (University Research Fellowships) (5 years funding) for researchers at the early / mid-stage career (3-8 years post-doc experience) who do not hold a permanent post or an early career fellowship in a university or a non-profit organisation. Holders of postdoctoral fellowships, such as Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Fellows, are eligible, as are Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellows, who meet the other eligibility criteria. Mobility is encouraged, but not compulsory. The Scheme is open to applicants of all nationalities and has an annual submission deadline in early September.
    • Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Fellowships (2 years funding) No limit on post doc experience but mobility in terms of crossing a national boundary is essential: Researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the three years immediately before the call deadline. Contact a member of staff to sponsor and work with you on your application. The annual submission deadline is early September.
    • ERC Grants: EU European Research Council (ERC). Up to 5 years of funding for excellent researchers at various career stages. The schemes are open to researchers of any nationalities.
      • ERC Starting Grants: 2-7 years experience after PhD. Funding to establish your own research group, including PhD students and postdocs. Minimum time commitment: 50% of your working time. Annual deadlines in October.
      • ERC Consolidator Grants: 7-12 years experience after PhD. Funding a major programme of research to consolidate your independence. Minimum time commitment: 50% of your working time. Annual deadlines in February.
      • ERC Advanced Grants: Funding for leading researchers with a track record of major research achievements in the last 10 years to pursue ground-breaking, high-risk/high-reward projects. Minimum time commitment: 30% of your working time. Annual deadlines in August.
    • UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships: A new joint scheme by the new umbrella organisation of all UK Research Councils, providing long-term funding for exceptional early career researchers who wish to join the department from academia or industry. Please be aware that there is an internal sifting process involved, thus if you consider this option, it is vital that you contact DIMAP/the department at the earliest opportunity. For details and the next deadline please check the website.
    • Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships: 3 years funding for those with a UK degree (PhD at least submitted, but not more than 4 years postdoctoral experience), and/or a temporary academic position in the UK, and no permanent post. Annual deadline in March.
    • Newton International Fellowships: (2 years funding plus follow-up money for 10 years) for junior researchers (PhD or 1-2 postdoc positions). Only for people who are not UK citizens and who are not working in the UK already. Early contact between applicants and Warwick before application is essential. Check the Royal Society link for applicantions in particular areas from particular countries. Annual deadline in March.
    • Royal Society for the Exhibition of 1851, Research Fellowships (for 3 years). Must be within 3 years of completing a PhD. Annual deadline in Februrary.

PhD Fellowships

  • The research group has funding available to support PhD studentships. Funding covers both academic fees and subsistence. We're interested in new, highly motivated PhD students. Deadline for the applications is November 11, 2019. If you are interested in this position, then please send an email to either Dr Sayan Bhattacharya ( or Dr Dmitry Chistikov ( with a CV and the names and email address of two references by November 11, 2019. For more details, please check this advertisment:

    Phd fellowships (UK/EU) under the supervision of Graham Cormode (rolling deadlines)

    Prospective PhD students or other people with a research-related interest: Please feel free to browse our web pages and contact any member of our group for more information.

    Information about applying to the university is here.