Post-Doc - COLMENA Project (R2)

Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Post-Doc - COLMENA Project (R2)

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  Application Deadline
May 31, 2023
Barcelona, Spain
  Employment Type

About BSC

The Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS) is the leading supercomputing center in Spain. It houses MareNostrum, one of the most powerful supercomputers in Europe, and is a hosting member of the PRACE European distributed supercomputing infrastructure. The mission of BSC is to research, develop and manage information technologies in order to facilitate scientific progress. BSC combines HPC service provision and R&D into both computer and computational science (life, earth and engineering sciences) under one roof, and currently has over 800 staff from 55 countries.

Look at the BSC experience:

We are particularly interested for this role in the strengths and lived experiences of women and underrepresented groups to help us avoid perpetuating biases and oversights in science and IT research.

Context And Mission

The Computer Sciences (CS) department of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center aims to carry out research and development to influence the way computing machines are built, programmed and used. The Workflows and Distributed Computing group at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center aims to carry out research on programming models for distributed computing. More specifically, this group will be contributing to the COLMENA project (Spanish funded project) which contributes to the definition of next-generation computing and data technologies by proposing a framework to ease the programming, deployment and maintenance of hyper-distributed applications on the device-edge-cloud Continuum.The group will have a significant effort devoted to the definition of the COLMENA programming model and its software platform.

The new programming model environment will be inspired on organic colonies: collections of autonomous individuals with heterogeneous characteristics that cooperate forming different social organizations. In this new approach, each smart device (IoT sensor/actuators, network access point/router or Edge/Cloud server) composing a cyber-infrastructure is considered as an Autonomous ageNT (ANT) aware of its own IT capabilities (data processing power, storage capacity, sensors and actuators equipped, available network interfaces, etc.) and context (geo-location, owner, etc.). In such an environment, services will be described as a society with different roles. Each role is defined by behaviour (program logic), the necessary software dependencies and the hardware requirements to play it. The role composition of such a society will be defined by a set of rules that indicate the number of players of each role. ANTs autonomously pick one or more roles to play according to its characteristics, the requirements of each role and the current role distribution. Upon their decision, they contextualize themselves downloading the necessary software and start the execution.

At any point, the infrastructure may change; a new ANT can join in or leave the Colony, the service may be in a peak or valley workload moment, or a network service may be disrupted. To rapidly adapt to these changes, ANTs constantly revisit their roles and consider any possible reconfiguration that may improve the service. The goal of the project is to develop a platform to create, deploy and operate services on the device-edge-cloud continuum. A programming framework capable of reducing the complexity of programming swarms. The “roles” will be programmable through simple, high-level programming interfaces, where no low level details are exposed. The project will also develop the necessary libraries and layers to support such an interface.

For this research, the group is looking for an postdoc to contribute in this research, with the design and implementation of the COLMENA programming model and software platform. The job also includes active participation in the project, attending project meetings, collaborating with partners and writing deliverables.

The financing entities are the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation and the European Union-NextGenerationEU, within the framework of the PRTR and the MRR, all in accordance with what is established in this regard, in particular, in accordance with the provisions of article 34.2 of Regulation (EU) 2021/241 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of February 12, 2021.

Key Duties

  • Design and development of the COLMENA programming model
  • Design and development of the COLMENA software platform
  • Development of tests to check the extensions with the COLMENA test infrastructure
  • Contribution to COLMENA documentation to illustrates how to use the programming model and platform
  • The candidate will work closely with other research members on the team of the Workflows and Distributed Computing group



  • PhD on Computer science degree or similar

Essential Knowledge and Professional Experience

  • Previous experience in runtime systems and system software
  • Knowledge of Distributed Computing
  • Good programming skills in Java and C, and/or Python

Additional Knowledge and Professional Experience

  • Previous experience in distributed programming models
  • Experience in container management platforms (Docker, Kubernetes, …)


  • Fluency in spoken and written English, while fluency in other European languages will be also valued


  • The position will be located at BSC within the Computer Sciences Department
  • We offer a full-time contract (37.5h/week), a good working environment, a highly stimulating environment with state-of-the-art infrastructure, flexible working hours, extensive training plan, restaurant tickets, private health insurance, support to the relocation procedures
  • Duration: Open-ended contract due to technical and scientific activities linked to the project and budget duration
  • Holidays: 23 paid vacation days plus 24th and 31st of December per our collective agreement
  • Salary: we offer a competitive salary commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the candidate and according to the cost of living in Barcelona
  • Starting date: April 2023

Applications procedure and process

All applications must be made through BSC website and contain:

  • A full CV in English including contact details
  • A Cover Letter with a statement of interest in English, including two contacts for further references - Applications without this document will not be considered

In accordance with the OTM-R principles, a gender-balanced recruitment panel is formed for every vacancy at the beginning of the process. After reviewing the content of the applications, the panel will start the interviews, with at least one technical and one administrative interview. A profile questionnaire as well as a technical exercise may be required during the process.

The panel will make a final decision and all candidates who had contacts with them will receive a feedback with details on the acceptance or rejection of their profile.

At BSC we are seeking continuous improvement in our recruitment processes, for any suggestions or feedback/complaints about our Recruitment Processes, please contact

For more information follow this link.


The vacancy will remain open until suitable candidate has been hired. Applications will be regularly reviewed and potential candidates will be contacted.

OTM-R principles for selection processes

BSC-CNS is committed to the principles of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers of the European Commission and the Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment principles (OTM-R). This is applied for any potential candidate in all our processes, for example by creating gender-balanced recruitment planels and recognizing career breaks etc.

BSC-CNS is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion. We are pleased to consider all qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or any other basis protected by applicable state or local law.

For more information follow this link.

This position is reserved for candidates who meet the requirements and have the legal status of disabled persons with a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%. In case there are no applicants with disabilities that meet the requirements, the rest of the candidates without declared disability will be evaluated.