A computational large eddy simulation (LES) study is presented of the interaction between a turbulent boundary layer separating from a rounded ramp in a duct and a pair of spanwise-periodic, round synthetic jets, actuated upstream of the nominal separation line. Several scenarios are considered, for different injection angles and velocity ratios. In all cases, the actuation frequency corresponds to the shedding-instability mode of the separated shear layer. Experimental data, available for both the baseline flow and one actuated configuration, are used to verify the validity of the computational solutions. The analysis includes a separation of coherent and stochastic contributions to the time-averaged statistics of the auto- and cross-correlations of the fluctuations. The control authority is examined by reference to the effects of the actuation on the size of the separated zone, the momentum thickness of the boundary layer, the velocity field, various turbulence quantities and phase-averaged properties. The study demonstrates that the principal aspect of the interaction, at mean-flow level, is an increase in mixing provoked by the formation of strong streamwise vortices away from the wall, the induction of much weaker streamwise vortices close to the wall, and the extra production of stochastic turbulence caused by unsteady straining. The coherent stresses arising from the periodic perturbations are high – typically 5 times the levels of the unperturbed flow – but only within about 5–7 diameters of the jet orifice, and 2 orifice diameters on each side of the jet, and these are dominant primarily in the outer parts of the boundary layer. Stochastic turbulence is also elevated, but more modestly. The global effect of the actuation is a reduction of 10–20 % in the length of the separated region and 20–40 % in the thickness of the reverse-flow layer, depending on the actuation scheme, counter-flow actuation being the most effective. This reduction is mainly associated with a delay in separation. These results highlight the need for synthetic jets to be placed close to the separation zone and for the inter-jet distance to be of order 5 or lower to achieve a high level of separation-control authority.