PhD Fellow in Human-Centered Computing
University of Copenhagen Department of Computer Science

PhD fellow in Human-Centered Computing

Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in ethical approaches to AI commencing 01.02.2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. 

Description of the scientific environment

The position will be within the Human Centered Computing section (HCC). We are a highly interdisciplinary group that conducts research within the areas of Human-Computer Interaction, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Ubiquitous and Pervasive Computing and related fields. Our section aspires to be a top research environment that bridges technology, theory, and empirical studies. We regularly publish at top ACM conferences such as CHI, CSCW, UIST, and UBICOM and HCI journals such as TOCHI, JCSCW and HCI. We also publish in interdisciplinary venues such as the Big Data & Society journal as well as across venues in humanities and social sciences.

The PhD position will be part of the cross-sectional Confronting Data research group and researchers working issues of AI and ethics, which also include researchers from the Software, Data, People & Society section as well as other sections across DIKU. The PhD position offers opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborative engagement with researchers in the faculties of Humanities and Law as well. 

Project description

The rapid evolution of a broad range of intelligent and autonomous systems (AI) brings with it hopes for a better world and deep concerns about potential negative consequences. It is clear that an ethical approach to the design and development of AI technologies has to encompass both social and technical aspects. How can we ensure that society can derive maximum benefit from AI technologies, while limiting the potential for negative consequences? This PhD will research how existing ethical principles can be incorporated into the design and development of AI technologies including an interrogation of the onto- and epistemological assumptions that underlie technological design and development. The project will investigate which principles are more tenable than others and what a creatively re-imagined ethical approach to AI development might look like in practice. This will require an investigation and assessment of both contemporary and historical approaches with attention to the values and motivations of actors within these schemes. Frameworks and practices will be examined as cultural products rooted in, enacting and disseminating the values of their producers. The project will utilise an interdisciplinary, didactic, and creative critical praxis-oriented approach at the intersection of human-computer interaction, creative computing and data ethics.

Principal supervisor is Professor Irina Shklovski, Department of Computer Science,  

Job description

The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

•    To manage and carry through your research project
•    Attend PhD courses
•    Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
•    Teach and disseminate your research
•    To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
•    Work for the department

Formal requirements 

Applicants should hold an MSc degree in a relevant area with good results and good English skills. A multidisciplinary background that spans AI development and the humanities/arts is preferred. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any), documentation of creative technological output (if any) and experience with artist’s residency addressing relevant topics (if any).

Terms of employment 

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff. 

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. 

The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 331,125 (approx. €43,750) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,811). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

Application Procedure

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below. 

Please include 

•    Cover Letter
•    Statement of purpose including a research question and the main goals of the proposed project and detailing your motivation and background for applying.
•    CV 
•    Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
•    Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any)
•    1-3 reference letters (if any) 

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background. 

The deadline for applications is 28 October 2020, 23:59 GMT +1. 

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee. 
The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at


For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor Professor Irina Shklovski, Department of Computer Science, .

General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ran

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