Doctoral student in computer science: Human Factors in Digital Health

Updated: 3 months ago

Malmö University is an innovative, urban and international institute of higher education, located in the centre of Malmö. We have around 1,800 employees and 24,000 students. Our research and education are characterised by the role we believe a university should play in an open society — to contribute to sustainability and equality in a scientifically grounded way with external partners and stakeholders. Identifying and addressing the challenges of the future are of highest priority. Our researchers and students work collaboratively to create, share and spread knowledge in order to understand, explain and develop society — both locally and globally.

The Faculty of Technology and Society conducts education and research focusing on technology and natural sciences at two departments: Computer Science and Media Technology and Materials Science and Applied Mathematics. The faculty collaborates with companies and other organisations in order to raise the level of competence, create new products, develop activities and offer students an early connection to their future working life. Our research collaborations and staff from many different countries give our activities an international profile.

The Department of Computer Science and Media Technology offers research-linked education at first-cycle, second-cycle and doctoral levels. The department conducts research in computer science, information systems, software engineering and media technology. We are interested in research and education areas such as artificial intelligence, digital media, e-health, internet of things and game development.

Department of Computer Science and Media Technology

Those appointed to doctoral studentships shall primarily devote themselves to their studies. Those appointed to doctoral studentships may, however, work to a limited extent with educational tasks, research, artistic research and administration, however, duties of this kind may not comprise more than 20 per cent of a full-time post (Chapter 5, Section 2 of the Higher Education Ordinance).

This department funded PhD position is within Human Factors in Digital Health.

Digital health technology such as embedded, wearable, and mobile sensors are welcomed by most physicians to facilitate data collection from patients in free-living conditions. From a patient perspective, this technology may also promote convenience and improved understanding of conditions, potentially empowering them to have greater independence and a higher quality of life. Exploring effective user experience (UX) designs for new mobile and wearable technology therefore plays a central role to the adoption of digital health, and to ensure that technological advances benefit all stakeholders in this highly prioritized and expansive area.

The PhD candidate is expected to study human factors in digital health related to two main areas, subject to refinement by the candidate together with their supervisor team:
(1) How to design for technology acceptance?
(2) Which design mechanisms are key to promote engagement?

Your work will be to:

  • Conduct design driven research in the field of digital health to explore challenges and opportunities for using mobile phones and wearable devices.
  • Identify, apply, and adapt theoretical models of relevance to the design and assessment of digital health technology. Concepts of relevance for this may include e.g., technology acceptance, user adoption, technology literacy, engagement, empowerment, attrition and retention, privacy and privacy-by-design, trust, transparency, behavior change and adherence support, as well as gamification and incentives.
  • Apply rapid prototyping as well as develop wireframes and mature designs ready for integration with web-based apps (experience with front end or full-stack development is a bonus, but not required). Digital prototyping tools for UX design may include e.g., Adobe XD,, Sketch or Figma, but physical prototyping may also be of relevance to assess ergonomics and tangible aspects of technology.
  • Apply relevant research methods to studies, such as personal construct methodology, design research, research-through-design, or participatory design.
  • Drive development of design concepts from ideation through prototyping and testing. This includes running design sprints and workshops with industry stakeholders, clinicians, and patients to organize information logically (card sorting) and explore design directions.
  • Engage with and follow patient communities regarding their digital health experiences and expectations.
  • Use and adapt established guidelines and high-quality questionnaires relevant to the field together with qualitative interviews to assess digital health solutions.
  • Use, adapt and evaluate quality measurement tools for assessing digital health technologies.

The work will be conducted in collaboration with ongoing research projects run by senior researchers and include other PhD students also focusing on Digital Health, as well as long-term industrial and clinical partners. The PhD candidate will complement these projects with human factors perspectives that they presently do not have but would benefit greatly from. This provides a well-established and highly functional environment with good opportunities for knowledge exchange, collaborative studies, and joint publications.

The research studies will primarily be carried out within the Internet of Things and People research center ( ). In addition to the research, it is expected that 20% of the position is devoted to teaching at the Department of Computer Science and Media Technology.

Only those who are or have been admitted to third-cycle courses and study programmes at a higher education may be appointed to doctoral studentships (Chapter 5, Section 3 of the Higher Education Ordinance). Preparation of admission to postgraduate education and employment as a doctoral student take place in parallel. Those who have basic eligibility for admission will have:

  • passed a degree at advanced level, or
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS, of which 60 ECTS at advanced level, or
  • in some other way, in- or outside Sweden, have acquired equivalent knowledge (HEO Chapter 7 section 39)

Special eligibility is accorded to those who:

  • have knowledge and skills equivalent to a second-cycle degree in computer science or in another subject that is related to computer science, or
  • have acquired essentially equivalent knowledge in or outside Sweden
  • are proficient in English to the extent required for conducting postgraduate studies in computer science

Selection among applicants who meet the general and specific entry requirements shall be made with regard to their capacity to assimilate the education (HEO Chapter 7 Section 41).

When selecting between applicants for vacant positions, the ability to complete postgraduate education is assessed (HEO Chapter 7 Section 5).

The following general criteria will be used:

  • Subject competence
  • Scientific quality in previous work
  • Methodological and scientific maturity
  • Communication and collaborative skills

The following specific criteria will be used:

  • Experience with theoretical frameworks and concepts relevant for the design and assessment of digital health technology.
  • Experience with tools for UX design.
  • Experience with design, development and/or assessments of mobile or wearable digital technology.
  • Experience with ideation, prototyping, and testing, or similar design driven research approaches.

Head of Department, Bengt J Nilsson, 040-665 72 44,

HR-specialist, Magdalena Brossing, 040-665 76 59,

Main supervisor, Carl Magnus Olsson, 040-665 75 02,

In our recruitment work, Malmö University has taken a stand regarding recruitment channels and marketing. We therefore decline all offers of advertising and recruitment assistance in connection with this advertisement.

You may apply for this position via Malmö University's recruitment system by clicking on the "Apply" button. As an applicant, you are responsible for ensuring that your application is completed in accordance with the advertisement, and that it is provided to the University no later than 2022-12-12. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the University can read what is written in the application. If the application is not written in Swedish, English or any of the Nordic languages, the applicant is responsible for the application and its appendices being translated.

The application must include:

  • Completed application form for admission to Research Education
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Diplomas, transcript of records and other certificates relevant for the position
  • A brief research plan (max 4 pages, excluding references) proposing a relevant focus and approach. You are expected to include and motivate research questions/objectives, research approach including main components of the design and data collection process, and key theoretical foundation/concepts that would guide your research.
  • Independent work at advanced level (including master thesis or equivalent)

Preparation of admission to postgraduate education and employment as a doctoral student take place in parallel. Only those who are or have been admitted to third-cycle courses and study programmes at a higher education may be appointed to doctoral studentships (Chapter 5, Section 3 of the Higher Education Ordinance).

The doctoral studentship is a fixed-term position comprising four years of full-time studies, in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5 Section 7.

Malmö University is a workplace and higher education institution that is characterised by an open and inclusive approach, where gender equality and equal terms add value to our activities.

Malmö University applies salary setting for doctoral students in accordance with a local agreement on salary setting for doctoral students.


SACO-S Mats Syde,

OFR/ST Bodil Sterner,

We are looking forward to receiving your application!

You apply no later than 12/12/2022 by clicking the apply button.

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