PhD fellow in Haptics and Human-Computer Interaction

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 10 Dec 2020

Department of Human-Computer Interaction
Faculty of Science
University of Copenhagen

At the Human Centered Computing Section, at Department of Computer Science, we are looking to hire a PhD student to work on haptics and human-computer interaction. The students will start February 15th 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment
The position offers an opportunity to join a globally recognized, highly collaborative group of international researchers working at the forefront of Human-Centered Computing. We are located in Copenhagen, consistently recognized as one of the world’s most-livable cities, in the country of Denmark, ranked as one of the top three happiest countries in the world. Our section aspires to be a top research environment for human-computer interaction that bridges technology, theory, and empirical studies. We are currently eight faculty (Daniel Ashbrook, Joanna Bergström, Pernille Bjørn, Kasper Hornbæk, Søren Kyllingsbæk, Hasti Seifi, Irina Shklovski, Katarzyna Wac).

Project description
The PhD fellow will work at the intersection of human-computer interaction and programmable touch technology (haptics). In the last two decades, researchers have developed a range of haptic devices (e.g., surface haptics, shape-changing devices, ultrasonic, soft actuators) and showed that they can produce perceptible artificial touch sensations. In comparison, little work is done on exploring the interaction possibilities of these technologies and creating and evaluating meaningful user experiences with them. We seek to hire a PhD student to work on user perception and experience design for emerging haptic technologies. As a PhD student you will have freedom to shape the work and define the focus according to your interests.

The supervisor is Professor Kasper Hornbæk and co-supervisor is Assistant Professor Hasti Seifi at Department of Computer Science. Please contact Hasti Seifi at  with enquires.

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
The requirements for the position are as follows:

  • Master degree in Computer Science, Human–computer Interaction, Psychology, Cognitive Science, Physiology, Biomechanics, Computer and Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or related fields
  • Knowledge or skills in human-computer interaction
  • Familiarity with haptic technology, haptic interaction design, and/or haptic perception
  • Familiarity with sensing technology and/or virtual reality technology is a plus.
  • Strong programming skills
  • Proficiency in English, both in speaking and writing.

Additionally, candidates need to stand out in at least one of the following key criteria of excellence used for the assessment:

  • Grades that document an outstanding academic record
  • Scientific publication(s) in recognized, peer-reviewed venues
  • Awards and honors
  • Professional qualifications and work experience

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

  • Letter of motivation (max. two pages) that includes a description of how the qualifications are met
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Master thesis as PDF (final or in draft)
  • Assessment of master thesis (provisional or final)
  • Transcripts of grades, documenting an outstanding academic record. Unless the candidate’s diploma and transcripts of grades are in Danish or English, the candidate should procure a certified translation. Furthermore, the candidate must include official information about the grading scale.
  • 1-3 reference letters (if any) as PDF.
  • If applicable, PDFs of up to three scientific publications that you have co-authored.

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 10th of December 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 abovementioned 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 Dr. Hasti Seifi, 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-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

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