PhD in Warm Technology and Care Ethics

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 14 Jun 2022


Industrial Design

Reference number


Job description

The PhD research is on care between humans and artificial agents, e.g., chatbots, and how that can best scale up for the specific context of dementia care. The project thus investigates
1) relations of care, such as care-related roles that agents can take on, e.g., caring for people who have dementia and their caregivers;
2) conversational AI, i.e., designing targeted warm care agents in a scalable manner;
3) responsible engineering on the ethics of human-agent interactions concerning vulnerable groups.

Regarding research, we are interested in fusing together “warm technology”, i.e., empowering people through the design of technology, with conversational AI and responsible engineering that stems from care ethics. In terms of policy recommendations, the project aims to articulate responsible engineering practices for future AI projects in dementia care and beyond.   

Figure 1: The relations between stakeholders, companies, and organizations involved.

To pursue the above research initiatives, the project aligns with various organizations, namely the Expertise Center Dementia & Technology (ECDT) in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and their partner care organizations, Alzheimer Nederland, SARA robotics, Philips, and Tinybots (see Figure 1). The project of four years thus will be coordinated between different partners to fulfill the technical and ethical components. To do so, you will be situated in the Eindhoven Engine  ecosystem, which is located on campus. 

Job requirements

The department of industrial design of the TU/e is looking to hire a candidate with a strong interest in conversational user interfaces and ethics with a motivation to work in the domain of dementia care. The candidate should have (and will develop further in this project) strong professional and communication skills in order to work together with partners in a multi-disciplinary research team. The following lists additional requirements. 

The candidate has: 

  • a high degree of emotional intelligence, 
  • experience working in multidisciplinary teams, 
  • completed a Master’s in Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction, Design, AI, NLP, or has a mixed educational background, 
  • experience with developing conversational agents through Dialogflow, Rasa, Boost.AI, or other platforms, 
  • experience or keen interests in applied ethics and morality, 
  • the potential to publish academically or a track record of publications in related research areas, 
  • excellent communication skills, including a fluent command of English, and 
  • fluency of the Dutch language, or willingness to become fluent, will be valued in conducting research. 

Conditions of employment
  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
  • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program ).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called ‘30% facility’, which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Information and application

About TU/e, Industrial Design and Future Everyday 

In Industrial Design, you will be a part of the Future Everyday cluster, which investigates the everyday interactions between individual people and the highly interconnected technology that surrounds them. We measure, model, and design for the user experience when individuals interact with social-technological networks in their homes, at work, in transit, while doing sports, or going out.  

TU/e is a leading international university specializing in Engineering Science & Technology. With high-quality education and research, TU/e ensures the progress of technical sciences and the development of technological innovations. TU/e is located in a highly industrialized region in the Netherlands, known as the ‘Brainport’. This region is internationally recognized as a top technology area with a special focus on the integration of design and technology. The department of Industrial Design at TU/e is internationally recognized for its scientific research on the design of systems with emerging technologies in a societal context. We excel at the acquisition and execution of projects where “integration of emerging technology into everyday life” and “application of technology in a societal context” play a major role. The Future Everyday research group investigates the everyday interactions between people and the highly interconnected technology that surrounds them.  

General information about TU/e and the Industrial Design Department, candidates will find on .  

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact
Minha Lee, m.lee[at]

For information about terms of employment, click here or contact HR-IndustrialDesign[at]

Please visit to find out more about working at TU/e!


Candidates are kindly asked to submit their application with a cover letter explaining your motivation and specific interests in this project, an extensive curriculum vitae, academic transcripts, and any other supporting documents (e.g. publications, awards) by using the "apply now//solliciteer nu" button on this page before 15th  of June, 2022.  

We look forward to your application and will screen your application as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.

We do not respond to applications that are sent to us in a different way.

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