PhD on Persuasive Technology and Interaction Design

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 16 Apr 2023

PhD on Persuasive Technology and Interaction Design
PhD on Persuasive Technology and Interaction Design
Published Deadline Location
today 16 Apr Eindhoven

Are you fascinated by the psychology of users, how technology can influence users and (implicit) interactions between users and technology?
Job description
The Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences of Eindhoven University of Technology has a PhD position vacancy on interaction design for hearing aid personalization in the Human Technology Interaction (HTI) group. The project is funded by the ROBUST program , and part of the FEPLab .
The current project will focus on the human technology interaction component of hearing aid personalization. Firstly, the tuning process should be as unobtrusive as possible to the HA wearer, since the tuning process should not interfere with daily tasks, such as ongoing conversations. Secondly, the tuning process should be covert in the sense that it should not be noticeable by conversation partners and other bystanders. Finally, there are privacy, security and ethical issues relating to in-situ recording of acoustic data. We wish to avoid storing recorded data for offline training.
The main research challenges are to identify ethical, practical, and social issues of in-situ hearing device tuning and translating these issues to an appropriate interaction protocol. To formulate the interaction protocol, we need to understand why users choose personalized algorithms, and under which circumstances personalization might not be desirable. Based on earlier research on persuasive technology, acceptance of technology, satisfaction and usability, the current research will identify ethical, practical and social issues of in-situ hearing device tuning and translate these issues to an appropriate interaction protocol. Different from earlier research on these topics, for understanding acceptance of a hearing device, it is crucial to investigate determinants of more covert acceptance. That is, preferably, users remain unaware of many characteristics of this technology. For example, users preferably remain only peripherally aware of many interface elements, and even when interaction with the hearing aid is necessary (e.g., for requesting personalization), that interaction remains as covert as possible (to the user and her/his surroundings). Thereby, this research opens new domains of research into technology acceptance, satisfaction with, and usability of more covert technologies.
You will conduct your research under the supervision of dr. Jaap Ham (TU/e) and
Prof. dr. Bert de Vries (TU/e, EE). You will be a member of the Human-Technology Interaction group and the FEPLab group at TU/e.
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • Eindhoven View on Google Maps

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

Talented, enthusiastic candidates with excellent analytical and communication skills holding a master's degree or an equivalent university degree in human-technology interaction, interaction design, human-computer interaction, or a related discipline are encouraged to apply. The following experience and skillsets are preferred:
  • Experience with and affinity for working in technology acceptance, interaction design, and persuasive technology fields
  • Expertise with empirical research among humans and related statists knowledge and skills
  • A strong interest in human-technology interaction research
  • A research-oriented attitude 
  • Strong conceptual thinking and planning skills; you are creative and proactive
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary team and interested in collaborating with industrial partners.
  • Motivated to develop your teaching skills and coach students
  • Fluent in spoken and written English (C1 level).

Conditions of employment
A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and with the possibility to present your work at international conferences. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:
  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid 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.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process .
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • Our Staff Immigration Team can support international candidates.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Additional information
About us
Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. 
The Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences (IE&IS) is a leading school in the area of industrial engineering and management science as well as innovation sciences. IE&IS has several BSc and MSc programs housed in two separate schools. Research is multi-disciplinary, based on fundamental scientific insights and methods. The school of Industrial Engineering (IE) focuses on the analysis, (re)design, and control of operational processes in organizations and the information systems needed for these processes, and the school of Innovation Sciences (IS) focuses on the realization and impact of technological innovations at the individual, organizational, and societal level. At the heart of our academic philosophy is the synergy between research and teaching.
The Human Technology Interaction (HTI) group is part of the school of IS. It concentrates expertise in social sciences - in particular psychology - and engineering, and is concerned with the responsible development, introduction, and use of technology, focusing on its interface to humans, its successful deployment in organizations, and a fundamental understanding of its transformative effects on individuals and society. We highly value collegiality, collaboration and team science and look forward to welcoming you in our midst.
You will be part of one of the 17 new ICAI labs, named FEPLab consisting of 5 PhD students, who will collaborate on studying advanced, AI-based hearing aids investigating (1) design of (probabilistic) generative models for the assisted hearing situation, (2) tools for automated Bayesian inference, and (3 - the current research position) the interaction between the user, hearing aid technology systems. The lab is a collaboration between Eindhoven University of Technology's Electrical Engineering department, the Human-Technology Interaction research group (at the Innovation Sciences sub department), and GN Hearing, a globally leading hearing aid manufacturer with a strong research group.
This lab is part of the 10-year LTP ROBUST program 'Trustworthy AI-based Systems for Sustainable Growth' consortium, which unites 17 knowledge institutions, 19 participating industry sponsors and 15 civil-social organizations from across the Netherlands. You will gain valuable experience working with an industry partner and will be able to tap into a wealth of networking, career development, and training opportunities in conjunction with ICAI, the Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence at the University of Amsterdam.
Curious to learn more about what it's like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the 2 videos:
  • How about a PhD at TU/e?
  • In 9 steps to your PhD!

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact dr. Jaap Ham, associate professor, j.r.c.ham[at] or +31 40 247 4210.
Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact HR-services: hrservices.ieis[at]  or +31 40 247 8827.
Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page .
We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button. The application should include a:
  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • Some demographic data of selected applicants will be shared with Maastricht University who is coordinating the recruitment drive for LTP ROBUST.

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