PhD position in Designing Human-AI Collaborations for Health and Wellbeing

Updated: 17 days ago
Deadline: 30 Sep 2021

We seek a candidate who have a multi- or interdisciplinary research interest where a human-centered perspective on AI is in the focus. To be eligible you have a background in one of these areas; ethnology, informatics, nursing, occupational therapy, philosophy and/or physiotherapy.

The PhD position is part of the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program on Humanities and Society (WASP-HS), which aims to realize excellent research and develop competence on the consequences and challenges of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems for humanity and society. This 10-year program is initiated and generously funded by the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation (MMW) with 660 million SEK. In addition to this, the program receives support from collaborating industry and from participating universities. For more information about the research and other activities conducted within WASP-HS; please visit WASP-HS.

The PhD candidate will take part in the WASP-HS graduate school, which provides foundations, perspectives, and state-of-the-art knowledge in the different disciplines taught by leading researchers in the field. Through an ambitious program with research visits, partner universities, and visiting lecturers, the graduate school actively supports forming a strong multi-disciplinary and international professional network between PhD candidates, researchers and practitioners in the field. It thus provides added value on top of the existing PhD programs at the partner universities, providing unique opportunities for participants.

The research
AI-based systems play an increasingly important role in our everyday lives. Human-centred AI research focuses on collaborating with humans, enhancing human capabilities and empowering humans to better achieve their goals. This includes issues such as how individuals may influence and collaborate with AI-based systems, in participatory design processes and as part of everyday living; what risks may arise in terms of self-determination and autonomy and how they may be mitigated; how trust, transparency and sense of control can be promoted; and how individuals relate socially, culturally, and emotionally to AI systems in their everyday lives. Against this background, the doctoral student is expected to explore AI with an emphasis on humans. The goal of the research is to develop knowledge related to human-centered AI together with end users through various forms of participatory methods.

We are looking for a doctoral student who wants to work with human-centred AI and wants to be involved in developing Umeå University’s AI profile. This particular position is part of the UMeHealth research environment ( that focuses on AI to support and improve human wellbeing.

The employment
The candidate will be employed and admitted to a doctoral program at Umeå University. The education at doctoral level corresponds to four years of full-time studies (240 higher education credits) with a doctoral degree as the goal. A Ph.D. student can also participate in teaching or other departmental activities up to 20% of the time. Salary is paid according to agreement for doctoral positions. The employment starts autumn 2021 or by agreement.

The organizational placement of the employment within the university is decided by the employer in connection to the employment, with the applicant's own wishes as guidance.

Basic eligibility for admission to doctoral education is a completed degree at advanced level or completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, which of at least 60 credits at an advanced level, or in some other way within or outside the country acquired essentially equivalent knowledge. We are looking for a candidate with a background in one of these areas; ethnology, informatics, nursing, occupational therapy, philosophy and/or physiotherapy.

More information about the special eligibility for each doctoral program can be found in each of the specific department's study plan. 

Other qualifications
In selection among eligible applicants, great emphasis is placed on the ability to assimilate the education, previous study results and the quality of the submitted research plan. In other aspects, reference is made to agreement on employment as a doctoral student (Chapter 5) and access to education (Chapter 7) in the Higher Education Ordinance.

The application must include:
• Reference to which department that you like to address your application to
• An introductory letter / personal letter (1 page)
• Research proposal presenting your research ideas (max. 4 pages excluding references)
• Curriculum Vitae (CV)
• Copies of previous thesis (MSc / MA and / or BSc / BA)
• Copies of study grades including documentation of completed academic courses and grades and other merits
• Copies of published own research (if any)
• Contact information for two reference persons

The application must be complete for it to be processed in the recruitment process. The application must be made via the e-recruitment system Varbi.

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