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Vacant positions

One or more PhD Stipend(s) in Human-Robot Collaboration (20-19028)

At the Technical Faculty of IT and Design, Department of Planning, one or more PhD stipend(s) are available within the general study programme Planning and Development. The stipend(s) are open for appointment from 1 June 2019 or soon hereafter. The Department of Planning conducts research and teaching on development and planning in a broad sense, including social science aspects as well as more technical aspects of development, and with a focus on environmental, international as well as administrative dimensions.

Job description

The PhD position(s) are part of the interdisciplinary research collaboration at the Aalborg University Human-Robot Interaction Lab (HRI Lab). In this lab we research HRI from multiple angles and cooperate on development of theories, methods and design concepts to advance future Human-Robot Interaction.

The PhD position(s) are focused on researching symmetries and asymmetries in human robot teams with the objective to improve and advance design and use of robots in work settings. Workplace designs where human workers collaborate with robots are increasing. Workers and robots collaborate on tasks, processes and materials, they share workspace and workers delegate tasks to robots among others. The purpose of human-robot collaboration is that workers and robots will complement each other and improve quality in work processes and products For example, workers can delegate tasks that are repetative or ergonomic challenging to robots and focus on decision making and managing processes or workers can be supported by robots in performing tasks that require technical precision. However, work is unpredictable and collaboration on what might seem as simple tasks easily become difficult in human-human collaboration and likewise in human-robot collaboration. This PhD study contributes a qualitative understanding of human-robot collaboration by investigating symmetries and assymetries in human robot teams at work. The ambition of this research is to develop optimal patterns for human-robot collaboration at work and contribute to develop robots as trusted co-workers. The research will be conducted in collaboration with enterprises in Denmark.

The successful candidate(s) have an education and experience with investigating human-technology interactions for example as MSc in Techno-Antropology or similar education. Experience with robotics and/or workplace studies is an advantage but not a requirement. Expertise in doing empirical studies and using qualitative methods is a requirement. The collaboration with the project partners, data collection and data analysis will be in Danish. Hence, the candidate(s) must be able to understand and communicate Danish/Scandinavian. A high proficiency in oral and written English is required. Good dissemination skills are important.

The PhD(s) will be part of the research group for Techno-Anthropology and Participation (TAPAR) at the Department of Planning, Aalborg University. TAPAR is an interdisciplinary, international and gender-balanced research group. We research existing and emerging technologies from a human-centered, participatory and holistic perspective. Our mission is to contribute to change for the better in technological innovation, design and use. TAPAR researchers work with socio-technical theory and are skilled in participatory design, action research and mixed methods.

The application can be submitted in English or Danish. We prioritize applicants who, additional to a motivation letter, diplomas and curriculum vitae, submit a project proposal (i.e. a project description which is not regarded as final but a proposal). The project proposal must be max 5 pages (not including references). The project proposal must include

1) a research motivation

2) a short presentation of expected theories to be used in investigating human-robot collaboration

3) a short presentation of methods to be used in conducting the empirical study

4) a work plan describing the main phases of the study

You may obtain further information from Professor, Anne Marie Kanstrup, email: kanstrup@plan.aau.dk concerning the scientific aspects of the stipend.

PhD stipends are allocated to individuals who hold a Masters degree. PhD stipends are normally for a period of 3 years. It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Doctoral School of the Technical Faculty of IT and Design, in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of August 27, 2013 on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions. According to the Ministerial Order, the progress of the PhD student shall be assessed every six months. It is a prerequisite for continuation of salary payment that the previous progress is approved at the time of the evaluation.

The qualifications of the applicants will be assessed by an assessment committee. On the basis of the recommendation of the assessment committee, the Dean of the Technical Faculty of IT and Design will make a decision for allocating the stipend.

For further information about stipends and salary as well as practical issues concerning the application procedure contact Ms. Bettina Wedde, The Technical Faculty of IT and Design, email: bew@adm.aau.dk, phone: +45 9940 9909.

The faculty have a research school, The Technical Doctoral School of IT and Design:

http://www.phd.tech.aau.dk/ and a  PhD association and network for PhD students at AAU http://www.phd.tech.aau.dk/current-students/PAU/.

The application is only to be submitted online by using the "Apply online" button below.

AAU wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background or belief.


Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of November 10, 2015 on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the Ministry of Finance current circular on the employment structure at Danish Universities.

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