Vacant positions

PhD position in Law and Social Data Science

At the Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Law, a PhD scholarship in in Law and Social Data Science: The Collection and Use of Empirical Data in Interplay with Legal Analysis is open for appointment on 1 September 2021 or as soon as possible.

Job description

The Department of Law at Aalborg University invites highly motivated individuals to apply for the fully funded PhD position combining law and social data science. The ideal commencement date is 1 September 2021 or as agreed upon. 

Data has an increasing importance in our lives and the science of studying such data seeks to use various methods to derive insights or patterns from data. The Department of Law wish to strengthen our focus on legal science and the use of data in a broad sense. We imagine that research proposals address this in one of two ways. First, research proposals that aim to handle social science data and methods as part of a legal analysis, either by collecting data or carrying out data analysis in a broad sense. This could include, but is not limited to, legal dogmatics, sociology of law, law and economics or comparative law. Second, research proposals that aim to study the law and practice of current commercial, public or private data analysis, such as, but not limited to, use of big data, artificial intelligence, data protection, the tech-movements (MedTech, FinTech, InsurTech, RegTech etc.). The two types of proposals are equally prioritized and are assessed on the terms described further below.

Project proposals must have a significant legal aim, though the preponderant part of time spent, or efforts made during the PhD, can be allocated to the data related parts. Applicants are offered to contact the departments head of PhD program Thomas Neumann ( for guidance on the application process and initial feedback on research ideas.

An overall assessment of the research proposals is made from the proposal’s PhD suitability, relevance to society and the department, area of study, methods proposed, sources available, and the applicant’s qualifications. The applicant must document good writing skills and should attach relevant written material such as bachelor, honours or master dissertation or possible journal publications. It is expected that applicants generally have good grades and have achieved the grade 10 or better (A or B ECTS Scale, A+, A, or A- US grading scale) for their master dissertation or equivalent. Documents submitted should be in Danish or English.

The position as PhD fellow includes also an obligation to present papers at national and international conferences and seminars, teach, to be attached to another research environment in Denmark or abroad, and to acquire 30 ECTS equivalent through participation in doctoral courses. The Department of Law is part of the national doctoral school JurForsk from where the PhD fellow may also attend doctoral courses.

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

Qualification requirements

The PhD scholarship has a duration of three years. Applicants to the PhD scholarship must hold a degree equivalent to a Danish Master’s degree. Applicants enrolled at a Danish Master programme who expect to graduate before the date of appointment must forward statement from thesis supervisor, verified transcripts, a copy of thesis contract and documentation for the date of their final exam.

The completion of the scholarship will be in accordance with the Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities No 1039 of 27 August 2013 (the PhD Order), and it is a prerequisite for allocation of a scholarship that enrolment as a PhD student at the Doctoral School of Social Sciences takes place. According to the PhD Order, the PhD study comprises among other requirements: Participation in active research environments, including stays at other, mainly foreign, research institutions, private research enterprises etc.

Please find information on admission requirements for PhD positions on the website of the Doctoral School.
Application requirements
  • letter of motivation
  • Application form
  • project proposal (approx. 5 pages) containing the research project title, an outline of the course of study and a description of the overall problem areas
  • information on which language the PhD thesis is expected to be written in
  • curriculum vitae
  • diplomas confirming academic degrees (Master degree), including academic transcripts
  • Applicants WHO are planning to complete a doctoral thesis in English and who do not have English as a first language or WHO have not completed an English language-based Master's programme (or an equivalent educational achievement in English) shall provide documentation that they have passed one of the following official tests with the respective minimum score: IELTS (band score):7 TOEFL (paper-based): 600, TOEFL (internet-based): 100. 
  • Co-author statement. If publications that have been written in cooperation with others are submitted, a declaration from each of the authors must be enclosed. The declaration must state the extent of the applicant’s contribution to the total work and be signed by the authors.
  • Application for credit transfer if relevant.
The complete application including attachments shall be sent electronically by selecting the "apply online" function on AAU’s job-portal (not other online job portals that may have reposted the position).
Please note that zipped files are not supported by the recruitment system, please upload only Word or PDF files.
The assessment of the applicants will be undertaken by an expert assessment committee.
Shortlisting will be applied. This means that subsequent to the deadline for applications, the head of department supported by the chair of the assessment committee will select candidates for assessment. All applicants will be informed whether they will be assessed or not. The selected applicants will be informed of the composition of the assessment committee, and each applicant will have the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that applies to the applicant in question. When the employment process has been finalized, a final rejection will be sent to the applicants who are not considered.

The Faculty draws your attention to the fact that the applicant's project description may be tested for plagiarism in the IT system iThenticate.
You may obtain further information regarding the academic contents of the position from Associate Professor Thomas Neumann, or Head of Department Ulla Steen,

If you have questions regarding the procedure of applying for the position, please contact Mette Bjerring,


Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of 26 June 2019, 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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Online application - some good advice

Online application - some good advice

Aalborg University uses an electronic recruitment system for receiving applications. Towards the bottom in the respective job advertisement you will find a link, which you need to use when applying for the position. Before uploading your application it is important that you have all relevant documentation ready in a Word or PDF format, as you need to upload all material at the same time. You cannot leave the application and return to it a couple of hours later without having to start over.

The system does not support ZIP or images files. Filenames can only contain numbers and letters, and each document must take up no more than 20 MB.

If you experience technical problems, we encourage you to try again. If the technical problems, contrary to expectation, cannot be solved, please contact the member of staff listed as the contact person in the job advertisement.