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PhD fellow for the CUPP-project at the IT University

The IT University of Copenhagen invites highly motivated individuals to apply for a PhD position on the CUPP-project starting in February 2021 or soon thereafter.

Digitalization has increasingly become an important imperative for the functioning of Nordic states. The digitalization of the public sector is vital for reducing administrative burdens and improving the quality of interactions between citizens and states. Nordic countries score high on the E-Government Development Index. Yet the digitalization of Nordic states has also led to a series of profound shifts in public institutions. Law enforcement constitutes a key such institution currently undergoing a major transformation: it now incorporates digital strategies to improve its efficiency in predicting events and automating work in crime deduction.

Critical Understanding of Predictive Policing (CUPP) seeks to understand the reconfiguration of roles and responsibilities as well as bias in an increasingly data driven police force, zooming in on the institutional values, digital affordances, emerging operational politics, and daily practices in Northern Europe. The use of digital technologies and big data in police work has raised considerable attention in policy, media, legal, and academic debates. However, these debates have been largely speculative, focusing on the potentials of new forms of police work. The technological capacities for surveillance, forensic investigation, and prevention far overtake empirical research on the new digital landscape. Consequently, we know very little about how big data is adopted and adapted in law enforcement activities and to what consequence. The proliferation of data analytics brings into question how citizens’ rights are being protected as what counts as ‘safety’ or ‘policing’ is being fundamentally transformed. CUPP explores and conceptualizes how digitalization cuts across key aspects for law enforcement and affords new lived realities for police officers and citizens alike. To address pressing concerns around what an accountable digitalised police force might look like and create a vision for the future in which transparency in the shaping of the public sector is possible, the project adopts an interdisciplinary approach. This will allow us to gain a better understanding of how public institutions are modernized in periods of digital transformation.

The project has a strong consortium of universities, research centers and labor unions in Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Norway, and the UK and applies an interdisciplinary framework at the intersection of Science and Technology Studies (STS), Critical Criminology, and Critical Big Data Studies to identify and explore the related effects and impact of data driven police technologies on society and end-users. The research team will generate vital new insights about how law enforcement is conceived and practiced in the digitalized state, as well as how public participation and scrutiny is ensured in the procurement, implementation and use of digital infrastructures. Additionally, the research will shed light on what values and politics are inscribed within digital solutions.

Qualification Requirements
The following qualifications are required:

  • 3-year program: candidates should have an MSc (or equivalent)
  • The PhD student must be trained in science and technology studies or Critical Criminology, or Critical Big Data Studies and has documented experience with historiography, fieldwork and interviews, and collaborative interventionist analysis. The candidate will participate in conducting research on the processes of procurement and implementation as well as how a data-driven police technology is used in specific encounters with citizens in Denmark. The PhD project will particularly focus on how institutional values in Danish law enforcement are changing as automated data analytics continues to gain a foothold in the protection and prosecution of citizens. Analyzing changing patterns of authority will be central to this project as digital platforms is likely to affect the ways in which information gets acted on. The candidate is expected to bring research into comparative dialogue with scholars in the project from Estonia, Latvia, Norway, and the UK.
  • The candidate will be expected to participate in workshops that translate research findings into public debate and gather civil society around the issues addressed in this project as well as participating in the composition of an ideas catalogue. The candidate is not expected to be native Danish speaker but being able to interview and do observations among native Danish speakers is an advantage. Given the confidentiality around the processes and digital platforms that this research targets, it is important that the candidate can demonstrate insights in relation to research ethics.
The application must be in English and must include:

  • A cover letter;
  • A statement of purpose, which provides evidence of independent thinking, novelty and originality, and a state of the art grasp of the targeted research field matching the project description above;
  • Documentation of academic degree(s); grade transcripts that documents outstanding academic achievement;
  • Curriculum Vitae, which must include two professional/academic references;
  • Applications may also include a relevant scientific publication written by the applicant, or the applicants master thesis. Letters of recommendation can also be included in the application
Applications without the above-mentioned required documents will not be assessed.

It is understood that even highly qualified applicants will satisfy these requirements to varying degrees, for example because of differences in publication cultures in various research fields.

Early contact with our faculty staff is strongly encouraged.

Working at the IT University
Located in modern architecture at the intersection of the new Ørestad and the old Amager, a 6-minute metro ride from the center of Copenhagen, the IT University offers an informal working environment, a varied everyday life, and a highly motivated, ambitious, competent and diverse international faculty, with PhD degrees from 15 different countries. The IT University is an equal opportunity employer and prides itself in actively and successfully pursuing an improved gender balance among students and among faculty. We encourage applicants from underrepresented groups.

Working in Copenhagen
Copenhagen has a strong educational system, a rich cultural life, universal healthcare, good childcare, and well-functioning infrastructure. Copenhagen is among the world’s most livable cities according to the Economist Global Liveability Index. Living and working in Copenhagen will be a good experience for you and your family.

General information
The IT University of Copenhagen (ITU) is a teaching and research-based tertiary institution concerned with information technology (IT) and the opportunities it offers. The IT University has more than 160 full-time Faculty members. Research and teaching in information technology span all academic activities which involve computers including computer science, information and media sciences, humanities and social sciences, business impact and the commercialization of IT.

Appointment and salary will be in accordance with the Ministry of Finance’s agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC)

Application procedure
You can only apply for this position through our e-recruitment system. Apply by pushing the button "Apply for position" in the job announcement on our website:

Please read the guidelines for applicants carefully before filling in the application form. You can see the guidelines through this link:

Applications must be written in English. All other documents, such as transcripts must be accompanied by a translation in English or Danish.

Questions about the positions can be directed to Associate Professor Vasilis Galis, IT University of Copenhagen, tel. +45 30522977 or e-mail

The applicant will be assessed according to the Appointment Order from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of 13 March 2012.

The IT University may use shortlisting in connection to the recruitment process. I In case of shortlisting, the Chair of the hiring committee selects applicants for assessment in consultation with the hiring committee after the application deadline. All applicants are notified whether their application has been passed for assessment. The shortlisting of candidates for assessment is based on the criteria in the job posting.

Application deadline: 30 November 2020, at 23:59 CET/CEST.

Applications/enclosures received at ITU after the application deadline will not be taken into consideration. If you submit an application, it is your responsibility to ensure that it arrives before the deadline so please allow sufficient time for upload of publications and other documents.

The IT University invites all qualified researchers regardless of age, gender, religious affiliation or ethnic background to apply for the positions.

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