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PhD fellow for the SOS-project at the IT University

The IT University of Copenhagen invites highly motivated individuals to apply for a PhD position on the SOS-project starting in January 2020 or soon thereafter.

The SOS-project:
Digitalization in the Nordic countries has largely covered all welfare areas; social service, public schools, and health care.

A strong user-perspective has led to a focus on self-service solutions. However, as citizens engage in encounters with the welfare state through educational, health care and social services, it is increasingly clear that there are still needs related to digitalization that are unmet. For instance, citizens who struggle with social, cognitive or health related challenges may refrain from using the digital solutions put in place by the public authorities.

Even though they may be able to use mobile commercial digital devices and services through social media etc., their agency as digital citizens remain partial as more or less extensive communicative support is required for them to access welfare services.

The SOS project offers a comparative mapping of information- processing and communicative aspects of informal welfare work across three welfare sectors. Informal welfare work is unpaid support of citizens in his/her interactions with welfare state institutions and actors.

SOS takes as a point of departure that in order to keep their position as world-leading digital welfare societies, the Nordic countries cannot afford to ignore designing support for such work. Not only does a lack of support for the partially digital citizens cut deeply into the overall Nordic value of universal welfare, there is a risk that welfare costs will escalate in the future, if support is not provided.

The project has a strong consortium of universities, public sector, and industry partners in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Its main ambition is to map informal welfare work in three welfare sectors across three Nordic countries and to propose and prototype socio-digital innovations that enable synergy between informal welfare work and requirements of public authorities. With an excellent consortium and a broad and engaged panel of affiliated partners we are well-equipped to offer solutions for an area that is currently invisible and unacknowledged, and help future-proofing digital welfare societies in the Nordic region.

Qualification Requirements
The following qualifications are required:

  • 3 year programme: candidates should have an MSc (or equivalent)
The PhD student must be trained in science and technology studies or anthropology and have significant and well-documented experience with ethnographic methods. The candidate will participate in conducting a mapping of universal welfare in the Nordic countries on the policy level (desk research) and perform ethnographic fieldwork of informal welfare work in a Danish municipality. The candidate is expected to bring ethnographic research into comparative dialogue with scholars in the project from Norway and Sweden.
The candidate will be expected to participate in workshops that translate research findings into design recommendations and policy advice. The candidates are not expected to be native Danish speaker but being able to interview and do observations among native Danish speakers is a requirement. Given the vulnerability of some of the social groups whose living conditions this research targets, it is important that the candidate can demonstrate insights in relation to research ethics and has plans for how to translate this knowledge into practice.

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.

Successful applicants will be employed and enrolled at the ITU University for a period of 3 or 4 years depending on the university degree level of the applicant.

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 Professor Brit Ross Winthereik, IT University of Copenhagen, tel. 7218 5326 or e-mail Questions related to the application procedure may be directed to HR, Kristina Køj-Udsen,

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 September 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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